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Chicago Specialty Window Treatment Guide

Every Chicago home is unique, each with its own aesthetic and individual needs. Similarly, each of the windows in your Chicago home are different too. Their size, shape, the way they face and more will vary and influence the type of window treatment that fits them best.

But more than any other factor, the window style may be the most important for finding your ideal window treatment. Here are Sunburst’s picks for window treatments to match the specialty window varieties found in Chicago homes.

Sidelight Window Treatments

Front door with sidelights

Sidelights are the long, thin windows that are found on either side of the front door in Chicago homes. Finding the best window treatment for sidelight windows is distinctly important for a few reasons. One, sidelights are a focal point of your house, since most visitors’ eyes are naturally drawn to the front door of the house. Two, people–from the mail carrier to guests to door-to-door salespeople–are going to see them up close, which means that a sidelight window covering all the more important to ensure you maintain your privacy.

What we recommend for sidelight window treatments: Plantation shutters. Shutters don’t just give your home elegant looks and unmatched privacy, but they’re also easily customized for tall, thin sidelight windows.

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Window Treatments for French Doors

French doors with plantation shutters

French doors are a typical sight connected to patios or back yards. French doors are hinged double doors, usually with large glass panes, so Chicago residents have a great opportunity to improve their style and light control. French doors open and shut often, so they should have a resilient window treatment that will still let you alter how much light you let come through the window.

What we recommend for French door window treatments: Plantation shutters. As they can be installed directly onto the frame and are extremely sturdy, shutters are a great solution for French doors. Their classic style and energy-efficiency are added benefits for your French door.

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Window Treatments for Octagonal Windows

Octagon window in a Chicago bathroom 

Octagon-shaped windows are some of the most interesting and attention-grabbing windows we see in Chicago homes. With their special shape, you would be careless to cover them up with a rectangular window treatment like blinds or curtains. Instead, go with a window treatment that can be customized to the window’s unique shape so you can always get the benefits of your octagonal window.

What we recommend for octagon window treatments: Plantation shutters and window film. Shutters are custom manufactured to fit perfectly within an octagon frame, bolstering its unique shape and style. Similarly, window film adheres directly to the glass pane, keeping the awesome shape of your octagon window on full display.

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Window Treatments for Wide Windows

Plantation shutters on wide windows
When we talk about “wide windows,” we refer to windows that are wider than 4‘. This covers full wall windows that stretch beyond what standard window treatments would cover. For these wide windows, Chicago homeowners might want to think about how well a window treatment will let them keep their privacy and block the energy flow and light that wide windows usually allow. Lastly, wide window treatments should be simple to use, since there’s a lot of real estate that they’ll have to cover.

What we recommend for wide window treatments: Panel tracks, roller shades or plantation shutters. Roller shades operate easily, and their muted look works well with wider windows. Panel tracks are a kind of shade with wide fabric panels that move on a track that are perfect for wide windows. Plantation shutters can give you a tad better privacy and energy efficiency compared to shades, so if maintaining a consistent temperature is a priority, shutters might be your perfect solution.

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Window Treatments for Angled & Rake Windows

Angled window with plantation shutters

Rake or angled windows are appearing more often in contemporary home design. A problem with rake window treatments, similar to octagonal windows, is finding one that fits your unique window shape. Remember also that many angled windows are in spots that are harder to reach, such as where the ceiling and wall meet at a corner, so a window treatment that doesn’t need to open and close often is often best for rake windows.

What we recommend for angled and rake windows: Plantation shutters. In addition to being completely customizable to fit the exact angles and shape of your rake windows, but plantation shutters can often be set at a single, ideal angle without ever needing to be readjusted - great for windows that are hard to reach.

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Sliding Glass Door Window Treatments

Plantation shutters on a sliding door

Like with french doors, the window treatment you purchase for your sliding glass door should let you open and shut the door without any hassle whatsoever. Moreover, a sliding glass door treatment needs to be durable and able to withstand all the usage a sliding door sees. Lastly, sliding glass doors are some of the least energy-efficient windows, since they not only let heat transfer through the glass but also through the door opening. A window treatment that can decrease heat transfer should also be a top priority for sliding glass doors.

What we recommend for sliding glass doors: Plantation shutters or panel tracks. Either one can make operating a sliding door easy. Panel tracks also offer an array of patterns and textures to choose from, opening up your options and giving you the ability to take your designs anywhere. Plantation shutters can be built in numerous configurations to fit any sliding glass door, and offer the most energy efficiency of any window covering on the market.

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Bay Window Treatments

Plantation shutters on bay windows

Bay windows are instantly recognizable. The long panes, convex layout, and broad view you get from bay windows are unlike almost other windows, so they need some special consideration when picking a window treatment. Chicago homeowners should consider window treatments that complement a bay window’s attention-grabbing layout, offer privacy, and look stunning in your living or family room. Fortunately, there are a few window treatments that meet all these requirements.

What we recommend for bay windows: Roman shades, cellular shades, or plantation shutters. Both roman and cellular shades work well with bay windows since each shade can cover an individual pane, granting you some flexibility in how much surface area you’d like to cover. Similarly, plantation shutters are installed on each separate pane on your bay windows, but are able to give you even more adaptability in window coverage with adjustable louvers.

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Window Treatments for Tall & High Ceiling Windows

Plantation shutters on tall windows

No matter their shape or style, windows that are positioned near your ceiling can be difficult to put window treatments on. Typically, the tops of the windows are beyond your reach, and getting the stepladder out every day is a hassle. So Chicago homeowners with taller windows should choose a window treatment that can either stay in a single position, or operate remotely. It wouldn’t hurt if that window treatment was also able to effectively block outside light from pouring in.

What we recommend for tall & high ceiling windows: Automated shades or plantation shutters. Automated shades can open or shut with the easy flip of a switch, without any hassle. Alternatively, with plantation shutters many homeowners choose to tilt the louvers to a single ideal position, and rarely if ever move them from that spot. Both choices tackle the biggest problem of high ceiling windows!

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Window Treatments for Eyebrow Windows

Eyebrow window with custom shutters
Eyebrow windows are those curved windows that are typically found above other, standard rectangular windows. Because of their location and unique shape, eyebrow windows come with issues that no other windows do when it comes to finding the perfect window treatment.

What we recommend for eyebrow windows: Plantation shutters. Basically any other window treatment has serious drawbacks when paired with eyebrow windows. Drapes, blinds, and shades hide the unique shape and any lengthy window treatment might cover the negative space between the eyebrow window and the square window beneath it. Because shutters are able to be custom-built to perfectly fit in the frame of your window, they’re easily the best option for this window type. 

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Casement Window Treatments

Casement windows with planation shutters
Casement windows are different from the majority of windows. Casements are hinged on a side, and open and shut by swinging on that hinge, sometimes by crank or lever. With this unique opening mechanism, casements should have a window treatment that won’t impede its use but can still give you privacy and stylish looks. So what’s the best window treatment for casement windows in Chicago?

What we recommend for casement windows: Plantation shutters or shades. Plantation shutters can be custom-built to make room for the crank or lever–which lets you open and shut your window effortlessly. Both Roman and cellular shades will also pair well with casement windows, although you might have to work around the material when you want to open and close it.

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Find More Chicago Window Treatment Tips

There may be more to consider than just the type of window when looking at window treatments in Chicago. Take a peek at our recommendations for window treatments for each room in your house with Sunburst’s Ultimate Room Guide, or get some personal help by scheduling an in-home design consultation by calling 847-250-6544 today.