Roman shades, sheer curtains, blackout drapes, faux wood blinds, or nothing at all? How do you decide what will work best on your windows? Being quite indecisive about such things, it took me months to finally hang a few curtains in our home. I’m happy with what I chose and glad I took the time to wait it out until I could select what I thought were perfect window dressings (also known as window treatments in the interior design world).
Window treatments can make and change a room. They can cozy and soften things up, block out too much sunlight, and add color and style to a space. I think it’s essential to take your time when choosing how to dress up your farmhouse windows. Below, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite ways to pretty up the windows.
Hanging Curtains (or Drapes)
There are a lot of different styles of drapes; for our purposes here, we are going to classify them into two categories: decorative and privacy. Decorative drapes are meant to remain open. Their purpose is not to provide privacy but to frame and decorate a window. These are sometimes hung in unison with blinds or even a pretty straw shade (both of which can and will provide the actual privacy, if that’s what you’re looking for.) Privacy drapes are made from a thicker material and sometimes can include blackout material (you’ll tend to find these in bedrooms rather than the living spaces).
Although we’re all prone to hang a curtain rod right above the top of the window, this is a big no-no in the design world. This usually happens with the paltry 84″ curtains since they are simply not long enough to reach and drape the floor (as drapes/curtains are actually supposed to do!) Always opt for curtains that you can hang from high above the window frame, allowing them to drape along the floor slightly. Take a pass on the 84″ers in favor of curtains that run between 96″-108″ depending on your windows and the height of your ceiling. Place the rod at a height high above the top of the window frame while still allowing the curtains to puddle a little bit on the floor beneath. This will instantly give the room a feeling of height and lift, naturally making it appear larger (and yet cozier at the same time).
Oh, the sweet farmhouse look of wood plantation shutters. Not only do they add privacy to your space, but they are also easy to clean and maintain. Plantation shutters come in various colors and styles, but I’m partial to white and plain wood. You’ll likely have to get these customized to the frames of your windows, and they do take a bit more skill to install.
Roman blinds are also an excellent option for adding privacy and style to your farmhouse. These, too, will likely need to be customized. Again, there is an assortment of options to choose from both in design and fabric. Choose the flat, tailored style in a neutral tone if you’re going for a modern look. For more farmhousy charm, opt for the teardrop or looped look.
Architectural Pieces as Window Treatments
For a less traditional window covering, consider hanging a unique architectural piece above or in front of your window. These can block some light and offer privacy, but they’re essentially meant to be statement pieces. They add something a little more exciting outside of the traditional window treatment. I love playing around with alternative window treatments, and the options are endless!
Some architectural examples you might want to consider-
- Old Farm Window – I have many old single-paned windows purchased at garage sales and old farm sales. I have hung old barn windows in place of the less attractive (but more energy-efficient) windows we have now. It seems a little funky, but it’s a cool look and adds architectural interest.
- Stained Glass – Hang a framed stained glass piece from the top of your window. It amazingly offers some privacy but is much more beautiful than a plain curtain and lets in lovely light. While it would be wonderful to have a whole stained glass window, this is a charming alternative and looks fantastic!
- Paperbag Stars – This is a very inexpensive and fun little project. Paperbag stars hung from the top of windows have a cool Scandinavian appeal that I love! These paper bag stars are more of a holiday thing, but I leave some of mine up year-round. Honestly, unless you get up close to them, you can’t tell what they’re made of. Wood? Fabric? Nope! Paper Bags! There are umpteen different tutorials online for making them—just Google “DIY Paperbag stars.”
Got any great tips for dressing up farmhouse windows!? Please share them in the comments below!