Problems With Curtains in a Small Basement Window

Written by naima manal
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Problems With Curtains in a Small Basement Window
Dress up your basement windows with curtains. (soupirail 1 image by Nathalie P from

Without basement windows, a basement is a dark, enclosed and unwelcoming sublevel space. When a basement is used to expand a house's living space, decorating it and putting curtains over the windows softens its stark basement feeling and makes it more comfortable to use and enjoy. When it comes to installing curtains in a small basement window, some common problems can occur.

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Window Size

Because of the size of standard basement windows, there is not much room for curtain coverage and exposure to the outdoor light at the same time. Curtains can actually obstruct the limited view of a basement window. A way to minimise this effect is to make very slim curtains that, when stretched across the window, completely cover it without any gathers. When these curtains are opened, they will not obstruct the view as much as curtains of a standard window width.

Curtain Length

Determining the length of the curtains for a basement window is a common problem. It isn't always easy to tell how long or how short to make your basement window curtains. When the curtains are for a basement space that functions as a workout room, a playroom or a storage room, make the curtains fit the short length of the window. This way, they will not weigh down the feel of the room with fabrics, and the curtains are of the way of basement activities.

When the basement curtains are for a living area or a bedroom, consider making the curtains longer than the window. For these areas, you want the feel of openness and continuity with the outdoor view, so by making the curtains longer, you give the windows a larger appearance.

Curtain Hem

Standard curtains have a wide bottom hem that, besides its aesthetic design, gives the curtains weight. In fact, some heavy curtains and drapes are outfitted with small weights in their hems.

When it comes to a basement window that is barely 2-feet high, this wide hem becomes a view obstruction. Instead of giving your curtains this kind of hem, make the hem the same width as the folded side edges of the curtains, or serge the sides and bottoms of the curtain with a rollover stitch that folds the fabric as it stitches. It will solve the problem and give a nontraditional curtain a uniform look.

Installing the Rod

After deciding that you want to outfit your basement windows with curtains, the problem then becomes how to install the rod. Many basements have concrete walls, and installing window curtains means drilling into the masonry with a concrete bit and screws, which takes a lot more work than drilling into a wood window frame. An alternative to attaching the curtain rod hardware to the concrete is to use a single window tension rod that, through its tension, fits snugly into the window niche. This, of course, will not work for windows that are flush with the basement wall.

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