Window coverings can be a big expense and, depending on where the window is located with reference to sun exposure and heat, an added consideration. But, if none of the above are a consideration, simple and inexpensive options are available.
For instance, we have a pair of interior windows, odd yes, but more common than you might think. If you have a home where a room was added to the exterior of an existing room and now encompasses what had been an outside window, you have a room within a room. Perhaps the window should have been covered over with the new walls of the expanded room, but often that is not the case, when costs are considered. Still not optimum.
In our case, the outside atrium was enclosed to be an inside atrium complete with a fountain, I will cover that in a few years, stay tuned.
Back to the issue at hand. The room currently being worked on, is the TV room. Originally it had been a formal dining room. Sometime in the 1950’s-1960’s I imagine it was changed into a den, I am guessing here. The large picture window that had looked out onto the atrium was removed and drywalled on the inside and stuccoed on the outside. It is possible that the two side lights in the dining room were original to the house making the room quite light and bright; imagine a large picture window and two floor to almost ceiling side lights. Once the picture window was walled in and the door that lead from the living space to the dining space was closed off, there was only one door into the room from a hallway, and only the two long side lights for outside light. The windows were stationary, so no outside fresh air was available, but they had installed “modern air conditioning”. This made for an ideal cozy den or TV room.
The problem I have with my downsized circumstances (so few complaints) is that I do not have a closet convenient for my vacuum cleaner. I have a bi-fold screen that I can “hide” the vacuum behind in my office, but it is in front of one of the two windows in the TV room. Not a lovely thing to look at from the TV room, not too bad from my office (the room that was created as an interior atrium).
What to do? At first, just to cover part of the window, I put up a pretty textured rice paper, but always intended to make something a bit more refined. I decided a fixed panel would solve that problem. I have used IKEA sliding panels in several other applications for years. Naturally, those panels change styles, and I had to find a current one that was acceptable to me. I found a simple white panel with an interesting thread pattern and cut it to fit the window, made a pocket on the top and bottom for a slender rod and had it attached to the frame side of my office window.
This is the same thing I did to partially cover the window in our back door and two bathrooms, where we wanted a little privacy, but not full coverage; allowing for more light in both cases, but obscuring the ability to view into either space.
The IKEA sliding panels are great at hiding windows, doors or unattractive views. I first used these panels in my daughter’s private practice office. She had a private bathroom that she did not want visible. The panels made for easy access, but was virtually invisible to anyone looking at the room. This same set of sliding panels has been used in subsequent offices, once to divide a lobby from a storage room and currently, again to obscure a door to another part of the building.