When it comes to home décor, there are few things I love more than naked windows. In my book, they’re right up there with empty walls.
Of course, I recognize that window treatments can be quite practical—and in many cases, quite necessary! We live in the city, in view of our neighbors across the street; therefore, leaving our bedroom windows bare is out of the question. Our living room, however, is on a corner; and even though it has large, floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s less directly “exposed” to nearby buildings. Furthermore, a large tree right next to it provides privacy three seasons of the year.
Therefore, we choose to leave our living room windows naked. It’s the best we can do in our urban environment. If we lived in the middle of nowhere (or with plenty of trees to shield the view), we wouldn’t have a single curtain, blind, or shade in the house.
Our situation was quite different in our former house, where our neighbors (and their windows) were just a few feet away on each side. Even then, however, we decided to forgo curtains, and opted instead for the simplest option we could find: translucent, white fabric shades that let in plenty of light and blended in to the white walls around them.
The loft apartment we lived in before that was ideal. There, we had an entire wall of factory windows; and since the building was in an industrial section of the city, across the street from an empty lot, we had no need to cover them. It was minimalist window heaven!
Sure, the argument can be made that window treatments are valuable for climate control—like blocking cold air in winter and sunshine in summer. However, I’ve been in plenty of homes where the curtains don’t seem to be providing any climate or privacy functions whatsoever; their raison d’etre is solely decorative. And if that’s the case, why have them at all?
Lest you think this matter too trivial to discuss, no less than Thoreau himself weighed in on it in Walden:
“I would observe, by the way, that it costs me nothing for curtains, for I have no gazers to shut out but the sun and moon, and I am willing that they should look in. The moon will not sour milk nor taint meat of mine, nor will the sun injure my furniture or fade my carpet; and if he is sometimes too warm a friend, I find it still better economy to retreat behind some curtain which nature has provided, than to add a single item to the details of housekeeping.”
So, how do you feel about naked windows? Do you leave yours bare, or cover them up?