What to do with a giant window?

Ever since we moved into this house five months ago, I have been struggling with what to do with our amazing (and amazingly large) living room window. It’s a beautiful feature, that until last weekend, we had covered with temporary paper blinds for privacy. Last weekend, we took them down to add some shrink wrap to help with the drafts. Now we live in a fish bowl, and I refuse to put up more paper. 

Why is this window such a challenge, you ask? Above, you can see what it looks like now. It’s over 10 feet wide. And it’s divided into 6 equal sections, as opposed to a more typical set up with 3 double hung windows in a row, it’s not as easy to hang three sets of blinds or shades here, because the mullions that divide each section vertically AND horizontally are on the same plane. This means that any type of tradition blinds have to be mounted to pass in front of the trim, instead of fitting between the two verticals. Do you follow? Therefore, our front runner solution at the moment, is the first picture, with the series of vertical panels that fit into a triple track. They can slide next to or in front of each other to create different layered effects. 

Other considerations are natural woven shades with a top-down option. Unless we went with one extremely long shade (so long, the dimension requires a special phone call to customer service) I think we need the accent drape at each division. It’s actually a beautiful look...one I like a lot. But, it’s more traditional solution, and disguises the fact that the window is so unique to begin with. I could just as easily be those three double hung windows I mentioned before. 

I’ve looked at different types of natural materials as well. And, I’m experimenting with the paint and drape colors of course. 

Lastly, I looked at traditional blinds. See what I mean about covering the gaps between them with a drape? So, I continue to ponder, although I’m leaning toward the first image. I would love to hear what you all have to say!
Comments transferred from previous Blog:

I like the first one, too. Would you lose too much light, though? I love light. Are there any sheers these days that don't look too dated? That with the panels in the middle would give you privacy and light. But, looks-wise, I love the first. And now I want you to come to my house and redesign everything!
Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 09:42 AM

I like the first and last looks.  The gaps in the last look add an interesting element.  I don't think you should cover them.
Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 09:51 AM

Could you differentiate the horizontal vs. vertical mullions with color? and/or emphasize/de-emphasize them?  Looking at the last picture if you painted the horizontal mullions the same color as the wide wood blinds they'd not exactly disappear but be less noticeable with the blinds open. I'm not really understanding what you're saying in the first picture but I'd be concerned if you can't totally open the blinds you'll lose a lot of light when you want it.
Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 10:01 AM

I think the reason I like the first option is that although the panels are sheer, the are flat vertical panels, as opposed to sheer drapes, which, Alicia, I agree, feel dated these days. The flatness feels more modern to me. The idea with this system is to always let the light in, and control the level of privacy by either opening or closing the panels. When they are totally open, the would still overlap the sides of the window by a few inches, but hopefully the fact that they are transluscent would minimize any potential light loss. Not to mention, we could probably to this with about $200 vs the more traditional shades for around $1000!
Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 10:22 AM

All fantastic looks, but I think the vertical panels are really you. I do like top down option, too, but perhaps in a few years, you will need a change (knowing you) and could reserve that option. Those sheer panels are really pretty. Are they complicated to install or to open and close?
Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 03:35 PM

This probably won't surprise you... but I'm all over that first option! I love it! And, I'm a big fan of having as much natural light in the house as possible...
Monday, January 17, 2011 - 10:03 PM

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