Lots of op­tions for base­ment win­dows

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Leanne Brownoff

Dear Leanne: In our fin­ished base­ment we have a shared space that in­cor­po­rates both a games room and fam­ily room. There are three win­dows in this area that are the typ­i­cal base­ment win­dow de­sign: small and up high. I would like to do a drap­ery type of win­dow cov­er­ing. Do you have any sug­ges­tions?

A: To­day’s base­ments are an ex­ten­sion of our main liv­ing space. Gone are the days of ev­ery base­ment looking like a dingy cel­lar filled with cob­webs and dank, musty smells. Home­own­ers are now spending time and ef­fort de­sign­ing th­ese lower re­gions with the same thought and care as any other area of their home.

In gen­eral, dress­ing a win­dow is the same process re­gard­less of the level it is on. How­ever, there are a few con­sid­er­a­tions that should be ad­dressed for base­ment win­dows. Win­dows are in­cluded in a home de­sign for light in­fu­sion, air flow and safety (a secondary es­cape route in the case of an emer­gency).

Base­ment win­dows can come in vary­ing sizes de­pend­ing on the house de­sign and the height of the ceil­ings in the lower level. You have in­di­cated that yours are high and small, so that will limit some of your op­tions.

You do need to con­sider the fol­low­ing: the amount of space be­tween the win­dow cas­ing and the ceil­ing, the depth of the win­dow cas­ing and the wall space be­tween the win­dows. Al­though you did not men­tion the use of blinds or hard win­dow cov­er­ing, this may be some­thing you should con­sider for light con­trol.

With win­dow size lim­it­ing your op- tions, in­side-mount win­dow treat­ments such as mini or hon­ey­comb blind sys­tems can be in­stalled. The cas­settes that hold the mech­a­nisms for th­ese blinds are com­pact, min­i­miz­ing the space used com­pared with other larger blind styles.

The ben­e­fit of th­ese blinds is that they con­trol your light as you need and keep the treat­ment looking clean as it is con­fined to the win­dow space.

Draperies are very chic in the base­ment and can be used in con­junc­tion with win­dow blinds or on their own. If you do not use an in­side-mount blind sys­tem, en­sure your drap­ery pan­els are lined so that you can­not see the win­dow shape if the fab­ric is drawn closed dur­ing the day­time hours. Drap­ery use in the base­ment can pro­vide the il­lu­sion of a larger win­dow.

Your drap­ery op­tions are quite ex­ten­sive, lim­ited only by wall space avail­able and your de­sign pref­er­ence. To hang a drap­ery rod, you will need at least nine cen­time­tres (3.5 inches) of clear­ance above the cas­ing. You can also use a ceil­ing-mount tra­verse rod that at­taches di­rectly to the ceil­ing. If you choose this de­sign, you will need to at­tach hooks or clips to the drap­ery; rings or pocket tops will not work without adap­ta­tion.

You also need to con­sider the wall space avail­able be­side each win­dow. Draperies need stack­ing space of at least 20 cm (eight inches) on each side for each panel, so fab­ric choice and full­ness must be con­sid­ered. For an al­ter­na­tive to the rod treat­ment, you can at­tach dec­o­ra­tive door pulls (the type used for cab­i­nets and dressers) to a fin­ished wooded panel so that they span the top of the win­dow.

Once the wooden panel is se­cured above the win­dow, tab-or ring-style drap­ery pan­els can be hung, with each tab at­tached to a sin­gle pull. The drap­ery would stay in a closed po­si­tion at the top but could be pulled to the side with dec­o­ra­tive hold­ers. This is a great look but may limit your abil­ity to use the win­dow as an es­cape route, so be care­ful with your se­lec­tion. When it comes to length of pan­els, I sug­gest a to-the-floor length if you have bare walls. Shorter lengths work if you have wain­scot­ting or wall units or fur­ni­ture be­low the win­dows.

Dear Leanne: We are ren­o­vat­ing the en­suite off of our mas­ter bed­room and would like your thoughts on sink and coun­ter­top op­tions. We cur­rently have a pis­ta­chio-coloured glass tile sur­round­ing our white tub. We were hop­ing to make this room stun­ning and won­dered if we had to pick white sinks since the tub is white?

A: The tile colour is a great place to start. You have a lot of op­tions but the two that stand out for me are to go with the spa ef­fect of white, or the bold look of black. Green and white have his­tor­i­cally evoked a sense of seren­ity.

The green ocean waves leav­ing a froth of white foam on the sand is an im­age many of us dream of.

If white was not what you wanted, imag­ine the same im­age, but with the green and white froth set­tling on black sand. To cre­ate a dra­matic style, con­sider a black-glass, up­per-mount ves­sel. If you can ob­tain more of the pis­ta­chio tile you can have a custom-made pedestal hold the ves­sel and in­cor­po­rate the tile at the same time.

Keep the mir­ror de­sign sim­ple and the fix­tures chrome. Bring in a free­stand­ing piece of black fur­ni­ture to house your toi­letries. If it doesn’t come in black, just paint it. Keep your ac­ces­sories black or pis­ta­chio green. This will have a clas­sic and so­phis­ti­cated feel without be­ing too trendy.

— Canwest News Ser­vice

There’s more to a base­ment win­dow

than just glass.

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