How to Cover Odd-Shaped Windows

You fell in love with the model and purchased your dream home. You painstakingly selected all the paint colors, finishes and flooring. You even purchased shades and drapery for the windows – at least most of them. Unfortunately, you overlooked several oddly-shaped windows during the whirlwind week of design choices.

Now you are left with the dilemma of how to cover these irregular window openings. I have good news for you! It’s much easier than you think. All it takes is a little ingenuity to find the appropriate window treatment for problem windows.

Circular

Circular windows provide a unique design feature, but can pose a problem for homeowners. Round or oval windows are often located in a stairway or flanking the front door. If they are oriented such that you require privacy or light control, your best bet is to consider a sunburst window treatment.

The sunburst is made from sheer fabric shirred or gathered at the center of the treatment. The sunburst opens up as it reaches the outer edge of the window frame – much like a circular fabric fan. To conceal the gathered fabric in the center; cover it with a matching fabric rosette.

Shirred sunburst treatment on round window.
Shirred sunburst treatment on round window. | Source

The sunburst can be integrated into to a custom frame that slips right into the window opening. Or it can attach directly to the inside of the window frame with hook and loop tape.

Window covering stores also offer sunburst shutters made from wood or vinyl. You can also purchase pleated or cellular shades to fit your circular or oval window.

Arched

You'll find arched windows placed above tall, rectangular windows or French doors to add additional architectural interest. Arched windows add drama and light to rooms with high ceilings. Privacy is usually not an issue with these upper windows, but light control can be. If you need to cover an arch, you have several design and budget options from which to choose.

Source

One option is to create a semi-custom look for the arch and window below. Purchase tie-top or loop-top curtain panels (make sure the panels are long enough to reach the floor from the peak of the arch).

Purchase drapery medallions (easy to find online) and mount them above and along the curve of the arched window. Hang the curtains on the medallions. You will need to re-hem the curtains to account for the curvature. Pull them back to either side with decorative curtain tie backs and close them for evening privacy and light control.

Or you can completely ignore the arch if light control is not an issue. Simply install a rod along a sight line that runs between the arch and lower window. Then hang your curtains just as you would over any rectangular window.

Small

Some newer homes feature a row of small windows positioned on the upper part of the wall, near the ceiling. These windows are an interesting architectural accent, allow for more natural light and provide privacy in homes with narrow lots. Here’s how I dealt with this tricky window situation:

Source

The windows did not pose a problem until the summer months. You see, they were on the West facing side of the house -- so every day we were treated to a blast of the afternoon sun and associated heat.

In order to retain the natural light and, at the same time, cut the afternoon heat and harmful UV rays, I opted for custom solar shades. The semi-opaque screening material stretches over a custom size frame that is designed to fit snugly inside each window opening. Contact a local window covering company to get a price quote.

If you don’t want to go to the expense of purchasing custom solar shades, simply use tinted window film to cover your small accent windows.

Angled

Homeowners with pitched ceilings in main living areas or converted attic spaces may have a few problematic angled windows. Coming up with cost effective window coverings for these openings can be difficult.

Custom made shutters or cellular shades may be the answer. Adjustable shutter blades allow for light control and nighttime privacy. Motorized cellular or pleated shades provide ease of operation for tall angled windows without the need for long wands or a tangle of cords.

Angled windows look great, but can pose problems when it comes time to cover them.
Angled windows look great, but can pose problems when it comes time to cover them. | Source

For those of you who prefer soft window treatments, a drapery professional can design a curtain system that follows the top angle of the window. The curtains can draw on a traversing rod or be hung in a stationery manner and tied back at a point below the angle.

Make it easy on yourself by hanging a rod straight across -- using the highest point of the angle as the line for your rod. Measure from that point to the floor to determine your finished curtain length.

See, you don't have to be discouraged by odd-shaped windows. Be creative and have fun covering them!

© 2012 lindacee

More by this Author

  • A Pocket Guide to Mid-Century Modern Style
    15

    Looking for a style change that combines retro glamour and a minimal vibe? Look no further than mid-century modern! You can incorporate touches of classic mid-century modern into virtually every aspect of your home....

  • How to Measure for Curtains
    8

    You’ve made the decision to take down the bedsheets and actually hang curtains on your windows. Congratulations! But, before you head out to buy them, there are a few important things you need to know. If you...

  • Changing the Size of a Room With Paint
    75

    The walls are closing in on you! You can’t afford a major home renovation, or buy a larger home or even rent a bigger apartment. So, what can you do? Grab a paintbrush and a gallon of paint and get busy! Give...


Start a Conversation! 10 comments

Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 3 years ago from Central Texas

Excellent Hub and information -- I can't imagine anyone who's not run into the "odd" window problem. All the years I rented it was my worst nightmare! Fortunately, now that I own my home, the windows are pretty "normal" and easy to work with. Best/Sis


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 3 years ago

Nice tips. I've actually never had this issue. All the places I've ever lived in had regular windows. How boring , right? I find arched and circular windows to be very charming , though. So maybe some day I'll have these odd-shaped windows in my new house. :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Glad you like the tips, Om. I could have written an entire book about covering odd-shaped windows, but I wanted to keep the ideas as simple as possible. Thanks for visiting and commenting. So nice to hear from you!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Yes, Angela, odd-shaped windows are pretty common. Like you, I now have nice rectangular windows, so I don't have to worry. A few years ago I owned a window covering store and we ran across every weird size window imaginable. It was challenging, but fun!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Now those windows would be hard to fit! Very pretty though. A friend had a ship's steering wheel window (can't rem what those are called, lol) and I so loved that!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Jackie, I've heard of porthole windows but not sure about the ship's steering wheel window. Very unusual! Wouldn't want to have to cover that one! ;)


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

Great tips! Luckily the strangest window I have ever faced was a skinny rectangular window built at the top of an eleven foot wall. Luckily it was on the north side of the house, so it didn't require covered. It would have been a shame to have covered it, it was an original 1920s window, with real leaded glass and real wood lattice trim across the glass!

At the moment my biggest window issue is that every single one of the precious few windows in my house are a different size. Even the measurements for the double windows are different between the left and right! crazy architects!

Loved this advice though, and I will pass it along to those I know who own decorative windows!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

I totally agree, Sharkye11, it would have been a crime to have to cover such a special window. Why do architects do that to us? They must take great pleasure in driving us homeowners crazy with their creativity! ;) Thanks for stopping by for a read. Greatly appreciated!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

I love oddly shaped windows! But you're right--sometimes the summer sun and other issues can present problems. I like your creative solutions and think this information is very useful. Voted up and shared!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 2 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thank you vespawoolf! I especially like round and arched windows. I've dealt with my share of weird windows over the years and have always found an attractive way to cover them, if necessary. I could have gone into much greater detail with this Hub. Maybe it's fodder for a future ebook. Hmmmm...

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working