6 Window Dressing Tricks from a Design Pro

Mirage Floors/FlickrWhen making desserts, if you make a mistake and it doesn’t look so great, you can throw on some whipped cream for a little tasty coverup. I always think of fabric as much the same concept. If something in your space is unattractive, out of balance or just old and beat up, a little fabric may be the answer for a quick makeover. One of the trickier items to deal with in a room is when and how to dress a window. It gets even trickier if the window is off center, too high or too low. Let’s break it down.

Trick #1: Hang Floor Length Panels to Make Low Ceilings Seem Higher

In smaller homes, such as ranch houses, one often deals with low ceilings and wide picture windows. This gives the effect of an overly squat space that can feel a little like it’s falling down on your head. The trick to making a low space feel more spacious is to draw the eye upwards with vertical lines. One of the easiest tricks in the book is to hang floor-length panels (never window sill length!) from ceiling to floor on either side of the window.  If it’s a super wide window, you might also add a third or fourth panel in the middle.  

Trick #2: Hang Your Drapery on Slim Rods

Drapery panels hung on slim rods create a strong vertical line that will make the room feel taller than it is.  DIY Resource: https://www.networx.com/article/6-window-dressing-tricks-from-a-design-p

Trick #3: Make the Top of the Window Look Like Higher By Hanging Curtains Lower

If the space between the top of the window and the crown molding/ceiling is very over 10 inches, you may wish to hang the curtains a little lower. You might also mount bamboo shades just below the curtain rod. This also creates the illusion that the window is taller than it is, as well. Anything that makes one feel that elements are high up in a room will create a feeling of roominess. 

Trick #4: Make a Window Look Wider by Hanging Drapery Panels to the Side of the Window

Another great trick with window treatments is to hang drapery panels as wide as possible to the sides of the windows. Tall narrow windows may look like slices out of a wall. By simply hanging drapery panels starting at the inside edge of the window to about 8-12” to the side, the entire window will feel bigger and more expansive. You also won’t be covering up the sunlight or any heating elements that are underneath the window with this method either.  DIY Resource: http://www.hometalk.com

Trick #5: Hang a Single Rod Over Two Small Windows to Balance Their Size

A big trick in decorating is to make sure that different elements in a space have a relationship to one another. This is why decorators will always hang artwork slightly low over a sofa -- it creates a relationship that makes the whole vignette visually cohesive. This is the same with dressed windows. A sofa placed in front of two small windows may feel out of balance because the sofa will feel quite large and the windows quite small. If the windows are fairly close set, you might try hanging a single rod overtop both windows and use one set of wide drapery panels hung on either side of both windows, creating the feeling of one larger window as opposed to two small ones.

Trick #6: Hang a Mirror or a Piece of Art Between Two Windows

Hang a decorative object, like a small mirror or wall art, between the two windows and you will suddenly get a much bigger more important looking space.   

Just because your windows start out small or off-kilter, it doesn’t mean they have to end up that way. Careful placement of curtains and shades will go a long way to creating balance and sense of airiness in any space.

Linda Merrill is a Hometalk.com writer.  Read more articles like this one or get help with your home projects on Hometalk.com.

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