Ideas for Windows in a Sunroom

Designed to bring the outdoors in, sunrooms feature walls of windows that offer views of the garden or serve as greenhouse, filled with flowers, herbs and heat-seeking plants. Shades are well-suited to sunrooms, because they separate and showcase windows. When looking for the right treatment, consider your decor and how effectively they can control light, heat and privacy levels. You'll find a variety of shades to meet your needs.

Fabric Shades

Window shades offer light and temperature control.

Fabric shades present endless possibilities and looks for a sunroom. They come in different styles ranging from flat folded shades with clean-edges to Roman shades, with soft, unstructured swags. Fabric shades almost always create a mood. Canvas flat folded shadea in navy create a nautical theme, while sheers lend an airy effect. Roman shades with billowing florals can create a romantic feel, while elegant fabrics, such as linen or silk, will create a refined atmosphere. Fabric treatments are expensive and offer less light and temperature control than other options. Another downside is that the brighter the room, the faster the colors will fade. Fabric may be a better choice if you live in Oregon, rather than Arizona.

Honeycomb Shades

Honeycomb shades, also called cellular shades, offer the softness of fabric, along with greater ability to control light and temperature levels and deep, fade-resistant colors. The have a spare, modern look and gently filter natural light, giving rooms a soft, diffused look if lowered during the daytime. When raised, they fold into a compact stack and essentially disappear. Their cellular structure provides a surprising amount of insulation, which can modulate a sunroom's sometimes extreme summer and winter temperatures. Honeycombs generally offer full privacy and can be custom-made with blackout liners. They are generally less expensive than fabric, but don't add much presence in a room. This is a good choice if you're looking for function over style.

Natural Woven Shades

Shades woven with natural fibers, such as bamboo, reeds and mixed grasses, are aesthetically pleasing and offer textures that can make a tremendous impact. They work especially well with sunrooms filled with plants or decorated with rattan furnishings and tropical styles. They come in a wide range of neutral stains, from pale straw to deep mahogany. When closed, woven shades either roll up or stack into folds near the railing, remaining visible. They are also eco-friendly, made with renewable materials. Woven shades don't offer privacy or light control, unless custom-ordered with privacy or block-out liners.

Solar Shades

Solar shades- made of woven synthetics like vinyl or polyester--are relatively new. Their major advantage is an ability to deflect heat and glare and provide high levels of UV protection. They prevent furnishings from fading, reduce air-conditioning bills and minimize glare if you use a computer or watch TV in the room. You can custom order them from very sheer to heavy weight depending on your needs. They look sleek and modern in windows and are available in neutrals, textures and lustrous metallic weaves. Solar shades are an affordably-priced and may be a good investment.

About the Author

Susan Sedgwick has been a writer for more than 10 years, and her work has appeared in major newspapers, magazines and websites. Her favorite topics include interior design, travel, food, wine, entertainment, health and medicine. She has been featured in "Time Magazine," "New York Daily News" and "Detour." She earned her Masters of Arts in English/fiction writing from New York University.