Window Treatments: Room Darkening With Interior Design Style


As an interior designer in Sarasota, Florida, I often write about interior design from a Sarasota perspective.

Let’s talk about the issue of providing a darkened room for better sleeping. One of the ways of providing this is to install “blackout lining” on the draperies. This is quite common and is quite effective in darkening a room. But there will still be light leaks at the bottom and sides of most drapery installations, since the fabric hangs loose and is not tightly sealed to the edges of the opening.

We have taken to calling this treatment “room darkening” since the term blackout was taken literally by a client. She would not be appeased until the room was pitch black – an almost impossible expectation here where the sun is so vigorous.

One of the tools we have to assist with room darkening are solar shades orlando interior designers. These are roller shades and may be either manual or electronically controlled. With our large projects and houses with many windows in many rooms, it becomes very attractive to have a motorized system installed so that when one departs for a period of time or returns from an absence the house can be closed or opened with the touch of a single button.

These systems are both remarkable and complicated – but provide the possibility of almost infinite controls that can answer some challenging requests. Different times of day require differing positions of open or shaded windows, which vary as the sun moves around a house. They can provide automatic controls which are based on the time of day and the exposure of the house. They also take a great deal of planning and design, but in the end provide a wonderfully responsive and controlled interior environment.

Back to the shades themselves. It is possible to have shades that are room darkening or ones that are woven or perforated to allow some or very little vision to the outside. They come in a variety of tones to blend with any decor. The are not as decorative as sheers, but often can provide a more tailored look to suit contemporary interiors and in combination with decorative draperies.

Other elements in our palette are venetian blinds. This technology is over 200 years old – it was prevalent in Europe and America even during our revolution! And in the right places, we still think blinds look impressive and fresh. They are also adept at being easily controllable, can allow breezes to pass through the semi-open vanes and still allow a certain degree of privacy. They come in many colors and finishes to blend with many design schemes. We are less fond of the slimline blinds for most applications – they just look too commercial.

Another solar device is the plantation shutter – well named for its ubiquitous use in the tropics. These interior shutters provide a substantial look for some interiors. Their scale, and the size of the blades provides a nicely strong element to a more fixed window treatment. Although they are variable, they are more time-consuming to adjust, and so we often use them in places were the decorative element is a more permanent effect, and is used to screen an unwanted view. They are very useful as window treatments in powder rooms and other places where privacy is an issue.

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