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Patrick Landrum, Interior Designer,
PL&D/Patrick Landrum Design

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Are Your Windows Cheating on You?


    In the beginning there was light...and heat. Originally curtains were used to keep out cold drafts, and hot sun rays. This practical use eventually became an aesthetic element, as new fabrics, and other materials became available, and the consumers artistic level of sophistication was heightened.


   Ultimately, what was once a natural and simple barrier to the heat and cold of nature, became a design element with little concern for practicality. Many people think Interior Designers design and specify window treatments as big money makers, and many clients in Austin and the hill country abhor any type of treatment on their windows. The usual reason being that they want unobstructed views.
   No wonder this element of a well designed space is often left in the cold...
                    Hill country view


   An unobstructed view is wonderful, but at what expense? Carefully planned and thought out treatments can satisfy all parameters. Perhaps the question is better put...are you being cheated by your windows? 

   Windows that receive full east or west sun, should have some sort shading treatment during the times of full exposure. The suns rays can increase your electric bill by 10- 20%. In addition, the light spectrum can fade and deteriorate fabrics, wood floors and furniture.
   Conversely in the winter, your precious heat can escape even the best insulated windows at an alarming rate. 

Solar Shade      


                                                   
        Solutions range from energy efficient screens available in many different levels of protection, to films applied to the glass. Although not usually thought of as window treatments, they are very effective as controlling elements.(Above top: Solar shades disappear into low profile headers. Bottom: Woven bamboo and grass shades are hidden in a sleek valance when open.)
                        Lined linen sheers blend into back ground
   Draw curtains are extremely effective at heat/cold and light control, and can be excellent décor strengtheners, bringing all the pieces of a room together, and softening the edges of the windows, blurring the barrier between inside and out. (Left: Lined burnout sheers blend with the stone wall when open, while allowing just enough light to filter through when closed to enhance the beautiful scroll pattern, yet protect delicate  silk upholstered chairs, and an Aubousson rug.)
 
    Cellular shades are one of the best solutions for high sun exposure, and drafty windows. Available in many different sizes and configurations, these offer measurable R factor insulation ratings. They are also very low profile, and have many options including top down/bottom up, cordless controls, and vertical shades. Many practically disappear in the closed position.

   The simplest solution is a traditional roller shade, up or down for basic control of the issue. The most advanced materials include wood blinds, shutters, blinds that are clear in one position, and shaded in another, (thinkRoller shades with panels sunglasses for your windows), blinds within sheers such as Hunter Douglas Silhouettes, and vertical  sheer or opaque insulated panels on tracks.  (Right: Laminated roller shades embellished with trims, control heat and light. Elaborate Fabric valances and panels with trim complete the decor strengthening treatment)

With so many options, out there, and new ones every few months, there is no excuse for letting your dollars fly out the windows!

All images Interior Design by PL&D/Patrick Landrum Design


1 comment:

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