Helpful Hints About Large Window Treatments


For many home decorators, especially do-it-yourself folks, large window treatments present somewhat of a dilemma.

After all, a large window is often a focal point in a room even when window coverings with a subtle design and/or color are used to help downplay the large area of glass. Also, a large window can make people feel as though they live in a fishbowl.

It can be a challenge to get the right combination that provides the desired level of privacy while allowing natural light to enter the room and in a style that fits right in with the overall look and feel you want for the room.

Determining how much privacy you want is the best place to start. For example, if your window offers a scenic view, you will probably want to make the most of that. However, if your window faces a street or sidewalk where the people passing by can see in, you might want to use something that limits how much they can see.

Large window treatments such as sheer panels or lace curtains let light into the room, but make it harder for people to see in. This type of window treatment can cover the entire window or just the bottom half when you mount a curtain rod across the center.

Another way to gain privacy is by using top-down bottom-up window blinds and position it so that the lower part of the window is covered. Using window shutters on the lower part can also provide privacy while letting light come through the top part of the window.

Window Tinting / Window Film
Since we are discussing large window treatments, we should also mention that some large windows, depending on which direction they face, might benefit from the type of residential window tinting or window film that can reduce heat and glare. This also helps to prevent upholstery and furniture from fading, which can be caused by direct exposure to sunlight.

There is also decorative window film. It is available in a wide variety of designs and colors. There are decorative borders and corner accents as well as etched glass window film. Some types of window film offer increased privacy in addition to a stylish look.

Curtains or Drapes?

As we have mentioned elsewhere, some people think of curtains and drapes as the same thing. Other people think of curtains as usually being more informal and that drapes are made from heavier fabric and have more of a formal look. No matter what you pick for your large window treatments, go with something that fits in with the overall decorating style of your room.

Great places to get ideas:
      * Other articles on this site
      * Home decorating magazines
      * TV shows about decorating or home makeovers

Keep It Simple
Large window treatments often look best when things are kept simple. Something that is elaborate or ornate can be overwhelming when it covers a large area. The same goes for bold designs and wild colors. You’ll probably want to end up with an overall window treatment that does not overpower the other décor elements of the room. My aunt, who taught me a lot about home decorating, used to say, “AnnaRae, remember to KISS… Keep It Simple, Sweetie!”

It should come as no surprise that large window treatments might take a sizeable chunk out of your home decorating budget. For one thing, they might need to be custom-made since the selection of ready-to-go window coverings for large windows is sometimes limited.

Valance / Cornice Box
A window valance or cornice box can add another dimension to the overall window treatment. They can be formal or informal depending on the look and feel of the finished product. The different types of window valances include balloon, swag, scarf, ascot, and Italian.

A cornice box is sometimes called the contemporary version of a valance. It can be made the same width of your window, or maybe slighter wider, and covered in a fabric of your choice to match or complement the other large window treatments and/or rest of the décor in the room. A valance or cornice box will add a decorative touch without getting in the way of the view.

Open or Closed
Another important aspect to consider is whether the large window treatments will be left open or closed at night. Also, will the curtains or drapes hang free or will they be tied back? Are you using blinds or sheer panels in addition to other window coverings? If so, are they mounted in such a way as to not interfere with one another?

Sitting Area
The space in front of a large window is often ideal for a sitting area. It can be a freestanding window bench or a couple of chairs and a small table. You’ll be able to enjoy the view while you visit, sip tea, or use the natural light for reading. I have a window bench in front of my large window. It has a storage compartment under the bench where I keep my knitting supplies.

Strong Hardware
One of the best tips about large window treatments is to use good strong hardware and heavy-duty curtain rods. Whether you use curtains, drapes, or sheer panels, you certainly don’t want them to sag in the middle. Even lightweight materials can put a strain on a rod when a wide area is being spanned.

Window Frame
Before wrapping up this article about large window treatments, we want to add a few words about the window itself. Depending on your view and the window frame and the sill, you might want to consider using window coverings that allow the frame to be seen at least part of the time, especially if the frame and/or sill is a wood trim or another nice look.