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How to Shade Your Enormous Cathedral Windows

Cathedral Window Coverings

Cathedral Window Coverings for Vaulted Ceiling

The vaulted ceiling is an arched ceiling. It can be described as a ceiling that angles upward on one or both sides to create volume in the room.
Huge, light enhancing windows in unusual shapes look fantastic but are hard to dress. Window treatments for high windows or split level windows or windows in cathedral ceilings need special consideration when choosing a window treatment for them. While a tall wall full of windows provides great views and plenty of light, there is always a need for privacy, protection from UV rays and heat gain from direct sunlight. Window treatments for high windows should fulfill this need while still blending with the style and décor used. Depending on the nature of the fabric and the mode of control, there are limitations on shading options for cathedral windows.

Blinds for Cathedral Windows

Blinds for Cathedral Windows

The cathedral windows offer us great view and lot of light. Besides, there exists a huge need for protecting your home from the harmful UV rays and unwanted heat. Blinds for these windows are a solution. There are huge varieties of blinds to cover these cathedral windows and protect our furniture and home as well. The choice you make in selecting the right blinds for your home gives your home a new look and enhances its beauty. These blinds are versatile top down/bottom up to preserve the view.

For the better operation of the blinds, it is better to choose blinds that possess motorization that will allow you to raise, lower or tilt your blinds with a remote control instead of struggling to grab a hold of those hard to reach window treatments.

Curtains for Cathedral Windows

Curtains for Cathedral Windows

You can decorate the cathedral windows with curtains, which will probably have to be custom made for the height of your window. Tall draw curtains bring a beautiful look to your cathedral windows. These come with a bar going across the top of the window, allowing you to pull the curtains closed.


Following are few ideas that describe the various curtain patterns that can be used for Cathedral Windows:

i) The Gothic Influence-

Karla. J. Nielson in her very informative book, “Window Treatments” describes a cathedral window as a high set angled glass window in a pentagonal shape. This contemporary version of the Gothic arch seems to be pointing heavenward. It is also referred to as an A-frame window. These windows characteristically end up high in a wall, even if they extend low into the room. This describes their magnanimous size.

Gothic architecture began in the 12th century with Abbot Suger, whose idea of an ideal church was one fitted with the most radiant windows. With the aid of pointed arches, vaulted ceilings, and flying buttresses, the cathedral walls were strengthened to such a degree that spaces could be cut away for larger window casements, thereby meeting the terms of Gothics prime directive: more light. They were popular until the 16th century especially in churches, cathedrals, castles, universities, private dwellings for the wealthy and public places all over the Western world.

ii) The Modern Gothic Window-

Modern Gothic Window

The contemporary Gothic window adheres to the large dimensions of width and height, but they may not have a Gothic arch on the top. Their extraordinary size gives one the feel of their ancient architectural origin and they are referred to as cathedral windows. Today they have experienced a resurgence of popularity with architects, home builders and homeowners for their ornate beauty.

Cathedral windows are permanently fixed. The entire unit that they are made of is not operable. In such a case, it serves the purpose of a large picture window or accent window designed for an optimum view of the natural scenery outside. They are sometimes referred to as a “Direct See” as there is no cash, and the glass is fixed directly to the frame. This gives them the advantage of exceptional durability. With no moving parts, there is less wear and tear than any other windows.

They offer the same distinctly elegant look combined with modern window features like energy efficiency, low maintenance, and durability due to the highly controlled standards of glass prescribed for their use.


Challenges Of Dressing Cathedral Windows

Cathedral windows introduce a classic architectural element to any room. Hugh windows with or without graceful arches can provide lots of sunlight if the homeowner selects window coverings that block undesired UV rays but do not obstruct the view. The right window dressings can accentuate the grace of cathedral windows.


Arched-Cellular-Shades-Canada -


Drapes and curtains can be custom made with angled headings, and nearly every kind of hard window treatments – shutters, blinds, woven woods, pleated shades, Shoji screens and so on can be angled. The expense of creating the angle may be cost productive in most cases. One sensible option to the designer is to treat the glass beneath or lower than the cathedral window first and then add a coordinating treatment to the cathedral glass later after the homeowner has moved in.


Graber offers the Slide Vue Light Filtering CrystalPleat Vertical Cellular shades in Canada for large and wide windows as a shading option. These high-efficiency honeycomb shades are available in 3/8” Single cell, ¾” Single cell, and the 3/8” Double cell choices. The bigger the cell, the more air trapped in for maximum insulation, light and sound control. The Slide – Vue control option has vertical bracts in their headrail that allows smooth operation of the shade. These shades can be stacked to the left, right or center for a maximum view of the outside. Slide – Vue has movable side rails with locking handles for ease of operation.

Solar Shade fabrics are specially designed to help keep that scenic view of the surroundings throughout the day while sparing us from the merciless glare and harsh bright sunlight so that the view from the cathedral windows is still enjoyable. There is no need to sit in a sunlit spot to be connected to the outside world. Solar shades bathe the room in diffused light, an economical way to integrate the surroundings of your home into your daily life while feeling comfortable and protected at the same time. Crown offers a whole range of solar shades for cathedral windows. Light Filtering and Blackout Roller Shades, Solar Shades for home interior, Exterior Solar Shades and Blackout Exterior Solar Shades are available for large sized windows.

Norman offers their patio door verticals cellular shades as a perfect solution for large windows. Made of ¾” Single Cellular fabric they have a stacking configuration for the left or right side as well as traveling center stack with a center opening.
The layering of these shades with drapes or curtain panels will add to the aesthetics of the room and also assist in insulation against heat gain in summer and heat loss in the winter season.


Motorized Control Window Treatments- Best Option For Cathedral Windows

Motorized Control Window Treatments is no longer a luxury. They are affordable, fashionable and necessary for the modern home. Since cathedral windows are inaccessible, we will have to determine how much light control we need during different times of the day and choose an option that allows us to control them.

Tubular motors in the headrail of shades make motorized window treatments possible. Motorized shades can now tame the most challenging array of windows likes the cathedral windows that have so far been unreachable.

Motorized Window Treatment for Cathedral Windows

Radio-equipped motors use RF signals for the transmission of remote control commands. A small antenna in the motor receives the signal, and onboard circuitry decodes the command and activates the motor. The RF signal is not directional, so one does not have to point the remote at the shade. It is capable of passing through walls and reaching almost anywhere inside the home. Multichannel remotes can be programmed to control shade motors in various rooms. The ease and convenience of which window treatments can be controlled contribute to energy efficiency.

Huge, light enhancing windows are the trend. For the more fortunate lot that has less intense summer heat, maximize the use of natural light and enjoy it.


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2 thoughts on “How to Shade Your Enormous Cathedral Windows

  1. I live near Little Rock Arkansas. I have a 10 foot wide arched window at the top of a cathedral ceiling. I cannot find anyone willing to help me cover it. The summer sun is brutal but I love to see the moon at night. Can you direct me to someone near me that can help me?

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