Narrow windows can be challenging to dress, but with some careful planning and the right techniques, you can make them look stylish and spacious. When hanging curtains on a narrow window, the goal is to make the window appear wider and taller than it actually is. This article provides tips on measuring your narrow windows, choosing the best curtains and hardware, and installing everything to visually expand the window.
Measuring Your Narrow Windows
The first step is accurately measuring your narrow windows. This will allow you to purchase properly sized curtains, rods, and other window treatments.
Follow these tips when measuring narrow windows:
- Measure width from inside edge to inside edge horizontally. Record the narrowest width.
- For curtains, measure the height from the top of the window trim to the floor. This will allow curtains to puddle on the floor for a dramatic effect.
- If installing shades or blinds, measure the height from the top of the trim to the window sill.
- Use a tape measure. For high windows, use a ladder or step stool.
- Write down all window measurements and sizes. This will make shopping easier.
Choosing Curtains for Narrow Windows
When selecting curtains, choose wider and longer sizes than your actual window measurements. This will make the window appear larger.
Consider these curtain options:
- For width, choose curtains at least 1.5-2 times wider than the window. The extra width will add fullness.
- Look for long, floor-length curtains. These can draw the eye down and make windows appear taller.
- Curtains with vertical stripes or patterns also create an elongating effect.
- Sheer curtains let in light but still provide privacy. Layer over opaque curtains.
- Buy wide curtains and gather them at the sides for a tailored look.
- High-quality curtain panels tend to hang better on narrow rods.
Window Treatment Alternatives
If regular curtains will overwhelm a tiny window, consider these attractive alternatives:
- Hang a short valance at the top of the window for texture and color.
- Install roll-down shades or bamboo Roman shades to maintain privacy and light control.
- Apply decorative window film for interest and filtering light.
- Add iron or wooden window grilles over the glass. Grilles add architectural detail.
- Accordion shutters add a breezy, cafe style.
Choosing Curtain Rods and Hardware
The rod and hardware you choose can make a big difference in expanding your window visually.
Consider these types of rods and hardware:
- Extend the rod 6-10 inches past the window edges for a wider look.
- Mount the rod near the ceiling to add the illusion of height.
- Use a minimal rod without ornate detailing to keep it streamlined.
- Try a tension rod adjustable to the window sides. Easy to install.
- Select a simple return rod, attached to the wall around the window.
- Add tiebacks to keep curtains open for a breezy feel.
With the right curtains, rod, and hardware, it’s time to hang everything for a cohesive look:
- Mount the rod evenly using a level. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Let curtains stack naturally or hold them back with ties. Both expand the window.
- For ceiling-height curtains, use clips to raise and lower easily.
- Rearrange furniture to highlight your dressed windows.
- Mix in complementary window accents like shutters or valances.
By accurately measuring your narrow windows, choosing the right curtains and hardware, and installing everything properly, you can make a small window look wider, taller, and full of style. Follow these tips when dressing your narrow windows. The strategic tricks will add light, height, and elegance to any room.
What is the first step when hanging curtains on a narrow window?
The first step is to accurately measure the width and height of your narrow window. Measure from inside edge to inside edge for width. For curtains, measure the height from the top of the window trim to the floor.
What curtain measurement will make a narrow window appear wider?
Choosing curtains that are 1.5-2 times wider than the actual window width will add fullness and make the window appear larger.
What is a good curtain treatment to make a narrow window look taller?
Floor-length curtains that puddle on the ground can draw the eye downwards, making a narrow window appear taller.
What type of curtain pattern helps make a window visually taller?
Curtains with vertical stripes or patterns create an elongating effect on the eye, making the window look taller.
What are some alternatives to regular curtains for narrow windows?
Valances, roll-down shades, window film, window grilles, and accordion shutters are attractive alternatives to regular curtains on small windows.
What curtain rod placement makes a window look wider?
Extending the rod 6-10 inches wider on either side of the window frame gives the illusion of a larger window width.
Where should you mount a curtain rod to make the window look taller?
Mounting the curtain rod near the ceiling draws the eye upward, making a narrow window appear taller.
What type of curtain rod works well for narrow windows?
Minimal, streamlined rods without ornate detailing help keep a narrow window from looking cluttered.
How can you make sure curtains hang properly on a narrow rod?
High-quality curtain panels made of fabrics that drape well will hang best on a narrow rod.
What is a good finishing touch to highlight dressed narrow windows?
Rearranging furniture like the bed, sofa, or side tables to face the window highlights the new window treatments.
How can you still allow natural light into a room when hanging curtains on a narrow window?
To allow natural light into a room with narrow windows, consider using sheer curtain panels, translucent window film, or accordion shutters. These provide privacy while still letting daylight filter into the room.