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Bright Ideas For Windows

There are many ways to dress a window so don’t get stuck in a rut.

Windows are often the focal point of the room. Because of this, they need to be dressed accordingly. Window treatments and window detailing can be very effective tools to help create a great space and special touches don’t have to be expensive. Full-length, custom draperies are not always necessary to make windows stand out. Here are just a few fun and decorative ideas for windows.


Curtains, toppers, blinds and shutters can all be used to bring colour, pattern and texture into your décor. There are many ways to dress a window so don’t get stuck in a rut. Look for unusual patterns and fabrics for your window treatments and consider unique ways to hang them.

A plain rod pocket panel can be improved by inserting grommets into the curtain header and hanging the panel from decorative cording. Use an attractive rod with interesting finials (decorative end pieces) to add even more drama. You can make your own finials if the budget is limited, and there are ideas on the Internet on how to do this.

Hanging curtains from pretty fabric ties adds a casual, country flavour. Make the ties from the same fabric as the curtain or use a coordinating fabric or ribbon and sew the ties along the top of the panel. Tie the curtain onto an eye-catching rod for a truly unique look.

Small touches can make all the difference. If you are happy with your current window treatment, but find it a little bland, add decorative touches like tassels, buttons and beads. Add a band of co-ordinating fabric to the top and/or bottom of plain curtains to bring in additional colour. Add decorative appliqués, lace or ribbon to an unadorned panel to add more interest or to help establish a theme. Co-ordinate the look in the rest of the room by adding similar touches to toss cushions or bedding. Try using unusual items to hang your curtains. Instead of threading cording through grommets, you might try using a cloth measuring tape in a sewing room, for example. Use a brightly coloured skipping rope to hang curtains in a little girl’s room.


Fabric pull shades (often made of canvas) can be painted or adorned to add appeal. Use acrylic craft paints to create designs along the border of the shade or an all-over design using a decorative stamp. Add an attractive tassel or pull in place of an ordinary shade pull. Trim the bottom of the shade with decorative trim like beads or lengths of twisted cording that will provide texture, movement and charm.


Real wood shutters that have seen better days can be painted in a fresh new colour to brighten up your space. Imagine dark, dated shutters painted in a creamy white paint. This simple change would certainly help you create a new look in a flash. If you are more adventurous, perhaps you’d consider painting the shutters in two or more colours. Why not paint each louvre in a different colour for a more vibrant look?

If the blinds have pulls on them, replace the pulls with more substantial, eye-catching ones. These could be anything from brass pull knobs to tassels to a loop of braided rope. Or simply drape decorative tassels from the shutter pulls for an instant improvement.


If your windows are decorative and you prefer to keep them uncovered, then consider a topper treatment of dried flowers/twigs, a garland of silk flowers or a simple fabric topper. A wooden shelf over a window can be adorned with plants, collections or pretty plates which will finish the look if you prefer not to have curtains.


The windows themselves might be the problem for some. Insignificant trim makes windows look cheap and unappealing. You can update the character of your windows by installing wider, more substantial moulding and sills. If this is not an option then consider painting the trim in a contrasting colour to help the window stand out. Consider adding mullions (crosspieces dividing up a large pane of glass into smaller panes) for a casual, country flavour. Frost the window itself with an interesting design, or cover it completely for total privacy with a translucent effect.

Windows are an important part of the décor so give them a little thought the next time you’re ready to update your space.

Connie Oliver is an interior designer from Winnipeg, Manitoba



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