To See or Not to See: Treatments for Atrium Windows

Blinds & Shades, Window Treatments
Sunshine Drapery sliding glass doors window treatment

You’ve been enjoying the view from your sunroom windows. The hills in the distance, the water lapping at their base, the woods not far from the house and the manicured lawn leading to them fill you with serenity. The deer come to nibble at the lawn in the dusk, while the birds cavort through the trees. You even have rabbits timidly peeping through the foliage to see if it’s safe to feed in the twilight. You could sit in the sunroom forever and just watch the glories of nature and her creatures. The only problem with that scenario is the sun during the day. It doesn’t peep; it doesn’t gently dance in the breeze like the trees. No, it glares and punishes. How can you enjoy the view when the sun heats up the room so? Glad you asked.

The Windows

Atrium windows were designed to let the sun shine, let the sun shine in. Do you hear strains of a 60s band singing? Some are floor-to-ceiling, some just a little shorter, while others wrap around the room much like regular windows. Lots of natural light keeps the power bill from sending you to the ER in shock. Natural light has been proven to inspire good moods, make us more productive and impress our guests or business associates with the cheerfulness and openness of it all. Covering up all that good will would be counter-productive. But you still contend with the glare.


Window coverings come in handy for many reasons:
  • They provide insulation
  • They control light
  • They block the view of nosy folks
  • They protect carpet, furniture, walls and art works from fading
  • They can be custom made to fit any window
Blinds control the amount of light in a room by adjusting the slats or vanes. Today’s blinds are made of sheer or heavier fabric, with vanes covered in the same. Sheer blinds come in assorted colors and may be made to fit your windows. They allow the light you need as well as letting you see the view. Wood blinds look expensive, but they do the same job for less. They can be adjusted in order to allow more or less light as well as allowing a view to the outside. Faux wood blinds are much lighter, but offer the same quality view, ease of use and ease of cleaning. Blinds come in vane sizes from fractions of an inch, called mini-blinds, on up to two and some fractions of an inch. If your windows are floor-to-ceiling, then perhaps vertical blinds would be attractive. These, too, come in various sizes and colors. Perhaps blinds at the very top of the windows staggered with blinds down the length of the windows would work. You could then block the sun where it enters the windows while still enjoying your view.


Homeowners have wider latitude with which to work using shades. Some shades are like sunglasses; they give you a view without blinding you. Other shades are woven, so homeowners see the view without the glare. Grass-woven and woven wood shades are popular items. Alternatively, there’s just something about Roman shades that appeal to homeowners. They, too, come in sheer fashions and in any color you want. Pleated shades give a room the elegance visitors will appreciate. Choose any color you wish. Another favorite is honeycomb or cellular shades. Perfect for extra insulation, they, too come in sheer or blackout fashion plus anywhere in between. Color is no problem.  

Other Solutions

Not inclined toward blinds or shades? That’s cool. Many people feel drapes are the only way to go. And they’re right. What we grew up with is often the only choice we choose as adults. It gives us comfort and continuity not often found elsewhere. Additionally, drapes can be arranged in dozens of cool and beautiful ways; blinds and shades are a bit limited in this area. Study your windows before you move to cover them, and write down the times of day the sun is its most punishing. Also write down the portion of the windows the sun enters. Now you’re prepared. Valances can be hung at the entry points. Hang your draperies, but tie them back. Release one panel where the sun enters the window, and then tie it back when the sun moves. Allow the sheerest of sheers to cover the windows. You’ll still be able to see out, but the sun won’t be such a bother. Beginning at the corners of the windows, swag your chosen draperies just at the point the sun enters the window. There’s no need to cut off a stunning and peaceful view, just because the sun is blazing. All it takes is a little fabric, a little imagination and voila!, you have a room with a view. Enjoy!
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