Decorating Dilemma: LeeAnn’s Wall of Windows

It’s been awhile since I had a chance to do a Decorating Dilemma, but I’m getting back to this series in the new year.  YAY!  It was fun to tackle a few of these last year and hopefully give some women a few great ideas on how to solve their decorating problems.

decorating dilemmas

Here’s what LeeAnn here in Acworth said about her wall of windows:

“I have these beautiful floor to ceiling windows with transoms and I don’t know how to treat them. I really don’t want to cover them up too much and take away from our beautiful view of the woods and golf course but the area just looks so cold and bare without anything. On the right hand side you can see there is a door to the terrace which complicates things too on how to address it with the wall of windows.”

So, let’s take a look and see what we can come up with collectively on how LeeAnn might treat her windows.

windows 2

I had to lighten these pics and enlarge them, so they are a little grainy, but you can see what grand architectural details LeeAnn has in this light-filled dining area.  She said the view is wonderful too, so definitely doesn’t want to block that.

windows

It’s a beautiful space and on this side is the door that leads to a terrace outside.  Gorgeous room!

So, let’s give LeeAnn some ideas!

One thing that I’m noticing in the pics that I found with all windows is this:  all of these spaces are white on white, which really opens up the space and makes it look even bigger.  With the dark walls in LeeAnn’s space, it sort of closes things in a bit. The darker color shows off the beautiful trimwork, but maybe doesn’t showcase the room completely.  LeeAnn, I love your beamed ceilings too.

white-living-room-large-windows

(via Homedit.com)

Here’s a beautiful room with a wall of windows (swoon!) looking out on water.  These have large transoms above and no covering at all, which I totally think is the only way to go in this room.  Fabric would definitely take away from THAT view!  LeeAnn has a golf course view that she doesn’t want to block either.

pinterest2

(all 4 of the next pics from Pinterest.  I try to find sources, but so many Pinterest pins are a dead end on finding the source!).

This room is solid windows and doors too and again, white on white for the walls and trim.  Check out that soaring beautiful planked ceiling! I love how simple, yet beautiful this room is, even without a lot of color.  They used a light colored drape to just frame the windows and I like the look.  Even though LeeAnn has one window that is curved, I still think she could raise the rods above its curve and still have panels flanking that window too. So, 3 sets of panels on all 3 walls.  Mirror it on all sides to flow, using one set of panels on the door side. I also like how the rods blend into the wall in the above pic.

pinterest3

Here’s another beautiful, yet simple look for a dining space with walls of windows.  Simple, curved dark rods and very flowy sheer curtains, taking nothing away from the view of the windows.

www.pinterest.com

And yet another white on white space with a few simple white panels in place, that just adds some softness to the room.

So, what do y’all think?  I think some of these ideas could definitely work for LeeAnn and still keep her room nice and open.  No need to block a beautiful view!  I’m sure LeeAnn would love to hear more ideas so chime in with your thoughts!

I’m still taking submissions that I’ll be going through this year on Decorating Dilemmas, so if you have an area in your home that is stumping you, send some pics to me with your story and I will be getting to more of these this year!  It’s always fun to try to solve a problem for someone.


- Rhoda


Comments

  1. You don’t need a rod on the arch window. Place a single sconce in the center and one on each side of the arch. She could than drape the fabric from the center sconce onto each of the sides. The fabric can pillow, drape and flow at the top drawing your eye to the focal point. I agree the walls need to be painted lighter. I would use the short rods on each side of the windows on the side walls. I think the look of the short rods is cleaner, a long rod draws the eye away from the fabric and calls to much attention to the rod above the windows when left open.

  2. Terri Sullivan says:

    Rhoda, A beautiful space LeeAnn has! I love the idea of a light sheer panel on each side of the arched window with maybe a platter and plates in lighter hues above it. I have been searching the web and furniture stores for a dining set like LeeAnn’s. Can you tell me what brand it is?

  3. I completely agree with painting the space lighter. The dark color seems to close you from the view. Love your second suggestion with the hanging side panel…just gives a finished look to the space. Happy Thursday!!

