Good Questions: Good, Big Window Covering?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Hello AT,

I live in a long narrow apartment (it’s a converted railroad flat). The only real light and ventilation is via the front window which faces onto a relatively busy East Village St.

The window is HUGE – more than 6′ tall and maybe 4′ wide? I’m not sure. It’s also split: the top pane is fixed and my AC is installed there, then the much larger lower part is a conventional window that opens top & bottom. Right now, it has two sets of venetian blinds, very non-exciting white one from Blinds to Go, and yes they’re disgusting filthy.

I need an alternative window treatment because the current one looks horrible. But there are many many constraints:

– ventilation is crucial, since it’s the only real source I have (side issue, since the smoking ban, people stand out on the street to smoke instead of staying insde the bar a few doors down, so smoke comes in my room. Ick.)

– privacy & noise is important because it’s street level

– there need to be two separate treatments: one for where the AC is one for the lower part.

– affordability

And of course, I want it to be purty. The rest of my apartment is pretty nice, but this is an issue that’s been unresolved since I moved in.

In the past I’ve considered shutters. I’ve also considered a floor to ceiling curtain to just draw all the way across (the width of the entire wall is only 11′, but then ventilation would be an issue.

Thanks! Jennie

This is what we would do:

A. Buy two relatively inexpensive roller blinds in ivory coated linen from someone like Janovic. Mount one up top and one below, exactly even with the center bar of your window frame.
B. Install luxurious TALL curtains with a nice thick bar at the very top of the window. For simplicity’s sake we buy a lot of our curtains at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware (current fave is the Lindsey Linen Drape in Oatmeal. They are nice, long and affordable. For cheap we go Ikea. MGR