Saturday, August 21, 2010

How to hide ugly windows

The more we've done to improve the outside of our house, I'm noticing more and more our ugly windows. Although I can't help shield the ugliness from our neighbours, I have been able to shield the ugliness inside our house.

Stepping back a bit - some of you suggested I paint the frames of the windows on the outside. You see, it had crossed our minds to do that. However, it's a huge job to paint; it has to be done in oil since they are outdoor & metal, and there is a lot of taping involved, taping off each window pane from the metal. I feel ill thinking of the job. We could hire out, but really, it's a waste of money because I already want to rip these windows out and eventually we will, so any money spent now on a temporary fix is delaying doing the job properly.


Unfortunately, it's obvious from the outside, but there are ways of decorating inside to hide them. Hello Venetian blinds. Relatively inexpensive, and if done properly, they are a saviour. The beauty of these was that when down, they hide completely the windows. But you can let light in by tilting the blinds, and yet you don't have to see the window. When we bought, they were the most economical way to get privacy right away. So, you can see that these blinds have been our choice since day one.


We went with Levolor Blinds from Lowes and have been super happy with them. I'd love to be able to raise them up more in places like the Living Room and the nursery, but unfortunately the windows are so hideous that I don't. We've had some people in to give us some quotes on replacing them - so if anyone has any recommendations on Toronto window suppliers we'd love to know!


Sarah said...

Although a bit more on the pricey side, I exclusively use Marvin windows. Their Integrity line is their more affordable line and offers a wood interior and fibreglass exterior. The quality is top of the line for the cost, they are well made, the service is fantastic, the windows are gorgeous, so all summed up, these windows are a great value in my opinion. Drop me a line at and I'll put you in touch with my rep and get you my discount.

LauraJane said...

We replaced some of our windows while finishing our basement (we replaced them with Vinyl, as they were before... so nothing fancy or anything, however, they are a steal & custom-made!)
Moncada Windows Doors & Siding

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I really enjoy your blog and congratulate you and your husband on the great job you are doing on your house. I have used Pella, Marvin and Loewen and you can't go wrong with any of these brands. We used both Pella and Marvin in our previous house in Leaside (traditional 1930's style Tudor). Both are very good quality, but the Pellas are "insert". They were a fast installation, but you end up with less glass and more trim. The Marvins took longer to install but we loved the larger glass. (It's a long story as to why we ended up using both companies, but Pella couldn't do the size of window we needed in a particular style.) I must admit that I didn't compare the heat loss stats on them - maybe with the larger glass (even with gas in between the glass sheets) the Pellas might have been more energy efficient - but any change from the original windows of an older house will have a huge impact on your heat loss. Sadly, the government's rebate programs for windows is over. We have Loewen windows in our newly built house, and we love them. If you're looking for a good quality long term investment, you should check them out - they actually came in less than the Marvin's when we got quotes, but there are so many variables that it's very hard to compare. These companies are all fairly pricey, but if you are looking to stay in your home for a few years, you will reap the rewards of good quality, beautiful windows.

Anonymous said...

Further to my comment re Pella, Marvin and Loewen I should have added that Marvin and Loewen did not offer installation services, so we had to find other companies to do the installation. (Although they offered us some recommended installers' names.) Pella's pricing included installation. (Things may have changed.) You will have to factor the cost of installation into the decision making as well and also factor in whether you want to deal with two separate companies (manufacturing and installation) or just one.

Lisa said...

Gator Windows and Ridley windows are also good!

jen @ said...

when we moved into our place, nearly every window was original with the house (aka 90 years old!).

we got a lot of quotes, and finally went with this company:

they were the most affordable, did absolutely great work, and we couldn't be happier with them!

Amy said...

We are slowly upgrading our "bargain" house in Bloor West Village and have used two different companies to upgrade windows as they started to fall apart on us.

By far loved the service and quality of Fieldstone Windows and Doors. Their showroom is small and far (somewhere near north Markham) and I wouldn't say necessary to visit if you know what you want.

Hope this helps,

Anonymous said...

Lindsay love the drapes in your family room? (first pic) would you mind sharing where you bought them from?

Ashley @ said...

I love your color palattes throughout your house. Very calm, soothing, and classic.

Design Love said...

I think the blinds are really nice! Look good anywhere.... As for window, I am so in need of them also...but we have to wait! So expensive!!! We have an old house with origional windows and 17 of them!!!


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