  4. LeeAnn does have a beautiful room! I agree that the paint color is too dark. Painting the walls a lighter color would open the room up.
    My first thought when I saw the back wall with the arched window was to have a curved drapery pole over the arch. it could straighten out on each end for the panels to hang on. There are companies that will make custom poles like this. Of course, custom does mean more expensive! I would use short poles on end of the side of the other two sets of windows like DeDe suggested.

  5. the lighter rooms look great. I like the short rod with panels on the sides, no swagged fabric over the arch, please, a dated look.

  6. Patti-Ann says:

    I am so glad you suggested the white on white. When I first looked at the picture it hit me that it was cold because of the dark color. I am not a fan of the short drapery rods. I think if you are going to hang curtains you need to “commit” to the project. Sheers on all the windows would be lovely for privacy and soften then light as it comes into the room.

    Wonderful tips as always Rhoda!

    • I agree, the short poles look truncated and weird to my eye. I like the poles that blend with the wall color, the dark short ones pictured in this post draw way too much attention to their short stubby selves!

  7. Michelle Ferrer says:

    Hi, Rhoda,
    Beautiful rooms you’ve presented and gorgeous vistas. I have a similar dilemma and tried the curtain panels as you suggest. They are beautiful in the daytime, but at night, I find I need something more else I have a huge black hole to look out on. I found that textured sheers do the trick to provide the privacy at night (and no black hole), and during the day the sheers can be opened to provide access to the scenery. I used ecru rods so that they just disappeared. Thanks for all your tips and great photos.

  8. Stephanie mcilvaine says:

    The paint color is the issue… She needs to make the ceiling and walls more cohesive, this would brighten the space. I don’t think any sheers are needed

  9. I would try to think “out of the box” and dismiss draperies. If possible I would lighten the walls a bit, but even with the very dark walls I think that a stencil pattern in white or off white, or the same color as the trim, over the main windows would lighten things up and help to decorate the windows without covering them. The side windows and doors could have a much simpler stencil over them in the same design.
    The stencil over the main window should curve with the frame of the window. It should done in similar or the same curves as the dominant pieces of furniture in the room. I would also keep the scale of the scrolling the same as in the furniture. I think that this would give character and definition to the windows and to the room. It would also lighten it up.

  10. I’d say run a rod just below the arch and hang simple stationary drapes on either side of the double hung windows. Paint the rod the same color as the trim to avoid adding another “line” to the room.

    I would only address the arched window wall and leave the two side walls without drapes – the symmetry is broken by the door in the right side wall, so the drapes wouldn’t line up across the room.

    I do like the idea of brightening up the room with a lighter wall color, but if color is your thing, you could do a soft ikat pattern drape that plays up the colors in that beautiful oriental rug! I’ve had dark rooms before and they can really make a view pop, especially in the summer when leaves are out. Have fun!

  11. Rhoda – great ideas, especially painting the room a lighter color.

  12. Janet magina says:

    I am going to be the odd woman out. I love the dark walls with the white trim! I think the dark color gives the room warmth and the white trim draws your eyes to the view. For the windows I might consider bamboo shades inside mounted below the transoms. Just my two cents:)

  13. Karin Overbeck says:

    All the transoms need stained glass windows using the pale artique glasses in a delicate pattern. White on white paint is good. Rug is too large and I suggest pale colors. That’s my 2 cents.

  14. I agree that a lighter color for the walls is a must. I would not add any window treatment. And if those lovely chairs were all moved just a bit, so they are not with their backs squared to the walls, it will make an amazing difference in the look of the room. With a round table this little decorating trick can, and does, make a world of difference. I like to think it “softens” the look of a room so it feels “friendlier” somehow. Try it, you’ll be amazed!

  15. Cynthia LeBlanc says:

    Issues: Definitely would lighten wall color! Also, the room very much need some more softness.

    I wouldn’t meddle with the arch, it draws the eye and is the most beautiful part of the room, I feel.

    If too much heat / sunshine in summer then use a rod across the straight part of the window with a sheer or light neutral, ditto with other windows. Also wonder what textured neutral (blend in with molding) casual Romans would feel like in this room, if additional summertime filtering is needed? Worth playing around with!

