- Home Decorating
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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