We've used curtains as window coverings, but the rods tend to sag over time. Does anyone know of good alternatives (we're willing to scrap the curtain approach if necessary) which are reasonably economical, and where the support rods will not collapse?
I don't know what style you prefer but if you like the 50/60s retro look this
link shows some curtains in updated mcm hotel rooms suspended from hospital curtain tracks. A valance might be in order if you think this looks too institutional.
That same treatment was shown in a house with floor to ceiling windows in this months dwell magazine. Anyway, there is no problem with sagging.
We actually have 4 inch boards which are 1/2 inch thick up all along our windows... which starts just above the sliders. This makes it so you can put up an extra support for your rods. Just remember to paint the boards! This has worked well for us and makes it so you are not so limited in choices for windowcoverings.
We had vertical blinds installed. Some would say OMG - those are for appartments and office buildings, but we like ours -though there are tradoffs-just like every thing in life.
First it is not authentic, as I belive most originally had drapes. But we did not want drapes - they are dust collectors.
Second, on the side when they are open, they take away a small part of your view, as they do a tiny bit on the top. Had I known just how much we would loose (6-8 inches), we might have made a different decision, but I cannot say for sure.
They aid in insulating from the heat, especially in the LR and MBR which get SE exposure.
They are really private, but allow that nice linear view to the yard when you rotate the tines without actually opening them.
When closed, they are good at blocking light. You can watch the HDTV in the LR even before the sun goes down and see the screen just fine.
Some others have used those shades - cannot remember what they are called - that are made of cloth-like material, are completely flat, and fold up vertically to the ceiling and when they do, they are completly hidden from view. You can get them w remote control and I have a neighbor who did this. Hers look great, though they do let some light through.