THE ROOM WITH A VIEW:
Specialty windows are not for the faint-hearted. They make a bold fashion statement in our homes, whether traditional or contemporary. The grandeur and the pomp that they spell out reminds me of my father. He loved building houses, three of them in his lifetime to be precise and he loved windows. Not just ordinary windows. Odd shaped windows. Windows that had plain glass panes, fixed windows with stain glass panels or windows that had a patchwork of different colored panes. The sunlight playing on them would create different hues in our living room creating different moods through the day. The second house that he built after his retirement was more of a holiday home for us and our families. I would always wonder why he chose that rugged hilly landscape to build a home. Once painstakingly completed it turned out to be the house with a view. He was at it again. The long, wide arch-shaped windows in the living room brought the outdoor feel in. Farmers busy in their fields, a flight of birds across the sky, butterflies of all colors and sizes, the cherry tree alive with chirping. The memories go on. It was the room with a perfect view.
WHAT ARE SPECIALITY WINDOWS?
Specialty Windows are stationary windows. They do not open. They are often referred to as picture windows. They are characterized by their unusual shapes, including curves and dramatic angles. By making the best use of natural light, they provide maximum lighting in a room. They can afford us the best possible views of the scenery outside with an unobstructed view. The neat and complete look that they provide us with gives our homes a striking overall appearance. They do not open for ventilation purposes and are often combined with venting windows.
Specialty or Design windows can be used in countless combinations. They can be arch shape called palladium windows or half-moon shaped called lunettes. They can be a Triangle, Right triangle, Pentagons, Hexagons, Octagons, Peak Pentagons, Spingline, Circle Top Windows, Equal Leg Arch windows. They are so varied in shapes and sizes. A Palladian window consists of a large center window that is topped by an arch flanked by two smaller side windows. Angle shaped windows are becoming popular in contemporary homes, and they pose some unique challenges in providing privacy, light control and keeping the home energy efficient.
SPECIALTY WINDOW TREATMENTS:
Enjoying the benefits of bright sunlight through these windows is a joy, especially if the room is dark at other times. However, too much direct sunlight can be unnerving. A break from it is needed at some time, or there may be the need for privacy if our home is an apartment. Then again, one cannot vouch for its energy efficiency at all. Winters can be cold too without proper insulation. The choice of a perfect window covering for these windows becomes necessary. Specialty Window coverings do not really fit into any category. They are a combination of different types of window coverings. Real wood blinds, Faux wood blinds and shutters have their own charm and appeal and are used widely. Shades of all kinds can be used too.
THE MOST PRACTICAL SHADING FOR SPECIALITY WINDOWS:
Cellular shades are by far the most popular shades for Specialty windows because of their versatility and being highly customizable. They fit into any window shape such as a bay, a corner window, or an angled window. No matter what the shape of the window is, there is a cellular shade to fit it.
Octagon and hexagon windows can be covered with cellular shades that can be opened with a Top-Down-Bottom-Up operation. Since the window narrows both at the top and the bottom, depending on which operation is used Top-Down or Bottom-Up, either the top or bottom of the window will remain covered.
Triangular windows can also be covered with operable cellular shades. Both Top-Down and Bottom-Up operations are possible. The top lighting provided by an angled window is an excellent way to allow light in. Bottom-Up shades mounted on its window sills instead of being pulled down for coverage can be raised up instead.
A honeycomb shade can fan into place to fit most arched openings.
The flexible shape of a cellular shade lends itself to a circular flair making round windows a softly lit focal point.
The arch of a Half-circle can be filled with the sheer fabric option of a cellular shade starting out on the arched edge and gathered together in the center like a sunburst. Sometimes a rosette is added to the center for decoration.
Besides their versatility, they are available in four light control options including sheer, light-filtering, room darkening and blackout fabrics. They can be paired with their vertical counterparts to cover wide windows and provide a cohesive look throughout the home. The popular Top-Down-Bottom-Up option allows to lower the shades from the top and raise them from the bottom, maintaining privacy and letting in natural light. A Top-Down only option preserves our privacy and blocks the unwanted view. It can be combined with a pleated fabric on the top to let in natural light and a cellular fabric on the bottom for added privacy and insulation.
They are available in cordless and motorized styles to make shades for high windows, out of our reach move.
Graber’s Crystal Pleat Cellular shades used in Speciality window coverings are a stylish way to boost the energy efficiency of our homes. Their attractive closed design creates pockets of air that insulate windows from heat and cold and lower our energy bills the whole year-round. They offer excellent sound absorption and reduce the noise in rooms with hard floorings. Outfitted with the same benefits on a grander scale The Graber SlideVue are specially designed to accompany large windows. Cellular shades come in four opacity levels and three cell sizes, the 3/8 inch Double cell, the 3/8 inch Single Cell, and the ¾ inch Single-cell. The Double cell shades offer a higher level of insulation and a substantially increased energy efficiency than the Single-cell shades. Heat transfer from the outside into the room in summer and out of the room in winter is significantly reduced. The Single-celled Shades are the most fundamental design of Cellular shades. But provide more energy efficiency than blinds. They are budget-friendly too.
Graber Crystal Pleat Cellular shades are available in the following Speciality shapes:
- Arch shape
- Perfect Arch Shape: Half Circle: The radius of the circle should be constant at all points and the height exactly equal to ½ the width.
- Palladian shape for which a template is required for ordering.
- Eyebrow Arch (Template required)
- Elongated Arch (arch with straight sides) Template required
- Quarter Circle (Template not required if perfect ¼)
- Full circle (Template not required if perfect circle)
- Non Perfect Circle (Oval)
- All arches are stationary
Norman Portrait Honeycomb Shades are available in the Perfect Arch shape (1/2 round) , ¼ Round Left, ¼ Round Right, Eyebrow Arch, Elongated Arch, Arch on Top Left, Arch On Top Right, Triangle, Angle Top Left, Angle Top Right.
Each specialty window treatment requires a template. A template must be cut to the exact size and shape of the window. It is the manufacturer’s pattern for your Speciality window product. The quality of the finished product is only as good as the quality of the template. The company always gives measuring instructions for precision.
With our right choice of window treatment for our specialty windows let us customize them wisely and not lose the unique architectural beauty of our windows.