Single Window Treatment Ideas

plate border of window

Here's how to give a lone window its due with smart window treatments.

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Delicious Treatment


This detailed valance is trimmed in plaid with an overlay of silk tassels that echo the fabric's red, ivory, and green hues. Because the windows in this kitchen are high, an elegant treatment remains safe from water splashes at the sink.

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Size Wise

shear star curtain

The first thing to consider in dressing a single window is size: Give the window a look that makes it feel proportional to the room. This single sheer panel fits the window perfectly and can be drawn back to let in light and air.

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Arched with Elegance

yellow bathroom with floral valance

The best thing about a narrow window is that dressing it in fabric can be less expensive. But don't skimp on style. An attractive arch, modified shirring, and a border treatment of tiny pleats gives this valance a look that is as important as a set of full-scale draperies.

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Banded in Red

COL SOL 2002 Blue Bedroom With White Carpet

In this room, the single window on the right mimics the look of the larger windows to the left. Plain white fabric panels were splashed with bands of red, instantly coordinating them into the color scheme of the room.

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Cornice Topped

Dining room with orange walls and lantern light fixture

When should you use a cornice treatment? Whenever you'd like to conceal utilitarian window hardware or the awkward spacing of a window frame. In this room the cornices unite the windows with identical looks.

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Simply Stylish

Living room with white rollup fabric shades

Simple linen or cotton panels can be hung from narrow boards. Make them with Roman shade tapes, or simply roll them up from the bottom (around a narrow dowel if needed) and secure the rolls with fabric or ribbon ties.

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An Eye Toward Scale

orange and yellow plaid fabric shade in kids room

When you find coordinating fabric collections it's lots of fun to find ways to use the various styles. The mini-checked cotton covers a fabric shade (from a kit), while the larger-scaled plaid sheer was turned into a unique and oh-so-simple valance.

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Ballooning Plaids

Gold and brown silk balloon shade

Top a small window with poofs of fabric to immediately soften the window's angular shape with color and pattern.

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Ahoy for Nautical Themes

Nautical Blue and white striped valance

One window is a great place to reinforce a room's style, color, or theme. In this bathroom the nautical theme gets a lift from the crisp blue-and-white-striped valance decorated with jaunty rope swags.

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Pair the Treatments

Living room with floral drapes

Add flexibility to a window by pairing two treatments. Inexpensive bamboo blinds are matched here with colorful floral fabric panels hung from vintage doorknobs.

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Create Elegance with Length

Blue and white bedroom with draperies and ribbon trim

A single window can be dressed to the nines with elegance. After all, the fabric needed may be minimal compared to the cost of dressing a wall of windows. Choose something to make an elegant statement. Silk panels, goblet pleats, and edge banding accomplish the look here.

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Add Emphasis

red curtains with purple striped couch

For a window set above a deep cabinet, full curtains in a bold print will make the window more noticeable. Just be sure the curtains are the right length; they should not touch the top of the cabinet -- but look like they do.

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Extend the Edges

plaid and flower curtains

If a single window looks too small for the room, or you just want to give it added importance, specify draperies that are wider than the window frame. To extend the illusion even further, add sheers under drapes.

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Privacy, Please!

small bathroom with wood panel covers over window

In rooms where privacy is an issue, be sure to choose a window treatment - or treatments - that deliver. In this bathroom, where a single window needs to bring in sunlight and protect privacy, two treatments (a soft shade and solid shutters) team up.

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Don't Overdo It

two stools

Some single windows truly provide a much-needed view to the world beyond. That's when you should resist the urge to do more than simply enhance the view with a treatment. This kitchen window features a tailored Roman shade banded in a pattern that's repeated on the bar stool seats.

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Budget Custom Look

green and white bows

Customize an off-the-shelf window blind with your own coordinating fabric or ribbon ties. These work best with stationary treatments that do not need to be raised and lowered on a daily basis.

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Singles in Multiple


Think about all of a room's windows when choosing a treatment. When single windows are the same size throughout the room, using the same treatment creates continuity. Or consider sharing an element (the same shades or valances) to tie together windows on separate walls.

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Plate Border

plate border of window

Plates can create a lot of color and interest around a window. These blue-and-white plates act like a window valance in a room that needs no other window treatment.

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