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Solutions for Dressing a Basement Window

Updated on December 9, 2013

Basement windows can sometimes be difficult to dress properly, since they are high on the wall and squatty in size and shape. It's also necessary to maximize the amount of light that can enter the basement through the windows, since light is often at a premium in basement environments. It can be tempting to simply add window treatments to the sides of the windows, to allow plenty of light to enter the basement. However, if you have finished rooms in the basement, the sun can come into these windows during certain times of the day, especially at sunrise and sunset, creating a blinding glare. It is just as important to provide versatile light control for basement windows as it is to create a pleasing visual effect.

Light Control Methods for Basement Windows

One of the challenges of dressing a basement window is the fact that the window casement is cement block, making it difficult to hang curtain hardware. If you want to provide some light control to your basement windows, try using a tension curtain rod inside the window casement, and hang curtains that can be pulled closed on this rod. When using this method, it is important to use light colors for the curtain fabric, because even when the curtains are opened they are going to be contained within the window casing, blocking some of the window space. If you want to provide the ability to totally block the sunlight during some of the day, while allowing full light during others, installing a roller blind at the top of the window can be a great solution. You can either use screws and anchors designed to be used in concrete block, or create a wooden frame that can be fitted inside the window casement that you can use to attach window treatments such as blinds.

Creating the Illusion of Larger Windows

Another decorating challenge when working with basement window treatments is their short and wide shape. If you want to create the illusion of full length windows, try using a set of indoor window shutters that when closed, are the same width as the basement window. Install the set of window shutters directly underneath the basement window, including a bottom windowsill. Then, frame the window and the shutters together with wood trim to give the illusion of a large double-hung window that has the lower shutters closed. The actual ledge of the basement window will form a small shelf over top of the shutters, creating a great display area for small decorating accents. Paint the wood trim to match the inside of the window casing to complete the visual effect. You could also add shutters to the sides of the window itself which could be opened or closed to control the light and privacy in the basement if desired. Then, use curtains the same length as the combined window and shutter height to pull the look together. Using this method, your short basement windows will look more like regular windows.

Also remember to increase the style personality of your basement living space by adding wall art to accent your design motif. For example, outdoor metal wall d├ęcor is a great addition to garden or nature inspired designs, while sea turtles metal wall hangings could complement a beach or tropical theme.

This article is written by Maria Harris, who writes for .


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