How Can I Help You?


Dear Paul,

This is a picture of a dormer that needs help…it’s in our upstairs hallway.  Any suggestions?



Richmond, VA


Dear Ada,

Dormer windows are definitely a challenge!  People are always confused as to what to do with the space.  They want it to have some sort of function, but they feel constrained by the dimensions of the space.

This doesn’t look like an area that necessarily needs privacy, so what I would recommend is this:

A roman shade on the window would really “finish” the area in terms of completeness…It could even be a non-functioning roman shade…The idea is to dress up the space.  Personally, I would go with something gauzy or mesh-like (and not lined) that would still allow light to come through, but would give that area a more polished look.

Now for the function…People always consider seating or a window seat of some sort in these spaces which makes no sense to me.  Who wants to sit back there?!  I say make your furniture and your space work for you.  Therefore, I would recommend going with something like West Elm’s Newkirk Media Tower:

I don’t know the measurements of the window, but I’d be willing to guess that it isn’t smaller than the width of this particular piece.  This shelf is 20″ x 20″ x 54″h, and I’d recommend ordering it in the white to play off of the wall color…

This is a perfect way to make use of the space by adding shelves for function, yet display for interest…Books or accessories could be used and you’d still be allowing light to come through…and don’t worry about the fact that the shelf is going to overlap with the window…layering of spaces is always good…not everything has to be “within the lines or box.”

Willing to push the envelope alittle further?  Consider painting those doors in black…Would really add architectural interest to the space!

I hope this helps!


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