How to dress small windows

Written by melissa lewis
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How to dress small windows
The right window coverings will make your small windows look bigger. (A shadow of a window cast on a wall in black and white image by David Smith from

Small windows can leave you stumped when it comes to choosing stylish window treatments. Curtains that fit the dimensions of your window exactly may actually emphasise how small they are. Instead of feeling limited by measurements, make some visual magic---dress your windows as if they are more generously-sized. A few rules of thumb will aid you in accentuating the positive and creating the illusion of greater height and width.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Window measurements
  • Drill and screw bit (to mount hardware)

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  1. 1

    Create an illusion of a taller window by mounting the curtain rod higher than you normally would. Install the rod about six inches above the window trim, and choose curtains that incorporate a valance. A valance will cleverly disguise the wall space between the window and curtain rod.

  2. 2

    Select long curtain panels that extend to the floor. Panels that touch the floor---or even puddle---will create the illusion of height.

    How to dress small windows
    Let curtain panels touch the floor. (classic interior image by Paolo Frangiolli from
  3. 3

    Give the illusion of wider windows by choosing extra wide curtain panels. If you have adequate wall space, extend the reach of your curtain rod well beyond the sides of the window, and allow a substantial amount of fabric to cover the wall on each side of the window. Leave panels open just enough to cover the window trim, or use tiebacks to draw the eye outward.

    How to dress small windows
    Tiebacks draw the eye outward. (luxury curtain image by Andrejs Pidjass from
  4. 4

    Create big impact by decorating small windows with detailed hardware. Opt for thicker curtain rods to add substance, and consider adding eye-catching finials and brackets to distract the eye from the size of your windows.

  5. 5

    Choose curtains in light colours. Light-coloured fabric will allow plenty of light through and add to the illusion of a larger window.

    How to dress small windows
    Light-coloured curtains are a good choice for small windows. (window curtains image by Aaron Kohr from

Tips and warnings

  • If your small windows happen to be in a small space, consider simple blinds or Roman shades that match the walls to avoid overwhelming the room with fabric.

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