French Door window coverings options for large banks of Windows
Being someone with an eye for well-executed interior decor, I would never have figured that vertical blinds would lend aesthetic appeal to homes. In my mind, vertical blinds of any sort have always been associated with an office setting …. Well thought-out and attractive on windows, of course; neat; practical – doesn’t get in anyone’s way and easily maintained. Just the thing for an office! But I recently visited an elderly aunt, whose house is an architectural marvel, sporting huge expanses of windows, offering breath-taking views of verdant rolling hills and the occasional stream with wooden bridges, an enormous skylight providing an unobstructed view of the Milky Way, come nightfall! Quite the abode, I must say! Poetry in stone! All her furniture sleekly crafted from ebony, and sofas and chairs upholstered with paisley-printed raw silk, glass topped tables, beds dressed in the softest lace-edged, Egyptian cotton. Beautifully done abstract murals adorning the occasional wall were it. She doesn’t believe in knick-knacks, but for some fine basketry, artfully displayed as pot planters and the odd newspaper and magazine holders. Minimalistic, but classy and a testimony to modernity!
But her endless expanse of windows needs cover, and she chose to drape them with fascinating white Sheer Vertical Blinds. Heard of them? My first impression – divinely gorgeous, with none of the fuss and flutter of the conventional drapes, they appear to have a graceful fall, and allow for a wonderfully muted view of the landscape when fully drawn closed, with vanes left open! A marriage of the old and the new – the vanes appear to float upright in a sheath of the most exquisitely woven, light and filmy fabric! No wonder they’re called Ballet Sheer Drapery Vertical Blinds! And with color coordinated valances and wand tilt controls to both rotate the vanes open or close, and traverse the blinds open or close. Can you imagine 30- 40 foot wide French windows with an accordion opening – drapes would seem clumsy and horizontal blinds, ridiculous! These sheer vertical blinds are split in the middle, and retract on their traverse rod to stack neatly to the sides should you want to unveil the landscape. They also apparently come in an option that allows them to be pulled to stack to one side. If you don’t like the wand tilt control (useful when you have a lot of grandnieces and nephews visiting – no danger of getting entangled in the cords when the vast spaces beckon to them to play hide and seek!) there’s also a cord and chain mechanism to operate these blinds. Color coordinated, of course! The vanes (available in 2-inch and 3 ½-inch widths) are weighted down at the bottom, and because of the fabric cover over them, the vanes don’t have to be linked with chains at the bottom like the regular fabric vertical blinds, so there’s no danger of them flying around. Also, the ‘decomatic’ hardware system makes for unbelievable ease and smoothness of operation!
These sheer vertical blinds also function to protect her interior elements from fading and sun rot – an absolutely critical function, if you ask me, as the expanse of windows is unbelievably vast, and the amount of indoor heating would be unbearable but for this window treatment! But she leaves her French windows open with the blinds drawn closed during part of the day – the vanes can be adjusted to reflect the sunlight. The vanes of these blinds are available in both light filtering and opaque options, and the latter provides a much-needed barrier against the sun, making for a light but airy indoor space. I’m utterly fascinated by these blinds, and in answer to my query on its maintenance my aunt said that they can be vacuumed, and spot cleaned by blotting with a wet sponge and mild detergent. If they do appear grungy after a time (and they could as she leaves her windows open a lot, though the air is much purer than it is in the city), she could detach them and machine wash the vanes and the enclosing fabric in the gentle cycle, preferably mesh bags. Wow! I think this option is really ideal for homes with large windows – privacy is not a consideration for my aunt as she lives on her private estate, but should it be a necessity, the opaque/room darkening vane option can be used. For example, unsecluded homes on the beach. These blinds are not recommended for use in highly frigid climates as their insulation properties aren’t anything to write home about.
So, I’ve been educated about Ballet Sheer Drapery Vertical Blinds! So much more interesting than their regular fabric or PVC counterparts, though the latter variety is available in very fancy, s-shaped vanes! But some research later, I’ve come across another entrancing set of vertical window blinds – Wooden ones! Who’d have ever thought this was possible? Crafted from hardwoods with delicate workmanship, these blinds are similar to the previous varieties in terms of vane control and stacking, but being wooden give them the additional advantages of better privacy and insulation properties. And for those looking for a departure from the norm, this would be a fantastic choice! The wooden vertical blinds are available in white, black, and a plethora of natural colors. Can’t wait to go back to my aunt’s estate – apart from the sheer beauty of the countryside, it’s always an enviable resort-like experience, staying there!