Dressing small windows and doors can be a challenge when you're decorating. Lacking the proper window treatments, you will call attention to a small window size, making it a focal point without meaning to. That can be a design disaster, particularly in a small room. However, by dressing them using the clever design tricks below, you can add width, height and dramatic flair without the expense of replacing the windows.
For Small, High Windows
Windows that are small and high on the wall are particularly frustrating. These are common in basements, and replacing these small, high windows with larger ones would likely be too costly due to major structural work that would need to be done first. So, how do you make the most of small windows located high on the wall?
Use these tips to trick the eye into looking down, elongating the feel of the window:
1.Add a mirror of the same width below the window. Strategically placed mirrors help reflect light and, if done properly, will blend in with the window at a quick glance.
2.Frame the window and mirror with long, floor-length curtains.
3.Place a piece of furniture under the window and mirror, arranging a lamp, a vase of flowers, a stack of books or some other decorative item on top. This will take the focus off the mirror, helping it blend in with the window.
For Small, Low Windows
You have a few options when it comes to small windows set down low. First, you can use the tricks mentioned above for the high windows. However, instead of placing the mirror below the window, you'll place it above the window. This is your best option if you need to reflect more light if the room is dark.
Having a mirror on top isn't necessary, though. You can create the same illusion of height by hanging long curtain panels 12 to 18 inches above the window and covering the top with a valance to hide the wall. If you don't like the look of valances, place a bamboo blind or decorative shade underneath the curtain panels, pulling it down to the top of the window.
For Small, Narrow Windows
Narrow windows are common in small bathrooms and basement spaces. They rarely provide enough light to be useful, so your first order of business is placing mirrors on either side, if the window is vertically long. Then, simply add long panels on either side of the mirrors to finish the look. Horizontal stripes and other patterns that draw the eye from left to right also make the window appear wider. For narrow windows that are side by side, make them look larger and more cohesive by putting a single window treatment over several windows.
Narrow windows that are arranged horizontally are best left uncovered if you need the light they provide. Otherwise, floor-length drapes with a pattern that draws the eye along the length (such as vertical stripes) can give the illusion of added height.
For Small, Recessed Windows
Windows that aren't flush with the wall pose their own design challenges. While you can use curtains mounted on the outside wall to create the look of a larger window, you may want to use oversized Roman blinds for some variety. Place a piece of furniture under the window, such as a bench or table to complete the look.
You can now get the luxurious look of large windows without the big price tag, no matter whether you're working in a converted basement, an apartment, or a ranch-style house with old, small windows. Remodeling isn't necessary when you have these tricks up your sleeve.