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Windows are the Canvas

The doors and windows of a home are the portals that give a sense of wonder to its inhabitants and to those curious others looking in, not unlike the feeling one gets when reading ‘Alice in Wonderland’! The way a window is adorned speaks a lot about the personality of the inhabitants, much like how paintings reflect the creative style of the artist. In the words of Paul Cezanne, ‘It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas.’ I wonder, is that why people embellish their window coverings with such fervor that can portray magnificence and simplicity, all at once?

My musings take me back to the angst of Impressionist era that produced such beautiful works of art like those of Renoir and Monet – these artists were so impoverished that they were willing to do anything to make enough money to buy pots of paint for their passion, and enough food to keep the body and soul together. Pierre August Renoir is of particular interest as he’s a case in the point that I’m trying to make – he painted on paper fans and pottery, (art inspired by Boucher’s work, which he’d been fascinated by as a boy) in vivid pinks and blues, the intrinsic color palette that characterized his later works. That apart, he painted the shades that adorned church windows, and those in the homes of the affluent, to exemplify the scenes from the Bible that were in vogue in those days. Today, we see folks adding gimps and tassels and fringes to lift their window dressing out of the ‘ordinary’. During Christmas, drapes and shades are embellished with bows and ribbons and swags in red, white and blue. At Halloween, cut-outs, decals, and washable paints are used to dress window coverings to create the ‘haunted house’ effect. “Fantasy is the only canvas large enough for me to paint on.” – Terry Brooks, author of the ‘Shannara’ series. No truer words were spoken.

Adorn your windows with translucent or light filtering shades or drapes and watch a complete metamorphosis from starkness to impressionism – dappled leaves swaying in the breeze, the shadowed scenes of neighbourhood activity, the muted and quiet afternoon calm. That’s depiction of life, classically beautiful, without any help from a celebrated artist or embellishment from an over-active imagination. As far as I’m concerned, I have no other need for ‘art’ in my home! Robert Rauschenberg, the celebrated American pop-artist once said, “An empty canvas is full.” echoing my sentiments to the last word! But consider the requirements o a room before opting for shades, be it privacy, insulation, or a fabulous view.



Window shades come in a multitude of styles and materials to meet the endless requirements of folks. A light filtering shade allows light through the material but doesn’t block it enough to provide 100% privacy. One can still see muted shapes from outside during the day, (especially if your rooms are spacious, sporting large windows) but most especially at night when it’s dark outside, and brightly lit interiors tend to pull attention! But light filtering shades do block the harmful ultraviolet rays from wrecking havoc with wooden elements, fabric, and paintings. And sun rot is not something that we want to deal with! I’ve heard of people suffering sun burns while inside their homes due to thoughtlessly covered windows. Light filtering shades are also a good option for living rooms and family rooms, any area that doesn’t need total cover from the exterior. Light filtering shades also provide that terrific dappled effect to the view outside when lowered fully over a window. It’s awesome to have light filtering shades when you live in United States of America, during the fall – the brilliant colors of the falling leaves provide he most sumptuously dappled canvas for your windows – especially those who’ve had the foresight to have planted maple trees in front of their North facing windows! So, opt for those great Graber Solar Shades, Artisan Roman Shades, Comfortex Cellular Shades, or even better, Odyssey Shades. They also keep the interiors well insulated, both during winter and summer, depending on how often they’re lifted and lowered to allow more light in or block the night chill.



Shades woven or blended with vinyl or polyester or both are great to block light out effectively from a room. The best option for a blackout shade is the slumber cellular shade from Comfortex. This option comes with side tracks that prevent any seepage of light that can interfere with much-needed sleep during the day, or for children’s rooms, as kids tend to sleep earlier than adults, and when summer is here, the sun more often than not sets at 10pm. Blackout cellular shades have the inner sides of their cells coated with a metalized film that blocks 100% of the light from seeping in while at the same time insulating a room so effectively that heaters or coolers need to work that much less in order to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home, making for huge savings in power consumption.



Blinds and shutters made of wood or faux wood are completely impervious to light. With them, you can practically bend light to your will. Made of one-and-a-half to three- inch slats, blinds offer a better view the broader their vanes are – that’s the rule of thumb to go by. They provide the best view when the vanes are in the horizontal position. Turning the slats up bend the harshest of rays up to the ceiling, from where they get diffused back into the room harmlessly, to brighten a room and enhance its features as well. At this position, no one can get a peek inside. Turning the vanes downward bends the light rays to the floor – not the best option if you have wood floors or carpeting, and people can still get a peek in from outside. Rotating the blinds closed will block out most of the light except for the bit that tends to seep through the route holes and miniscule gaps at the sides. Today, one can get Privacy blinds that are routeless, so ambient light does not seep in. So these blinds and shutters are useful for light filtering, room darkening, insulation, privacy and a great view!


Whatever the canvas you choose for your window, you can’t possibly go wrong if you keep all that was discussed in mind. Happy shopping!


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