February 6, 2013

The Windows! A Glaring Challenge

In my first blog, I talked about the process of transforming a fireplace in this family room.  Well, there is so much more to that story!  These are some before and after pictures of additional views to the same room.  The nemesis here is the east facing windows which get really bright, hot, afternoon Sacramento Valley sunlight. The task of covering them and having them function for all of the uses required in this area of the home was challenging.  The beam that separates the kitchen/nook from the family room created a small amount of space between the windows and the beam; The windows have arched transoms in the family room plus a door and window in the nook that look unbalanced, in comparison; Light control is out-of-control for decent media viewing...glare is a glaring issue.
The Windows!  Before


As with most kitchen nooks, space is limited.  With an exterior door in the space of this little nook, as well as a built-in desk and a large window, the furniture and window covering options are limited.  Open shelves above the desk and a pot rack above the kitchen island made the area look cluttered.  So, I had three working areas (family room, nook and kitchen) that all had lots of busyness going on.  As I stated in my first blog, I take my cues for coloring from the bones of the rooms which are the African Slate flooring, kitchen granite and the kitchen cabinets.  Walls, ceilings and trim would have to be contiguous throughout for an immediate integration of these areas.  I also wanted to have as few additional lines circling the room, as possible.  My idea was to create custom draperies hidden behind a wooden valance capped with the same crown molding as the rest of the rooms.  A simple flat roman shade would be a perfect fit for the door.  The drapes were fitted with a simple track system and wand like they use in hotels.  They were interlined and lined with blackout fabric for complete darkness in the brightest of conditions. I also removed the pot rack so that your line of sight is not interrupted at the entry of these rooms.  I know peeps love those racks but they are a complete distraction, most of the time!
The Windows!  Before
The result was stunning.  The nook window had the drapery stack back toward the desk, which now had a wine fridge underneath and functioned as a mini bar.  As you can see, the colors are harmonious and the new furniture and lighting really highlighted the homeowners style. In the summer, it was possible to sit in that room past 10 a.m. without getting heat stroke!
The windows...Ahhh, After

Having the valance and crown molding integrated brings your eye up and makes the room feel larger.  Because space was tight, this is a way of getting functioning hardware in with a minimum of space.  The draperies stacked from the center as if it was one large window instead of two and it covered the transoms without a big expense.  When the drapes are open you can see the beauty of the windows and landscape outside, but when it's time to watch a football game, on a Sunday, afternoon it is completely glare-free.  The competing and distracting parts of these three areas were removed and all that remains is an elegant, warm, highly functioning suite.
The windows...Ahhh, After


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