Anne Asks: Our family recently moved into an A-frame house in the bluffs south of La Crosse, Wisconsin. The house is about 5 years old, and has beautiful woodwork around the windows. I am planning on accentuating the woodwork with inside mounted Roman shades. I can hardly wait to get started!Looking around the house, there is one problem area. I absolutely LOVE my big A-frame windows, but unfortunately, they are facing West, and during the summer afternoons, our open concept dining room and kitchen can become quite bright and extremely HOT!!! I am attaching a photo of the windows, and am asking for your advice. My first thought was to put Roman shades on the two large rectangular windows, but I am not sure if it is feasible to run cords down the length of the wall? Would it look tacky? Would it put more stress on the cords and would they end up breaking? I saw your designs for the trapezoid windows and was amazed! If I can figure out something for the large rectangular windows, I even thought of including the trapezoids. Please take a look at the photo and let me know what you think.
Terrell Says: Thank you for the photograph. It makes it so much easier to answer your question. You can definitely put inside mount shades on the rectangular upper windows. I have done similar installations, with the lift cord extending down from the shades to about shoulder level. Since you have white walls, the cord won't be obtrusive. And no, there is not any more stress on the cord than if you have a regular installation. Be sure to purchase enough cord for all of the lift lines to extend well past the bottom of the shade.
If you make trapezoid shades, the upper triangular windows will always be covered. You might like the look, but you also might miss the extra light and warmth in the winter. You probably know the exposure in the winter, so take that into consideration. The photographs just below show four beautiful shades made by Elizabeth DeNoble of Plains, Montana. Her windows have a very shallow peak, where yours have a sharp peak. More of your windows will be covered if you make trapezoid shades, instructions for which are available on my web site.
Another option would be to make a "frame" that fits into the triangular windows, then staple (or Velcro) a "shade" onto the frame. You can insert these fake shades into the triangular windows in the summer and remove them in the winter. I've done that, also. It works quite well, as long and you have a good storage place for them in the winter.
I would print 3 copies of your photograph of the windows and color in the inside-mount rectangular shade along with the 3 options for the upper triangular windows (nothing, insert, trapezoid shade). Then you can decide.