Window Treatments for Extra Wide Windows

An extra wide window can present a decorating challenge. No right or wrong way to treat a large window exists as long as it complements the style and decor of the room. With some planning and creativity you can design a window treatment that looks good and serves the function you need, whether it is privacy, blocking out afternoon sun or just a bit of dressing up.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds have individual slats of fabric, wood, plastic or metal that can be rotated from an open to closed position with a turning rod. The blinds can also be drawn back to reveal the window. Vertical blinds are often used on sliding glass doors. A coordinating valance or cornice can be installed to conceal the hardware at the top of the blinds.

Bamboo Shades

Bamboo shades are not just for outdoors. They are an inexpensive way to cover a large window, keep the sun out and provide privacy. Natural bamboo is a renewable wood and is available in a variety of shades, from a lighter, blond wood tone to darker stains that will complement nearly every decor. They fit well with the minimalist style of decorating as well as more traditional styles. You can find them at home improvement stores in widths up to 10 feet. Use two blinds side by side for larger windows.


Fabric panels are one of the easiest do-it-yourself window treatments because they are simply lengths of fabric shirred on a rod through a pocket casing or tabs sewn at the top of the panel. Panels are readily available in home improvement, department and discount stores, or you can make them yourself. Choose a decorative curtain rod with finials on each end to create a finished look. Panels are available in voile, lace and other sheer fabrics as well as heavier materials like velvet and cotton or polyester blends.

Window Scarf

A window scarf is a type of valance hung along the top edge of the window, which is usually made of a lightweight fabric that is easy to drape and will not bunch or crinkle. A wide length of fabric is fan folded and inserted through sconces at each end of the window or draped loosely around a curtain rod. The ends of the scarf hang down the outside edges of the window in loose folds.

Paired Treatments

Often, designers and home decorators will pair two types of window treatments on an extra wide window. Bamboo blinds may be used for light control and privacy while panels are hung on the edges to soften the edges of the bamboo. A window scarf can also be used with bamboo blinds and also pairs well with panels. More traditional window treatments may pair panels with a cornice or a shirred valance.

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About the Author

Julie McMurchie has been writing family-related articles since 1990. Her work has appeared in "The Pony Express" and "California Kids Magazine." She studied composition and creative writing at Riverside Community College.