The expansive windows in the new downtown Anthony Wayne condominiums provide impressive views of the cityscape — and also a challenge to interior designers.
Sunlight coming in from those windows can fade furniture and floors. And even though the views are the attraction, window treatments can soften an interior, making it more visually appealing.
Ellen Rowland of Boutique Interiors Inc. took on the challenge, choosing the window dressings for a two-bedroom model condo on the 15th floor.
During a home tour earlier this fall, she was in the condo and witnessed the reaction of visitors.
“When people came in for the show, they went, 'Aah,' at the combination of the window coverings and the view,” she said.
Just having an eye for design isn't enough when choosing window coverings anymore. They've gone high-tech, with some treatments operated by remote control, a computer or even a smart phone. So if someone is out of town and remembers the blinds are open, with the new technology they can close them via computer or phone from a remote location.
Rowland chose motorized vertical blinds for the living room windows. The mechanical blinds are covered in a soft fabric that actually can be taken off, machine-washed and put back up without ironing. She also dressed up the living room with a swag valance to soften the look. The valance also serves to visually shorten the windows a little, Rowland said.
The three windows in the kitchen sport Graber top down/bottom up grass cloth pleated blinds. They can be pulled partway down, leaving the bottom of the window exposed, or pulled all the way down but left open at the top, providing privacy and yet letting light in. A pleated valance with covered buttons dresses up the windows.
In the small bedroom, Rowland chose cellular double blinds by Graber. These day/night blinds can be pulled down part way for a blackout effect for sleeping. Pull them down some more, and semi-sheer blinds provide privacy but still let light in. The blinds are raised and lowered with handles, so there are no cords to get tangled. The window is dressed with a linen print valance.
For the master bedroom Rowland chose a chocolate brown Roman shade with a matching covered cornice. The shades can be pushed down or up with the touch of a hand — no cords needed.
Rowland, who owns the window treatments in the condo, estimated the total cost to be $25,000. “I'd say this is the top of the line,” she said.
A more economic alternative — for example, using contemporary roller shades throughout the condo — could be done for around $11,000, she said.