The Women's Journal

Window Treatments For Problem Windows!

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Windows need not be perfect rectangles to have the perfect covering. There are options out there!

By Joe Zohlmann

As homeowners, we want our houses to look unique. One popular trick all builders go to in an effort to differentiate houses is to add beautiful and yet oddly shaped custom windows. Round windows. Arches. Narrow Sidelights with bubble trim. Then of course you have glass on moving doors. While these nonstandard windows do provide relief to the monotony of constant squares and rectangles, they can be tough to cover. Fear not, there are solutions out there. 

Arches and Circles

In many cases, uniquely shaped windows are high up in a room. If there is no view, you probably want a treatment that’s always covering the window. A light filtering shade will go a long way to provide privacy and block direct sun rays, while allowing natural light to pour through. If looking to block out the light altogether, specialty shaped room darkening shades are also available.

If your specialty window offers a view you’d like to keep, you might want to consider a motorized option for high applications. This can allow you to open the windows all the way when the sun is not blasting your room and then close them off with the push of a button (or a tap of your mobile phone). Natural light is great, but if you need to be able to block that sun for TV or entertaining, a motorized shade might be just the solution for you. Of course, lower specialty windows can be operated manually. Other design choices include arched shutters or faux blinds and traditional drapery. 

Sidelight Windows

Modern home builders very often place full or half-length narrow windows next to primary entry doors. Unless these sidelights were built with some form of stained or textured glass, chances are neighbors have a wide-open view right into the main section of your house. Here, traditional blinds are problematic due to the bursts of airflow from constantly opening or closing the door. This can also be a problem for drapery. Sometimes a stretched curtain is employed here, but it becomes difficult to operate when you need to see outside or check on who’s knocking. Custom shutters are a terrific solution. Once installed, these can be left tilted so that light gets through without a line of sight. They can also be flipped open very easily to look out as needed. Since they are permanently attached as a wood structure, you never have to worry about the wind blowing them out of place. Shutters over sidelights are beautiful, functional, and certainly unique! Because they are covering small windows, they can also be quite affordable. 

French and Sliding Patio Doors

The challenge here lies in the movement of the door and in many cases, doorknobs that impede window treatments. Also, traditional blinds and drapes tend not to work because of the constant movement of air around the doors. Shutters work well here, as do framed-in cellular shades. By framing in the shades, you control the airflow but still have the functionality of a top down and bottom up shade. Doorknob locations must be carefully managed to ensure perfect fit and functionality.

Large sliding patio doors can be difficult to address, primarily due to a general dislike for vertical blinds. Just about everyone can recount a place where the vertical blinds fell apart, stopped working, had missing slats, and generally looked terrible. For whatever reason, poor quality vertical blinds are everywhere. This is unfortunate because in most cases, vertical blinds are the most cost effective and functional way to deal with such a large opening. I’d like to urge you to reconsider . . . Modern custom vertical blinds have unique colors, fabrics and shapes available.


“Joe was so incredible to work with! I am a very indecisive person and Joe was so patient with me, making sure to show me every option in our budget. He even walked around with me to each room to give his opinion on colors. You can tell that it is his passion to make sure the customer is happy. Joe made sure to keep me up-to-date on the status of our window treatments and the professional installation was unbelievably fast with no mess to clean up! I would highly recommend Budget Blinds of Dover.” ~ Karie S., Dover, DE