Arch windows are quite possibly the most difficult type of window to cover with window coverings. This special shaped window requires much thought and vision to achieve the desired effect. The limiting nature of an arch window restricts the options to only a few window covering types.
An arch window is a stand-alone opening with a defining bottom with no vertical sides. A perfect arch window is a half circle where the width is twice the height. Perfect arches can use pre-made stock-size window coverings because of their symmetry. Unfortunately, the width of most arch windows is greater than twice the height. This type of elliptical arch windows is much more difficult to cover and requires a custom window covering.
Evaluate room and window usage before making a window covering selection. Many arch window coverings can not be opened permanently reducing light and visibility through the opening. Other types of window coverings can be opened but may be difficult to maneuver.
The following are options for covering your arched window:
- Window Tinting - This is our favorite window covering alternatives. Often privacy is not an issue for arch windows because of their elevation. Window tinting reduces the amount of light entering the house but does not completely block the opening.
- Cellular Shades - Great for perfect half circle arch windows with the ability to order standard sizes in a variety of colors. Cellular shades are easy to install. Some cellular arches can be collapsed to one side for maximum visibility.
- Pleated Shades - Similar options to cellular shades.
- Wood or Faux Wood Blinds - Constructed with fixed horizontal slats spaced and held with vertical supports. Slats are fixed at an angle that blocks most direct sunlight but can not be rotated. Unit is constructed to rest on the bottom sill, and can be easily removed. Slats can be custom made to accommodate most window shapes.
- Wood Shutters - Can be custom made for either half circle or elliptical window openings. Shutters use a fan pattern that radiate out from the center. The louvers can be rotated slightly for some light to enter. Plantation shutters are probably the most alluring and permanent solution.
Some recent innovations have introduced synthetic type shutters that open remotely. This motorized window covering allows the user to open vents with the touch of a button. However, the small open areas offer minimum visibility.
Continuous arch top windows have a rectangular window with an arch on top. This type of window is more difficult to cover than stand alone arch windows. Interior shutters are often the best window covering for this type of window. Shutters can cover the full height of the window with an arched top to mimic the window. Occasionally, shutters are used to cover only the lower portion of the window, like a cafe type shutter, and leave the arched portion open.
Arched windows are a popular architectural feature on American homes, especially in houses with vaulted ceilings or large entry areas. Use special consideration to determine what window cover is best for your application.