Asked on Oct 14, 2013

Window treatment for picture window

by Stephanie
I have a very large picture window in our living room. I'm not sure what kind of window treatment to do. As you can see, the two skinny panels open and the center does not. We would like something that offers privacy at night. Does anyone have any recommendations?
  31 answers
  • Z Z on Oct 14, 2013
    If it's in your budget I'd go with wood blinds in three sections so you can close the mid section for privacy leaving the two ends open but aimed up or down ward when the windows are open for fresh air. Sheers can add some privacy depending on the fabric thickness, but shadows can still be seen at night when lights are on behind the occupants. I like floor length panels for added color, softness and the feeling of warmth/welcome in the room.
    • See 1 previous
    • Z Z on Oct 16, 2013
      @Elizabeth, we had something similar in our last home in our last home and so did my folks. We both used just one long mini blind as that's what was popular then. I bet the tortoise shell shades looked great.
  • Karen Cleary Karen Cleary on Oct 15, 2013
    I have the same Windows. I have floor to ceiling curtains. I use grommet curtains that I can open in our out. Side to side also. Love it and always get complamints.
  • Teresa Moncrief Teresa Moncrief on Oct 16, 2013
    I have the same type window (its 13 feet long) and were going to put in a bow window soon so we decided that instead of spending money on the rods we would use PVC pipe I stained it to match the wood work and it is cut to fit the inside of of the window frame husband put screws into the corners and one in the middle. I slid on lightweight case top opening curtains to fit the length of just the window (little hemming was required) When I open my windows I slide the curtains to the middle window, the neighbors all like the way they look from the outside and I get the fresh air I need.
  • Tresa Rice Tresa Rice on Oct 16, 2013
    Hey Stephanie, I have the same window on my living room, I made curtains using burlap and a country theme fabric, I have them pinned, take a look. I still need to add a sheer curtain under them, I think I'm going with a light gray color. hope this helps
  • Emma Santoro-Adkison Emma Santoro-Adkison on Oct 16, 2013
    Go to your home store. Buy the plastic film that lets the light in but does not allow the outside to see you inside. It will also save on your Electric bill. I know from personal use. Good Luck. Easy but not a 1 person application. 2 is perfect. All you need is clean windows & water , & a squegie.
  • on Oct 16, 2013
    Stephanie, we love @becky 's suggestion. Wood blinds would look beautiful with your existing trim, and panels mounted high on the wall will balance the width of your window. Another option would be cellular shades. Because they're lightweight, they are a good fit for wide windows, and three shades would look fairly seamless. If you'd like to see how different window coverings look in your space, try out our app, 'The Window Shopper'. It allows you to 'try on' different blinds and shades in a picture of your windows. Look for it in the App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Melinda Melinda on Oct 16, 2013
    We have the same type window. It has wood blinds and I am going to add a bulap panel on each end, just to soften the look.
  • Ron DeMattio Ron DeMattio on Oct 16, 2013
    My preference for large windows is top down, bottom up coverings. You can get/make roman shades that you can use to cover the lower part of the window for privacy, or pull all the way up. I had an 8 foot wide window in a studio and what I did was tack a large canvas painting I made onto a strip of 1x2. I attached a couple cords into eye hooks at the top, ran them up and through eyes screwed into the window frame. That let me lift or lower the painting- I also had long screws sticking out of the ends of the 1x2 that rested on L hooks I located on the side of the window frame at my favorite heights (halfway up). You can use any fabric you like. If you don't want the fabric to go down to the floor, you can also tack the bottom of the fabric under the window so it loops when you lower it.
  • Pat Farnworth Pat Farnworth on Oct 16, 2013
    I have put vertical blinds on mine. You could have them with middle openings then have the best of both worlds.
  • Pat Farnworth Pat Farnworth on Oct 16, 2013
    I have put vertical blinds on mine. You could have them with middle openings then have the best of both worlds.
  • Pamela Carden Pamela Carden on Oct 17, 2013
    I think most blinds are very unattractive. Either plantation blinds or floor to ceiling curtains.
  • Therese Ryan-Haas Therese Ryan-Haas on Oct 17, 2013
    Guess really it all depends on your taste and current decor. But from this picture I am seeing Natural Bamboo Light Filtering Natural Roman Shades with a nice swag valance.
  • Betty Betty on Oct 18, 2013
    How about canvas drop cloth used for curtains?
  • Bill Croley Bill Croley on Oct 19, 2013
    Our window I very long also.....I didn't want wall to wall curtains so installed beautiful custom verticals and put 24" rods over the outside ends. Half the rod covered the window and half was on the wall. Soft floral curtains flow from the rods and look just elegant. The window is still open when I want it and shut when I don't.
  • Michele Volavka Michele Volavka on Jun 16, 2014
    I have something very similar. I used a floor-to-ceiling sheer, to give some privacy, but also let in some light. Then on a second rod, I installed floor-to-ceiling micro fiber drapes with grommets. When I want full privacy, I pull the micro fiber drapes. When I want to let the air flow into thru the windows, I move the sheers toward the larger middle window. Works great!
  • Sue Sue on Feb 24, 2015
    I think vertical blinds are great for big windows.
