The fuel shortage has brought back the covered window. Covering picture windows, no matter how reluctantly or how great the view, is one of the simpler answers to heat control.

One of the answers to large glass expanses that is consistently overlooked is sliding panels. Panels that slide across a large glass area are relatively easy to install. Hardware fittings are available that adapt to the standard traverse track. These are sliding bands, rather than the standard sliding rings, with grippers or clips attached. Inconspicuous-looking wands are attached to each band to operate the sliding panels. They are available in different lengths and can be ordered to fit your window, dividing it into panels that bypass one another, much as a sliding-glass window wall functions. The clips hold the fabric taut at the top. A similar narrow band, without clamps, can be threaded through the hem to keep the fabric panel straight at the bottom.

A bedroom I designed was dominated by an entire wall of glass, perfect for the wonderful view of the garden outdoors, but very unsuitable to the northern climate. With the heating system set at a 67-degree maximum, the room was virtually uninhabitable by nightfall.

I decided on sliding panels because cost was a prime factor and I wanted to keep the fabric to a minimum of yards. Since this was the home of a young couple with tiny children, a washable fabric was necessary. Laundering the panels is simple. They are simply unclipped, laundered and pressed flat, then rehung.

I chose a sturdy cotton stripe, cotton-fast and washable, enough to make two panels of this cheerful pattern. Three additional yards of a coordinated solid color made the third panel. All together then, I bought nine yards of fabric for the windows, plus an additional yard or two for pillow covers for the bed.

The panel tracks I purchased were sized to cover the entire wall in three sections. On a triple track, this meant that two of the panels could be neatly stacked when a view was desired, behind the third panel in front of the fixed glass-door panel.

A flick of the wand converts this cold north room into a warm, cozy paradise.