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Perfecting Window Coverings For Small Spaces

Perhaps it was the central location, spectacular view, bright open space or panoramic windows that convinced you to compromise on square footage and select your new, slightly smaller condo unit. But now those same amazing windows that had you at “hello” are causing you grief with uninviting, prying eyes and many sleepless mornings.

You’ve put considerable thought and energy in to searching for the right solution for your window coverings and now frustration is settling in you’re more confused than ever.  The challenge here is not just deciding on what you like, but what is a complimentary solution for small spaces.

Window shades really are an effective answer to your dilemma, but there are several important things to remember when considering window shades for smaller spaces.  Avoid any blind with a stack such as wood slats blinds or roman blinds and select a blind style that appears hidden completely when not in use.  Neutral pull down shades can  roll up and condense into 2 .5 “ (or less ) are  the simple solution to combat glare, UV protection and privacy, and appear virtually hidden when not in use.  They are offered in a variety of classic modern fabrics and are available as “dual shades” This is a head rail solution that contain two shades taking the space of a single unit and giving you the best of both worlds, a day shade that filters the sun and night shade that provides room darkening.

If you are more of a statement junkie like myself, you may be more inclined to use a drapery treatments that offers warmth and softness to your room, while keeping to a modern scheme. To maintain a streamlined look, which is important in smaller spaces, I suggest you avoid the use of round drapery poles with big finials which are meant to be mounted on the walls. Use small face tracks ( 5/8” ) and hang from the ceiling which is a more modern approach to your window issues. Also important is the header for your drapes, I believe the Ripple-fold header is one of the most appropriate styles as its user friendly for smaller spaces. Ripple-fold will condense much better than any other pleat style to maximize your view and the hardware designed for ripple-fold allows it to glides easily and uninterrupted over larger lengths.

One thing you really should avoid in smaller spaces are window valances. Valances cut up your window space to much and cause it to appear smaller than it really is. Drapes add colour and texture while emphasizing the height of any window. They balance the room by adding an element of design, and draw attention to the windows by framing them just like a frame for a piece of art. If you want to have your “cake and eat it too” then consider the layering of a couple treatments. Combine drapes with sheers or shades, or even sheers with shades for a different

Finally, avoid purchasing ready-made drapery. There are many well-known “go-to” retailers out there, but this is really not the solution for your specific dilemma. Custom window treatments will deliver on maximizing your window space and the aesthetics of your smaller condo. A beautiful room deserves the perfect window treatment that allows for the right light filtration and stack-back perfectly to highlighting the windows you loved at first site.


About the Author: Sara Augenblick is principal of and a designer at Model Space Designs, a full service custom window covering design firm.

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