  • Barbara Barbara on Apr 01, 2015
    We used to have windows like this in the family room of our first home. I used conventional rods and hung the curtains an inch above the top window frame. We had two 'framing panels' for the left/right side windows with a valance that extended across the entire width of the three windows.. At night I drew the concealed mini blinds down from under the valance and adjusted accordingly for privacy. Daytime light, nighttime privacy. I color matched the miniblinds to the color of the curtains to obtain a more uniform appearance. Because the window is so large the mini blinds were a custom order and were a tad pricey but we owned our home and had no 'moving' plans so averaged over the ten years we lived there and the fact that I made the simple curtains and valance from my fabric stash, the treatment cost us less than $200.00. I disliked miniblinds then as I still do (college dorm room issue!), but the window looked attractive and blended well with the family room furnishings. Dual rods are fairly inexpensive and if you make your own curtains or purchase them on sale, it does make the project more budget friendly.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Apr 01, 2015
    Think I would do a valence that ends just below the top frame with matching side panels with sheers underneath..
  • Ron DeMattio Ron DeMattio on Apr 02, 2015
    Something else I used in another house with a big window- I had a large canvas that I had painted on (not framed). Tacked to a long 1x2. I put L hooks on the side of the frame at a halfway point and all the way up. When I wanted privacy at night, I just lifted the 1x2-canvas and set it on the top hooks, and during the day, I set it on the halfway point so I had light, privacy AND the light shining through the canvas made the painting pop. You can do the same with lattice or thin trim/moulding at the top and a fabric you like...a money saver would be to look at shower curtains! There are some cool fabrics out there and I think the standard size is 54 x 78. I'd stay away from the plastic ones though! :-)
  • Collette barnes Collette barnes on May 03, 2015
    I have SIX windows that are this size (4x8ft) and I went with 3 separate roman shades from bed bath& beyond. Works great so far!
  • Robbie Robbie on Aug 15, 2015
    Definitely custom 2" wooden shutters!
  • Barb Barb on Aug 30, 2015
    First of all I love that your brackets are way up by the ceiling. Putting them up high makes your room look so much better. I would either get blinds or pull drapes or both. If you get blinds get the accordion kind. Then you won't spend the rest of your life cleaning them. I think the pleated drapes look dressier. You could get shear on the rod ones but they can be difficult to close. I love shutters but they also get very dusty.Can you tell I don't like to clean? Let us see what you end up doing. My ideas are not very original but I like a more formal living room if you also have a family room.
  • Lynn Lynn on Sep 05, 2015
    I have the same type of window in my living room...I put up a double rod and on the inside rod I hung voile floor length curtains in white on the window side. On the outside curtain rod (I hung light aqua voile curtains as I have a dark aqua couch and medium brown living room. I bought my curtains from"Brylane catalogue" they were $8.99 a panel and I put up a total of 8 panels. Four white on inside, 4 lt aqua on outside. Love the look and lots of compliments on them....
  • Linda g Linda g on Nov 24, 2015
    I have the same window in my home. We installed plantation shutters with a valance. The best of both worlds. Privacy and sunlight.
  • Elaine753 Elaine753 on Dec 20, 2015
    Had a similar window in my bedroom...did mini blinds. You could do 3 miniblinds or Plantation style shutters. Then hang whatever type of curtain and/or valance you like.
  • Barbara Barbara on Dec 22, 2015
    We too had a large window just like yours in the family room of our previous home. I had mini blinds installed and then hung curtains from just above the window frame to just below the bottom edge of the window frame. A short valance separated the two curtains over the top of the window that is stationery. We had a cranberry,blue and forest green theme in our family room so I made curtains that brought out the cranberry in a very, VERY subtle window pane plaid, but you can adapt the color scheme to your preference. The mini blinds afford privacy and the curtains 'dress' the window to prevent the room from looking to austere or institutional.
  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 10, 2016
    i live in a cold zone, yes- my window nearly the same. i treated each of the 3 windows to their own curtain rod. the former occupants had one draw rod across all windows. if i wanted a breeze, and sunshine- not possible. i basically draw the middle curtain off to the left and rt. then draw the smaller windows curtain to the mid curtain and tie it so it hides the mill work, and tie back the outer r/l/ panels to hide the the other side if the mill work. it gives me enough space to get a fan running.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 10, 2016
    Good suggestions above. Depends on your style. I have an old 3 storey decorated in tradional/transitional style with lots of windows so cost would be prohibitive for expensive blind treatments. I opt for mini blinds and then spend on sheers and drapery treatments such as side drapes and valences. You could extend a drapery rod past the edges of your frame to accommodate the windows that open.
  • Valerie Valerie on Feb 13, 2016
    My window is also the same design. I have custom made sheers and drapes then topped off with pleated valances. My home is done in ttraditional design. I've never cared for mini blinds. They are dust collectors not to mention a nightmare to wash. I wash my sheers on delicate cycle for 10 and hang outside on lines to damp dry. Then complete drying when hung back up on traverse rod. The dampness of the drapes hanging pull the pleats to shape.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Mar 30, 2016
    I had the same window in my family room for years. I used a double rod that spanned the length of the window. On the inside rod, I hung some sheers and on the outside rod, I hung drapery panels on rings. So for the day time if I needed privacy, I just closed the sheers. But at night, you can see right through the sheers, so I would just close the drapery panels- easy to do if they are on rings.
  • Hanneke Bennett Hanneke Bennett on Aug 30, 2016
    We had the same type of window and bought custom sized verticals.