How to Decorate Small Windows

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Small windows are the bane of many a basement, spare room, attic loft, bathroom or even bedroom. While not leaving you much to work with, small windows still offer a few decorating choices. Remember to keep clutter at a minimum and work to maximize the effects of your small windows.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Window treatment
  • Accessories

Small Window Solutions

  • Clear the space around your windows. To decorate small windows properly, you need to see them and see out of them. Clear away overgrown brush, low-hanging branches or other elements that keep natural light from entering the room. If you still want elements of nature as part of your window decor, consider planting a window box on the outside of your window. If you hang it low and use small but vividly-colored flowers or succulents with interesting textures, you get the beautiful view without casting shadows.

  • Add architectural elements. Add textural interest by adhering a thin strip of raised wood trim to the window frame. If you have an inset ledge around your window, try painting it periwinkle blue to emulate the sky on a sunny day. A warm eggshell with yellow undertones adds a cheerful note, while bright pops of mango orange or fuchsia evoke spectacular sunsets. Another way to add dimension to a small window is to add a narrow floating shelf above the window frame. This makes the window area appear larger and also provides a surface for adding accessories.

  • Try window treatments that trick the eye. Set a thin curtain rod higher than the actual window frame, and use sheers to cascade down past the window and even pool at the floor. The opposite strategy is to use minimalist window coverings so that more light enters the room. Try cafe-style curtains in translucent cotton placed on a tension rod halfway down the window. If you opt for patterned fabric, use vertical lines. Roman shades also make small windows appear taller.

  • Accentuate natural light. Accessorize your small windows with lighting to make the most of what you have. You can suspend paper or silk lanterns from the ceiling, pendant-style, so that they hang near the top edge of the window. Try wall sconces on either side of the window frame to add mood lighting. If you have an inset ledge, line it with tea lights or place some brightly-colored votive candles in glass holders for spots of color. For a festive look, frame a small window with party lights.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your small windows sparkling clean so that you maximize natural light.
  • Avoid placing high pieces of furniture near the window where they will cast shadows.

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