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Southern California Specialty Window Treatment Guide

Each Southern California home is unique, every one with its own charm and its own needs. Similarly, all the windows in your Southern California home are different as well. Their size, shape, the direction they face and more will differ and influence which window treatment that fits them best.

But more than any other factor, the style of window might be the most important for finding your perfect window treatment. These are Sunburst’s picks for window treatments to match the specialty window types found in Southern California homes.

Sidelight Window Treatments

Front door with sidelights

Sidelights are the long, thin windows that are found on the sides of the front door in several homes. Finding the right window treatment for sidelight windows is particularly important for a few reasons. One, they’re a focal point of your house, as most people's gaze is naturally drawn to the front door when looking at a house. Two, people–from the mail carrier to guests to door-to-door salesmen–are going to see them up close, which means that a great window covering all the more important to ensure you maintain your privacy.

Our recommendation for sidelight window treatments: Plantation shutters. Not only do they offer your home classy looks and unmatched privacy, but they’re also the easiest window treatment to get customized for tall, thin sidelight windows.

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French Door Window Treatments

French doors with plantation shutters

French doors are a common sight connected to decks or patios. French doors are hinged double doors, typically with big glass panes, so Southern California homeowners have a substantial opportunity to improve their style and light control. French doors open and shut often, so they need a durable window treatment that will still let you regulate how much light you let come through the window.

Our recommendation for French door window treatments: Plantation shutters. Since they’re installed directly onto the window and are incredibly durable, shutters are a great window treatment for French doors. Their timeless style and energy-efficiency are extra perks for your French door.

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Octagon Window Treatments

Octagon window in a Southern California bathroom 

Octagonal windows are some of the most appealing and attention-grabbing windows there are in Southern California homes. With their unique geometry, homeowners would be remiss to cover them up with a rectangular window treatment like blinds or curtains. Instead, pick a window treatment that’s able to be custom-fit to the window’s unique geometry so your home will get the benefits of your octagon window.

Our recommendation for octagon window treatments: Plantation shutters and window film. Shutters are customized to fit snugly in an octagonal window frame, keeping its unique shape and appeal. Likewise, window film adheres directly to the window pane, keeping the awesome shape of your octagon window on full display.

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Window Treatments for Wide Windows

Plantation shutters on wide windows
When we talk about “wide windows,” we refer to windows with a width greater than 4‘. That covers full wall windows that stretch way beyond what standard window treatments would cover. When designing for wide windows, Southern California homeowners should think about how effectively a window treatment will maintain their privacy and block the energy flow and light that wide windows normally allow. Finally, wide window treatments should operate without any hassle, as there’s a lot of space that they have to cover.

Our recommendation for wide window treatments: Panel tracks, roller shades or plantation shutters. Roller shades are easy to operate, and their subdued look works well with wider windows. A panel track is a type of shade with wide panels of fabric that move on a track–perfect for wide windows. Plantation shutters can give you a tad better privacy and energy efficiency compared to shades, so if maintaining a consistent temperature is a priority, shutters may be your best bet.

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Rake & Angled Window Treatments

Angled window with plantation shutters

Angled or rake windows are popping up a lot more in modern home design. A problem with angled window treatments, like with octagonal windows, is finding one that matches your unique window shape. Bear in mind as well that many angled windows are in spots that are harder to reach, like where the ceiling meets the wall at a corner, so a window treatment that you don’t need to operate often is oftentimes best for angled windows.

Our recommendation for angled and rake windows: Plantation shutters. Not only are they totally customizable to fit the precise angles and shape of your angled windows, but the shutter louvers can often be set at a single, perfect angle without ever needing to be readjusted - perfect for windows in hard to reach spots.

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Sliding Glass Door Window Treatments

Plantation shutters on a sliding door

Like with french doors, the window treatment you buy for a sliding glass door needs to allow you to open and shut the door easily and without obstruction. Moreover, a sliding glass door treatment should be sturdy and able to handle the frequent action a sliding door sees. Lastly, sliding glass doors are one of the least energy-efficient windows, since they not only let heat transfer through the glass but also through the door opening. A window treatment that can decrease energy transfer should also be a top priority for sliding glass doors.

Our recommendation for sliding glass doors: Plantation shutters or panel tracks. Panel tracks and shutters both make opening a shutting a sliding door easy. Panel tracks also give you an array of designs and textures to choose from, freeing up your options and giving you a bigger palette to work with. Plantation shutters are available in different configurations to fit any sliding glass door, and offer the most energy efficiency of any window covering.

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Window Treatments for Bay Windows

Plantation shutters on bay windows

Bay windows are instantly recognizable. The tall panes, convex layout, and ample view offered by bay windows are distinct from other windows, and thus need some special consideration when shopping for a window treatment. Southern California homeowners should focus on window treatments that enhance a bay window’s eye-catching geometry, offer privacy, and look beautiful in your living or family room. Lucky for us, there are a number of window treatments that can do it all.

Our recommendation for bay windows: Cellular shades, Roman shades, or shutters. Both roman and cellular shades work great with bay windows as each shade covers an individual pane, granting you some flexibility in how much window area you need covered. Similarly, plantation shutters are installed on each individual pane on bay windows, but can still give you even more flexibility in window coverage with adjustable louvers.

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High Ceiling and Tall Window Treatments

Plantation shutters on tall windows

Regardless of their shape or style, windows that are near your ceiling can be a hassle to put window treatments on. In many cases, the tops of the windows are beyond your reach, and getting the stepladder out every day becomes a hassle. So homeowners in Southern California with high ceiling windows might want to choose a window treatment that can either stay in a single position, or operate remotely. It wouldn’t hurt if that window treatment could also effectively block light from coming in.

Our recommendation for tall & high ceiling windows: Motorized shades or plantation shutters. Motorized shades can operate with the easy flip of a switch, eliminating any hassle whatsoever. On the other hand, with plantation shutters most homeowners choose to position the louvers in a single perfect position, and seldom, if ever adjust the louvers afterward. Both options solve the biggest problem of high ceiling windows!

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Window Treatments for Eyebrow Windows

Eyebrow window with custom shutters
Eyebrow windows are those curved windows that are typically found above other, standard rectangular windows. Due to their position and individual shape, eyebrow windows come with issues that no other windows do in regards to finding the perfect window treatment.

Our recommendation for eyebrow windows: Plantation shutters. Any other window treatment has serious drawbacks when put on eyebrow windows. Drapes, shades, and blinds mask the unique shape and any lengthy window treatment might cover the separation between the eyebrow window and the square window under it. Because shutters are custom-manufactured to perfectly fit in your eyebrow window frame, they’re far and away the best option for this window type. 

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Casement Window Treatments

Casement windows with planation shutters
Casement windows are unlike other windows. Casements are hinged on one side, and open and shut by swinging on that hinge, typically via a lever or crank. With this unique opening mechanism, casements need a window treatment that won’t impede its use but can still look great and protect your privacy. So which window treatment is best for casement windows in Southern California?

Our recommendation for casement windows: Plantation shutters or shades. Plantation shutters can be customized with a cut-out to make room for a lever or crank–which lets you open and close your window easily. Both cellular and Roman shades will also work well on casement windows, though you’ll have to work around the shade when you want to open and shut it.

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Get More Southern California Window Treatment Picks

There is always more to consider than just the type of window when shopping for window treatments in Southern California. Take a peek at our top picks for window treatments for every room in your home with Sunburst’s Ultimate Room Guide, or get some in-person help by scheduling an in-home design consultation by calling 888-611-2474 now.