Arch Window Treatment

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Arch windows are a lovely architectural grace-note adding distinction and dignity to any room. In addition to their beauty, they allow for ample sunlight and sky views. But sun without end is not necessarily the best thing for your antiques, fine furnishings, or your electric bill.

UV rays from the sun can fade fabric, artwork, and wood. Further, heat in the summer and cold in the winter passes through an uncovered arch window with ease. This can have an direct impact on one's overall comfort, and necessitate additional energy for heating and cooling. Many people "solve" this problem by covering their arch windows with square drapes. But this essentially "throws the baby out with the bathwater," since it completely hides the window's shape.

Good Day, Sunshine

Fortunately, there are a variety of designer-quality arch window treatments. Arch window treatments resemble a sunburst design; flat on the bottom, and arched from left to right. They fit neatly into existing arches, with fairly hassle-free installation.

Arch window treatments come available in stationary designs--that is, the "panes" stay permanently closed--or movable designs, which allow owners to manually open and close the panes. Movable designs allow for views and sunlight when owners feel like enjoying them. In terms of materials, these arch window treatments may be made out of wood (most expensive) or out of wood-look PVC. Advantages to the PVC options are considerable: one, they look just like wood, but tend to block heat better; and two, they're considerably less expensive.

Arch-window treatments made from fabric are also available. Fabrics may run the gamut from translucent sheers, which release a gentle, tranquil light, to fully opaque, blocking the light completely. The latter option is considerably more energy efficient, and when planned to match existing decor, can add a bright spot of complementary color to a room. Fabric shades open and close via a system similar to that of a lady's fan: by pulling the fabric over using an attractive handle, the fabric neatly folds into itself, laying perfectly flat. Just as with the solid wood or PVC options, this allows homeowners to enjoy as much or as little of Mother Nature as they wish.

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