Windows have an almost poetic existence to them. They were created to let light in, but it's up to us to decide how much light. And though most windows are completely transparent, we can decide when to shut the drapes, and thus, shut out the world. But with so many shapes and sizes out there, dressing each one is no easy feat. Here's looking at you, circle-top window.
A good set of drapes adds color and warmth to any room, making it feel like home, but where do you hang the rod? And if you go with drapes in the living room, what do you hang on the dining room window? The truth is if you don't know the basics of window treatments, styling your windows can be a huge challenge. And since we had our own share of questions—like, how on earth do you cover a kitchen window?—we reached out to the experts over at Joss & Main for some expert advice.
Unless you currently reside in a highrise with floor-to-ceiling windows, most homes have similar windows in their living rooms. But Keriann Coffey, Style Editor at Joss & Main promises you can get that same "dramatic, high-end look by hanging your curtain hardware as close to the ceiling as you can." She says, "that means ordering longer panels that'll hit the floor from a higher rod. The extra length may cost more, but there's payoff: Longer curtains will make your room seem taller." But the length isn't the only measurement you need to keep in mind, Coffey explains. "Don't forget width! Choose a curtain rod that extends past your window casing by at least several inches, preferably by a foot," she says. "This will make your windows feel larger and let the maximum amount of daylight in."
The rounded shape of this window can make things confusing, but don't overthink it. There's nothing wrong with using a straight curtain rod as you would with any other window. Coffey says, "if you have high ceilings, mount your curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible. And remember: Your panels will still need to kiss the floor." But if you have sloped or lower ceilings, Coffey suggests hanging "your curtain rod where the straight, vertical side of the window meets the curve of the arch."
Bay windows are a stunning focal point any home would be lucky to have, but dressing them can be confusing. The good thing is that you do have options. If you love the look of luxe, cascading drapery, this invention allows you to install a single rod, like you would on a standard window. Its totally customizable design allows you to adjust the width of each section and control the angle of the corners, making it a perfect fit every time.
The second option is to treat each window as its own entity and install Roman shades or shutters and skip drapes altogether. Going with Roman shades in a dark color takes the traditional-style window and makes it feel totally modern.
Kitchen windows can be difficult to dress, considering cabinets are usually placed right up to the sides and the top is positioned really high to the ceiling. Curtains over the sink can get in the way. Instead, Coffey suggests woven wood shades. "They offer a clean, streamlined look while still bringing much-needed warmth and texture to sterile-feeling stainless steel appliances," she explains.
However, an exception to the kitchen window-dressing rule includes the oddly shaped garden window. "Here, go bare and let your greenery take center stage," Coffey says. "An extra-sunny windowsill will help your garden thrive and blend the lines between indoor and outdoor living."
If you're blessed with the luxury of both high ceilings and stacked windows, you may be cursed with the impossible task of dressing them. Instead of hanging a rod all the way to the ceiling, hang one in between the windows. You don't need to create the illusion of height—you already have that. Plus, going all the way to the top means you'll be dressing two stories at once, and that would cost you a fortune.
When it comes to the bedroom, the goal should always be light control. You don't need to keep your room dark at all times, but you'll want the option on weekends when you decide to sleep in. Shutters keep every ounce of light out, but there's no denying they boast a certain traditional style as well.
If you're a fan of natural materials and airy fabrics on your windows, you can still enjoy them without giving up light control. The secret is to layer them. Try the pairing bamboo shades with white curtains for an airy feel.