Disappearing Motorized Window Shades….Privacy & Much More!

When you have particularly wonderful views and also are looking for something other than the  traditional-style window draperies, what are your choices?

How do you have privacy without traditional draperies?

How do you block out the afternoon sun without traditional draperies?

One of the alternatives to draperies or blinds is a window screen/shade which can be used solely when you need it and disappears when you don’t.

In a recent condo design job, the GreenRose Design team needed to give the owners two types of window treatments…..one to partially cut the afternoon sun (while preserving the view)…..and one to completely block out the sun…..for those days when “sleeping in” is the priority!  Since the condo for which we were hired to redesign was to undergo a complete renovation, we designed new ceiling sofits (running across the front of the windows & sliders) which were built to both contain recessed lights as well as to conceal the window screen/shades.

screens rolled up behind sofit

This shot,taken from directly underneath, shows the (white) ceiling soffit (at the top of the picture) built to hide the rolled-up screens along with their motors as well as to house recessed lights for dramatic down lighting.  The rolled-up screens are behind the soffit, but directly in front of the sliding door.

The GreenRose Design came up with two separate screens….one for cutting the sun, while maintaining the view…..the 2nd for total black out of light!

When picking window screening there are a couple of things to remember:

If you want to maintain some of the view while blocking the sun, select a darker fabric.  Although it seems counter intuitive, lighter fabrics actually disburse the light rays and, as such, create more of a blocked view.  And while lighter fabrics offer more of a “privacy block” during the day….they aren’t designed to completely block out the light.  When the morning sun hits them….they again disburse the light which is passing through them and they light up!

Darker fabrics, on the contrary, don’t disburse the light rays as much…more of the light rays pass through…as does more of the view, which is exactly what these homeowners wanted!  Keep in mind, however, that “view” goes both ways….so the view INTO the apartment is also more noticeable, especially at night!  So if you want more privacy…then choose a lighter fabric.  Make sense?  Here you see a darker fabric “sun screen” partially down to show you the difference the shade makes.  It cuts the glare of the sun, while preserving that wonderful vista!

The darker the fabric....the better the view!

The darker the fabric….the better the view!

And here you see the screen completely down…a great sun screen while still allowing those inside to enjoy the view!

Sun Screen Shade completely down.

Here you see the second screen partially down which, when completely down, is used to “blackout” the view….and the light!

As you can imagine....when this shade is down, you'll have a complete light block and privacy screen.

As you can imagine….when this shade is down, you’ll have a complete light block and privacy screen.

Total Block partially down

This shot (above) shows the “black-out” screen partially and it also shows the “sun screen” even further rolled down.  The GreenRose Design double track design allowed for either, or both shades to be up….or down!

The icing on this “design” cake is that we were able to motorize the screens so that each room had both a wall switch to control them and a remote control as well.

This wall switch controls both shades, individually....and together.

This wall switch controls both shades, individually….and together.

photo 2

So the owners were thrilled….they had options…..and they could also control these options remotely from their living room sofa or bedroom suite!  And the best part was that when these blinds weren’t needed….they were tucked up away behind the soffit…there was no trace of them at all!  Just that remarkable view!

How do you have privacy without traditional draperies?


Our next blog, coming soon, will be covering some of the many ways that GATES can add the privacy and security to your driveway and property while still having a great design style!

We’d love your comments and feedback on all of our blog posts!  Thanks!

The GreenRose Design Team




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