    Bring in additional fabrics, a soft flowing tablecloth or wing chairs, along with a large palm or similar plant that would soften the room. You might find bringing these few items in, along with lighter walls, that the windows are beautiful just as they are! That would be my first choice for this beautiful space.

  16. I have solved this dilemma in our home with a curved wall of windows. My suggestion would be to run rods across each wall at the same height, placing the height of all ABOVE the arch. Then hang panels where needed, so they can be pulled closed for privacy. Having continuous rods at the same height creates a clean, simple appearance, but also amps up the drama of the room without obstructing the views. Agree that color would be ideal in a lighter tone.

  17. What a GORGEOUS space! Oh my those details in that room are amazing! I agree with others who’ve suggested running a rod above the arch on that wall and having simple drapes on the sides. I would treat the wall that has the door as one big wall of windows with the rod running all the way across (including above the door) and hang drapes down on either side allowing enough clearance to open the door easily. I think even if the room is painted having drapes would soften and frame as well as add a 3 dimensional quality. :-)

  18. Yes – it’s the paint scheme. I love “dummy” panels to soften the angles. I also think she needs a light-landscaper to have night lighting outside the windows to avoid that “black hole phenomena”. She is so lucky to have such a beautiful space. I really think it was be outstanding with minimal changes. Can’t wait to see what she does with it.

  19. Becky in 'Bama says:

    I have to chime in that the room should be a lighter color. Another suggested that the rug is too large, and I agree – it covers too much of the beautiful floors. Another person suggests perhaps high backed arm chairs at the table – that too would be lovely – upholstered in some fabric that coordinated with a different rug. I offer the suggestion of a banquette on the far side of the table, but that might be too much of an obstruction to the view. The space seems to be off the kitchen area, and if that is the case, the furniture seems a bit ‘formal’ in design and placement. One other minor detail would be to change out the heavy-globed light fixture (with the light going downwards). I noted in the other pics you posted, Rhoda, the chandiliers are much airier – multi arms – with the light directed upwards and outwards to brighten the room at night, perhaps. It’s such a pretty space to work with and the views don’t hurt. :)

  20. What a pretty room. I would lighten the gray to very pale shade, leaving the trim white. I’m not a fan of short rods to the side of windows, it just looks so “decorated”. I would add drapery rods across all walls & as close to the ceiling as possible . This would make the windows seem even taller and expand the room even more. Drapes hanging to the side will still allow the view to be the star.

  21. I love your ideas of a lighter paint color and drapery at the sides of the windows. Oh, to have that dilemma!

  22. I’m so glad I followed my decorator-friend’s advice for our sunroom. It faces west, and gets beautiful light all day. She pointed out that I will want to control the light and heat in the afternoon, and suggested 2″ blinds. She was so right! All windows and blinds are creamy white, and the remnants of walls and the ceiling are one shad darker than the trim. We topped the windows with a continuous, simple valance to add color and a little definition. It’s one of our favorite rooms, and it’s where I keep my desk.

  23. After reading the ideas and then looking at the dining room photo again, I wonder if the only window treatment should be on the large arched window. I would go with textured sheer panels hung just on the sides just below the arch that could puddle slightly and use a small rod just for those panels. Maybe in a color that plays to the ceiling color instead of a bright white, if the wall color needs to stay. I also think the other windows ( not the doors) could have beautiful tall palms in coordinating color pots flanking the windows, it brings a little of the outdoor view inside and will add interest and definition to the room.

    • Merlyn Corcoran says:

      I agree with Janet and Kathy P. LeeAnn has asked for help with the windows so I think we can assume she likes the color, as do I. The arched window is the focal point and it can be dressed without detracting from the view. Another option for hardware is to mount stationary panels on medallions following the arch, as drawn here: http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL94/100083/23169458/408569817.jpg

    • I agree with Merlyn and Cathy. I think the panels should only be to the right and the left of the focal arched windows. (There is not enough wall space to facilitate panels on the other walls without covering up part of the windows).I would also have the top of the curtains at the height of the bottom of the arch. This way there is a connection to the other flat top windows and the eye is not drawn to the top of the drapes. I like the idea of using medallions (in a complimentary colour to the wall colour), or a window treatment that would hide a short rod. The eye should not be drawn to a rod.

