A cat sitting in front of a window

Making your rooms work around windows

June 20, 2017

Windows are an important main element of a room, and along with good lighting, they bring a layout together. They are where you complement wall colour and décor, or if you’re renting and unable to change the paint or flooring, they make an otherwise humdrum foundation stand out. No matter what size or shape your windows you can use them as a means of setting your style.

A cat sitting in front of a window

The importance of window dressing

One of the reasons that great hotel rooms make you feel so comfortable is because of the way the room works around the windows; how the outside noise and exterior lighting is filtered considerably affects a room’s success. Without attractive shutters or drapes, or because of how the furniture is arranged near the windows, a wrong layout can result in poor sleep, difficulty seeing or hearing a television or mobile device screen, being too cold or warm, or lack privacy. Consider these factors when designing your home décor.

Encase or enlarge your window space

The first step is figuring out how to work with the furniture and accent pieces that you have, and how they’ll fit in relation to the size and placement of the windows. You can make a window a statement piece in and of itself, by either working with the size constraints or by trying to make it look bigger. Options include pairing thicker panels with sheers, or doubling sheers, and either hanging both pairs on the same rod or increasing depth by using separate poles. Cafe curtains work well on smaller or half windows, while full-length curtains can be hung a few inches above the window top to make the room and space grander. You can also use ribbons, tassels, artificial flowers, or other decorative ornaments to tie back panels for a more expansive look or use solid or patterned Roman blinds, by themselves, or with curtains, for a distinct window dressing.

A perfect frame with shutters

A unique idea for any room is plantation shutters, which bring the ambiance of those outdoor window treatments indoors. Available in wood, vinyl, and composite wood options, they’re ideal for any window, especially odd or unusually shaped ones. There are full height and cafe screens with a range of louver sizes, as well as solid screens, which create a sharp dimension to a room on their own, or in conjunction with drapes or scarves. If you want to have more flexibility with the amount of light or view you let in, consider tier on tier shutters that can be folded part-way, or shutters with a divider rail, which creates a centre or bi-fold open and close.

A vase with flowers in front of a window

Corner cosiness

Corner windows tend to inspire that curl up kind of feeling, so play off of the nook sentiment, and make the space all about cosiness. L-shaped furniture is perfect, along with ottomans, poufs, chairs, and settees. Think throws and pillows, as well as a place to put up your feet and enjoy music, reading, and your favourite drink. If furniture can’t be incorporated, such as with a window off of the staircase, make the space pop with bold lighting, distinctive plants, or an eye-catching statue.

Floor-to-ceiling splendour

For floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s all about the scenery, and you should take definite advantage of that. Regardless of shutters, blinds, drapes, or a combination of treatments on all of the panes or only some of them, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Furniture lines should be clean and soft, amplifying a Zen-like, tranquil sentiment, rather than very sharp, angular silhouettes that may distract from the views. If full-length glass panes are in the bedroom, place the bed so that you face the window instead of sleeping against it. Try to keep furniture and décor off centre, or if too large to do so, as far back from the glass as possible, to best appreciate the natural backdrop. You can also create a smooth flowing divide with shelving or art strategically placed between glass panes.

Create the right design for you

However, you choose to augment your windows, use it as an opportunity to reflect your personality. Whether it’s simply candles on the windowpane, vintage fabrics that hug the frames, or a comfy sitting area to admire the setting, let each room speak for who you are.

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