Shutters: easy move to cover sliding glass

DESIGN LINE

April 11, 1993|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Contributing Writer Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: My "L"-shaped living room-dining room combination contains two areas of sliding glass: a large door leading out to a terrace from the living space and, in the dining section, a few wide sliding windows about 5 feet off the floor. Should I dress the door the same way as the windows? What sort of treatment would be best? My preference is for contemporary design.

A: You have several options. I suggest you focus first on the windows.

They should be given the kind of treatment that will enable them to admit plenty of sunlight and fresh air. But not every covering that functions in this way will also prevent the windows from looking like foreboding dark holes at night.

One simple solution is louvered shutters, painted or stained in the same color as the surrounding wall. They may well be your best choice since louvers can be easily adjusted for light, privacy and ventilation.

If you take that route, be sure the shutters are installed in such a way that, when folded back, they do not project out from the window frame without a ledge to support them. You should confirm in advance that the hardware is strong enough to keep all the folding panels intact.

For a more unusual and decorative treatment, you could approach each of the windows as a separate entity. The farther apart they are from one another, the easier it will be to give them different designs.

As the photo suggests, large sliding glass doors can be covered in full-length mini-slat blinds or accordion-pleated translucent blinds that fold up neatly into a small pocket at the ceiling. Note, too, that the nearby window, which resembles your own in its size and placement, was treated differently from these doors.

Windows of this kind have the advantage of allowing furniture to be placed against the wall beneath them. In this particular setting, which was designed by Terrance Goldsack of New York, cabinetry and bookcases were introduced in the space below the window. For a dining room, a buffet or a server shelf would be a logical addition.

The window here is covered with a woven African tapestry. Any style of decorative weaving that you find appealing would work equally well. It can be hung from a rod or hooks as a permanent, tapestry-style covering, or it can be sewn to the fabric of an adjustable shade.

A woven window treatment is, to my mind, a particularly attractive option, since it acts simultaneously as a focal point, a work of art and a highly functional design element.

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