      If I were trying to help I would also ask these questions: What has to stay and what can change? Does she love the colour? (If she doesn’t then a warmer colour will make the space warmer, the green colour that she has on the walls right now in is a cold colour). Does she love the rug, the dining set. The only thing I would point out is that the table and chairs look small in the space with the rug that is there at present. So I would change one of those. And I would suggest if she wants further warmth and softness to change the chairs to upholstered ones or to perhaps cover them with slip covers.

      Can’t wait to see what she eventually decides to do!

  24. HI Rhoda,
    You have the most interesting blog. This little TinEye app installed in your Favorites bar allows you to enter an image address and it will search for you to find where it originated. Maybe this can help you identify origination. http://tineye.com/

  25. Marianne in Mo. says:

    Beautiful room! Personally, I would have lighter walls also, but I assume she is happy with the color. I am following this with interest, as I have a west facing wall of windows, 9ft. across, and 7ft. high, including the transoms. We also back to woods, and hubby won’t agree to cover the windows, since, as he says, “we PAID EXTRA for the view and windows” !! We did have a pro window tint applied, which, after 6 years is starting to look hazy. Glass constantly looks dirty now, and I want a new solution. Originally, I had considered a rod across and between the transom part and the operable windows, but decided that would look weird. We have the same setup below these, and I made drapes for those, running above the transoms. For her room though, I am stumped, because of the off balance on the left and right. I lean towards Roman shades, in something lightweight, same color as the teamwork. That is how I would do mine, if SOMEONE would just leave decorating to me! ;-) Gotta love a man who cares, I guess!

  26. Beautiful space Rhoda!

  27. Suzanne in Dallas says:

    Being that the furniture and the floors are dark, I’d definitely lighten up the walls and ceiling, then install drapery close in color to the walls so they just add an eliminate of softness only. For the drapes, let me suggest hanging a tabbed panel on knobs on both sides of the arched window from the highest point of the wind, and a panel on both walls just to the left and right-sides of the adjoining windows. This will have an illusion of continued windows all around. If possible, install knobs at the same height. If funds are available, I would replace the rug with a lighter and more modern/transitional one so the eye is drawn outside and up to the company you’re keeping around the table. At the end of the day though, it’s a beautiful space regardless.

  28. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/87960998945338878/

    Not sure if this will work. I uploaded it from some magazine. Another way to add curtains to. Urged windows.

  29. PLEASE, no all white room, this is an absolutely drop dead gorgeous room architecturally, I would probably paint the walls a soft neutral tone such as Macadamia or camel. That would be enough variation to still make the white woodwork pop but still not be as bold as this green. But if she does keep the color using white gauzy type of panels are the way to go with either wall color. I personally would not use a lined drape but something sheer with a tone on tone pattern for some interest, maybe a leaf pattern to incorporate the outdoor s into the room. I think the very formal rug should be changed out to a neutral sisal with a plain chocolate border perhaps. I also would change the light fixture. This would be the perfect spot for one of the chandeliers that look like tree branches in iron with a little pop of crystals on them that would reflective and be so beautiful in the great natural light. The room needs live plants and accessorizing to bring it all together and what a great room to grow beautiful large palms or trees. But again, I really feel white walls and white woodwork with so many windows will make this room seem too cold and cavernous. It needs to be warm and inviting. These are just my suggestions , people always can take bits and pieces of a decorator’s ideas or all of them and incorporate them I to making a living space their own. Good luck!

  30. What a gorgeous space! I wouldn’t touch the windows. No drapes or panels Lighter wall color in a warm tone would be nice and all color to the accessories on the wall. Make them bigger or more prominent in the space and add a little more visual interest. Dining room chairs with new pops of color on seat covers.

    But honestly, I would kill to have this room just like it is!

    Good luck!

