So many windows look out on a terrible view -- on your neighbor's windows, a nearby street or something as unattractive as air-conditioning equipment.
They each require different window coverings, depending on their characteristics and on your own needs.
Take the windows looking out on your neighbor. These require privacy, and that means a window covering, such as a drapery, Venetian blinds or shutters, that your neighbor can't see through. The same type of opaque window covering would be required if the window opened onto a busy street, with cars and passersby.
But let's take the windows that face nothing requiring privacy or light control. You want something to diffuse the view, while still allowing light or air to penetrate.
I faced this very situation in a living room, a room with elegant proportions, a high ceiling and beautiful wood floors. Its only drawback, as a matter of fact, was that the two tall windows faced nothing more exciting than a nearby brick wall. Even neighbors would have been better.
To disguise the view, without losing the elegance of the room or any of the light that managed to trickle through the windows, I used window screens made in a square timber trellis design. This grid pattern, about three-inches square, and wide enough to allow light through, yet close enough to disguise the brick wall, can be made, if you're very handy, by using 1-inch-by-1-inch square timber. These can be fit into a frame wide enough to hinge the panels, much as you would a shutter, in order to open and close -- and wash -- the windows.
The same square timber can be adapted to a diagonal trellis design. Or, wood louvers may be formed into a diagonal pattern in panels that hinge or slide in tracks mounted on the ceiling, or at the top of a window frame.
In the living room I designed, we had the trellis panels made by a carpenter (the easiest way) and set into the deep window reveals on a narrow wood frame. The panels went to the floor, adding stately height to the space. wI painted the trellis white, a grand contrast to the deep rusty-rose of the walls. White linen upholstery on the furniture and many soft pillows, also covered in white, made a dramatic contrast to the rosy walls.
The natural wood floors were sanded and whitened, to lighten the look of the room, while a cowhide in pale tan and white provided a focus on the floor for the chrome and glass coffee table.
A delicate French open armchair, covered in velours in the same rosy color as the walls, and two ficus trees in rosy terracotta pots, one in front of each window, combine with the grid panels. The result is a fresh garden look inside.