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March 30, 2010 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Window hardware and curtain suggestions for a 12ft opening?

I'll soon be moving into my new place and I need to work out a nice solution to the window/door situation.

The house has two large, wide sliding window/doors. They open from the left and slide into a recessed pocket on the right. When they are completely open they leave a 12 feet wide and 7 feet tall opening. They are flush with the left side, so any curtains have to slide all the way to the right when not in use, which means if I'm going to use a traditional rod or cable system, it can't be supported in the middle, only on the ends.

I'm trying to figure out an affordable and aesthetically pleasing way of both keeping the beauty of the unobstructed opening when I want to, but also to close it off for privacy at night/when it's too sunny. The tricky bit is not spending too much money.

I found this cable wire hardware system at West Elm, which seems to be winning so far, it's long enough that I can wire up 16ft of it, and slide the curtains over onto the wall with the recessed pocket, entirely out of the way of the opening. It'd be attaching to concrete, so I should be able to get the tension of the wire tight enough to prevent sagging.

So the first question is: is there a better way then the cable system for a wide opening?

The second part is what to hang off them-- can you recommend a good supplier of curtain panels, that come out looking good on the quality/affordability scale? I like canvas or similar fabrics and simple solid neutral colors.

The cable system comes with 20 clips, but what are your thoughts about just getting tab top, or grommet tops and sliding them directly on the wire?

Ideally I'd love to allow some light to come through during the day if they're closed, but have adequate opacity to allow privacy at night from passing pedestrians/vehicles, which is particularly hard to tell when shopping online, so suggestions on specific fabrics/brands would be most welcome.

The only caveat is that is has to be able to be bought online (oh Ikea you hurt me so) since I'm overseas. (It'll be delivered to a USA address and forwarded on, so international delivery isn't needed).

posted by Static Vagabond to Home & Garden (1 answer total)
One entire side of my apartment is floor-to-ceiling windows with a combination of sliding and hinged glass doors, and no means of support in the middle. I feel your pain!

I've been very happy with ceiling-mounted curtain tracks (1, 2). All you need to put them up is a good drill, which you'd need for hanging curtains anyway. And you don't have to worry about the weight of the curtains causing a cable to droop in the middle.

Here are some more ideas.

Because I needed so much fabric for my monster curtains, I went with an inexpensive, off-white cotton with a rough texture. It has worked out really well. It lets it plenty of light and prevents the neighbours from seeing too much (and my neighbours' windows aren't far from mine at all). I think the rough texture helps obscure what's inside when it's dark out and I have the lights on.
posted by transporter accident amy at 7:00 AM on March 30, 2010

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