We are agreed that the cheap blinds we have up in our living room now are inadequate and style-less, but there is no obvious solution. Originally, there were big wooden shutters but those are heavy and now covered in a century of paint over paint over paint. It's made more difficult because the windows are floor to ceiling so whatever we do has to be very large. Plus, we want them open for light but closed for the passing public. What to do?
Here are some ideas I found on the web.
I don't care for the dark exposed wood window mouldings, but I like that they have recessed the curtains into the inside of the mouldings where the folded shutters would have hid.
This is a fairly simple solution - I like it - but it might obstruct the space for artwork between the windows.
Valances like these below are out of the question for me. Just too fussy looking.
Or we could just do this in our living room: