Glass condo towers have become an iconic feature of the New York City skyline. Living in one of these glittering buildings provides many a perk — breathtaking views, for example — but all that floor-to-ceiling glass can make one feel…overexposed.
To find out the best solutions for these windows, which can sometimes be in awkward or non-standard sizes, we spoke to design consultant Julien Duprat of The Shade Store, a custom-window-treatment company with 10 showrooms in NYC (and many more across the country).
“In general, we recommend window treatments that provide great coverage without taking up too much space,” says Duprat. If you love your windows but would like to discourage nosy neighbors, block too-bright or too-hot sunshine, or just sleep in without broad daylight blazing through the bedroom, here are Duprat’s top window-shade solutions. Manhattan 2BRs Under $2M Article continues below Roosevelt Island 455 Main Street $1,145,000 [email protected] Created with Sketch.
2 South Harlem 2280 Frederick Douglass Boulevard $1,799,500 [email protected] Created with Sketch.
Low maintenance and easy to clean, solar shades come in both manual and motorized options and last for a long time, Duprat says.
But keep in mind that more opaque means less transparent: As opacity increases, the extent to which you can see through the shade decreases. That way you can put different swatches up against your windows at different times of day to see how the material will work in your environment before committing.
Roller shades can be made in a variety of privacy materials, from light-filtering to total-blackout. They’re ideal for bathrooms, dressing rooms, bedrooms, and anywhere else you would like to maintain privacy — so that those snooping neighbors across the street never see anything you don’t want them to.
Brooklyn 2BRs Under $2M Article continues below Prospect Heights 550 Vanderbilt Avenue $1,925,000 [email protected] Created with Sketch.
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This is especially useful in studio apartments, open-plan spaces, and bedrooms that also serve as home offices, where you will want different kinds of light-blocking capability depending on whether it’s daytime, nighttime, or bedtime. Layering blackout, solar, and drapery styles on a single window gives you maximum flexibility.
If complete darkness is important to the way that you sleep, or if you are putting window treatments in a nursery where a dark room is essential, Duprat recommends combining blackout roller shades with a blackout drapery for great coverage and decorative benefits. Whatever type of shades you decide on, it goes without saying that knowing your windows’ exact sizes and shapes is of the utmost importance — careful measurements are crucial. But with some types, like roller and solar shades, it’s equally important to consider the path available to get the finished window treatment into your apartment. For example, if you have a window that’s 14 feet wide, it may not be possible to get a single solar shade of that length up your stairs or into your elevator. In these situations, Duprat suggests breaking the shade up into multiple, smaller versions that can be hung side-by-side.