Facing a Brick Wall… Literally

Posted on September 4, 2012 in Blog

Facing a Brick Wall… Literally

Whether you live in an older city neighborhood or a new subdivision chances are your dining room or bedroom windows could be overlooking a brick wall. This is a design dilemma that can be a challenge. It is critical to think through the complete room design and list all of the details before purchasing or making a window treatment decision.

Let’s look at some details that will help you create a great solution that also meets your whole room design criteria. First, which treatment elements will help reduce the view while maintaining as much natural light as possible?  Are you looking for a formal or more casual design? Are there physical barriers such as furniture or steam heaters? And, we should consider if privacy is also a requirement since it will affect our design selections.

Sheer fabrics offer daytime privacy while allowing the maximum amount of light as well as soften the visual impact of the brick wall. It’s really quite amazing how much impact a sheer drapery or sheer fabric shade product has on refocusing the human eye away from the outside and back into the room itself.  And, just wait until you try and pick one since the sheer fabric designs available today to select from are almost limitless. From natural linen with random slubs to shimmering metallics the sky is the limit. White, off-white and every color under the rainbow are available.

Now, let me interject here by saying that there is an important rule that states all fabric facing to the outside must be white or off-white to maintain architectural integrity. However, since this problem window faces a brick wall not the street you can feel free to do what works for the room without a concern for architectural integrity. So, why not consider a patterned sheer or colored shade if it will add impact and add to your design while reducing the brick wall’s effect.

It now becomes a design style choice whether you opt for full length draperies or shade type products. I feel a formal room will look best with layered fabric draperies that can open and close. Closing beautiful draperies in the evening with the lighting dimmed to set a relaxed mood will have the benefit of privacy and intimacy for you and your guests. A modern or transitional room could include a layered sheer blind product that looks like a blind but has the benefit of sheer fabric privacy. These blinds are operational and can be closed at night to offer complete privacy. Coupled with drapery panels these treatments will offer a casual luxurious feeling often associated with modern and transitional design.

In addition to a beautiful window treatment adding a photo or painting of a scenic landscape view on the same wall will also help fool the eye into thinking that there is more space beyond. Mirrors can also be an option as long as what they reflect is beautiful.

Challenges like a brick wall offer options and opportunities to break the rules and enhance your home with beautiful, practical window treatments.

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