Not all Australian homes have floor-to-ceiling windows in them, but those with conservatories or glazed patio doors often do. In addition, converted apartments will frequently have these sort of window features which allow plenty of light to come flooding in. The problem with glazing that reaches to the ceiling and to the floor - or very close to them - is that they are hard to dress in a way that looks smart and attractive on the eye. Floor-to-ceiling windows have often caused interior designers problems, even when they are fitted in office blocks where utilitarian design solutions are possible which you might not consider for a domestic environment. What can be done?
One of the issues with curtains covering floor-to-ceiling windows is that the curtain rail cannot be fixed to the wall. Unless you drill into the window's frame, something which is not usually advisable because it will damage the entire glazing unit, a curtain rail or pole will have to span from one side of the window to the other without support. This is okay if your windows are relatively narrow, to a maximum width of 60cm, for instance. For anything wider, then the curtaining arrangement needs to be suspended from the ceiling. For this reason, curtain poles should be used with tabbed curtains. This way, they will be suspended in an attractive manner which looks natural and which does not cause the curtains to look awkward, when drawn.
Although shutters are often fitted on the outside of a building to cover a large window, interior ones can do the job perfectly if you want a beautiful window dressing inside. Opt for products which are bi-folding so that they have a low profile when they are pulled back. Shutters should be fitted professionally so that they meet perfectly in the middle when they are pulled over a floor-to-ceiling window. No one likes to see them installed in a wonky manner. Budget permitting, choose shutters with louvres which will allow you to control the light flow at the top and the bottom of the window separately – ideal for controlling the sun on hot days.
An elegant way of dressing a window that runs from the floor to the top of the room, especially if you live in a modern apartment with a minimalist style, is to install neither curtains or shutters. In such cases, opt for auto-tinting glazing which will keep the light under control and afford you privacy when you need it.