  31. I had a sunroom with similar issues. (Boy, do I miss it.) Depending on whether or not light control is necessary may help determine a solution. Painting the room a light color will reflect more light. If that is a problem keep the dark walls. I actually love the look of the dark walls with the bright white trim. I agree with an earlier suggestion to hang curtains across the arched window at the bottom of the transom. Soft sheers with a white on white pattern could help with light without detracting from the view. I would use a rod that actually allows the curtains to be drawn-probably a white painted rod to blend in with the woodwork. If more control is needed on the side windows, use the same treatment that pulls into the corners. I see that there are light switches by the door on the right side of the room which shouldn’t be covered, that is why I suggest pulling into the corner. Covering the seats of the chairs with a patterned fabric would add some interest and softness to the room. The picture looks like the chandelier is higher than 30 inches off the table which is a common height for a light over a dining table. In spite of my suggestions I would love to have this room.

  32. Like another contributor, I believe this room continues off the kitchen area, so I think that it’s too formal in that setting. If the chairs and table are not heirlooms, ditch them for a square table set diamond-wise, with the points towards the view and the kitchen. If the chairs can be painted and re-upholstered; use a bright, light shade for the paintwork, and a loud pattern for the fabric which has a hint of the wall colour in it. Rug should go and be replaced with something smaller and with much less pattern, as this one just confuses the eye. If money no object, a couch backing on to the kitchen area would be nice. As for drapes…….mmmm. I suspect that cold air is not a problem in this room, so no need to have heavy drapes (although if it was mine I would have wall to wall drapes to match or compliment the chair upholstery on each side, and leave the arched window bare for the view, with an outside light at night to stop that black hole thing, as others have said). Agree it is a lovely space.

  33. I 2nd Marc Jones suggestions, I love all of those windows, they are stunners, I think the room needs painting more than anything else and made more inviting. I never liked those little short rods but that is my opinion. I cant’ wait to see what she does, I only wish I had a gorgeous room like that.

  34. Beautiful room. I agree with those who imagine bamboo shades installed below the transoms. Those would add texture and de-formalize the room. There is not a lot of wall space; I can see how the homeowner might not want to lose that space to drapery. Not to mention that the wall on the right with the windows and door to the outdoor living space does not lend itself to a drapery treatment that would not look awkward/unbalanced.

  35. I wish I had this dilemma! Such a beautiful room! Rhoda, wonderful job finding inspiration images. I agree with Marc Jones about using a lighter color on the walls, gauzy panels and large plants. Hope we get to see the end results!

  36. Blinds that are bottom up blinds with a sheer for day and a solid for privacy.
    Connie

  37. I would agree with your entirely Rhoda re the colour of the walls, the dark colour draws the eye in, not extending it to the outdoors. I would use a soft warm white on the walls, not a harsh white. I am not familiar with the range of colours in the USA so won’t make an exact paint suggestion.

    With regards to Pinterest, heres a little tip, not sure if you know it or not. You can download the image from Pinterest onto your computer, then ‘upload’ it to Google Search ‘images’ and it will pull up all the images on the web of that particular image which may help you determine its origin. It is something I use now and again when I am struggling to find a source or if I have an images saved on my computer, then forget where they came from.

    With regards to the windows, I think a lovely soft sheer linen on either side without obstructing the windows to soften the look. A narrow iron rod could be hung above the window but it would detract from the lovely archway unless you match the rod to the wall colour as in lightening up everything. An example of a rod above an arch can be seen here:

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/220254237995584095/

    Three quarter )White shutters could be an option for privacy at night still showing the arch at the top. These could fold back during the day. They can be made to follow the arch but would be awfully expensive. Another example;
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/7177680627250438/ (but omit the shade over the arch)

    Personally I would do away with any window treatment, go soft whites and maybe introduce some soft colours by way of furnishing and accessories, such as in your 1st image (homedit). With so many windows in this room it may look too much trying to hang curtains, even if they are sheer.

    Hope this has been helpful, I think most above are in agreement that lightening up the room will make a difference to how it is feeling at the moment. Introducing a large white vase, maybe a French style, full of flowers on the lovely dining table would also bring some life to the room.

    Lee

  38. I love the lighter walls and the idea of less fabric; however, if we view our furniture and hardwood flooring as investments, wisdom dictates we control that Georgia sunshine. The hardwood and furniture will be sun-bleached in a short time without a block (light filtered through sheers still damages). Panels hung high on rods with RF (motorized) controls would be my #1 choice. #2 would be RF controls on neutral Romans. #3 would be 2″ Wonderwoods from Lafayette.

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