Thursday, October 10, 2013

Glass Act: Making the best of a less-than-heavenly view

If every window revealed a view of stunning beauty, it would make my job so much easier. But here on earth, some vistas leave something to be desired. The good news is that I’ve been seeing more ways than ever before to address these problems.

Scenario 1: You feel as though you’re living in a fishbowl.

Scenario 2: You have a marvelous view – of a brick wall, or the legs of passersby.

For both daytime privacy and obscuring undesirable views, light-filtering blinds are an increasingly popular option. This is in large part because they don’t block out natural light. A similar – though more romantic – effect can be achieved by using sheers. Both can be paired with lined curtains for nighttime privacy.

If you’ve got panoramic windows, treatments like these can cost a pretty penny. Here’s an Ottawa Real Estate industry secret: you may be able to negotiate with your builder at the time of purchase for blinds to be included in the purchase price.

Half-height plantation shutters work beautifully with tall, narrow windows, lending historical character to a room. For a smaller window, you might consider a hanging stained glass panel; even a small panel will act as a focal point, drawing attention away from an unbeautiful view.

Your local hardware store carries two inexpensive alternatives: privacy window film and acrylic wall glaze. Both of these give the illusion of frosted glass, and both are easily applied and removed. In many cases, applying these treatments to only the lower pane of glass will give you the privacy you require.

Scenario 2: Your windows are too small, or too few.

Small windows can be made to look larger by artfully installing blinds and curtain rods higher than necessary, with curtains extended on either side. On a blank wall that cries out for a window, try hanging a large piece of landscape art; installing a picture light above will give your evenings a lovely ambience. Have as many different sources of light as possible coming from different points in a room. This gives you options for different effects at various times of day. And large mirrors are wonderful for reflecting light from both windows and lamps.

As a glass half-full kind of gal, I’ll close with this: your imperfect views are the perfect opportunity to make a terrific design statement.
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