Monday, March 5, 2012

Thinking About...Window Treatments in Small Bedrooms

A good friend of mine had sent me a few photos over the weekend. She was rearranging some furniture in her guest bedroom. This bedroom is fairly small, but big enough to fit a twin size bed, a dresser, a night stand, and a large full-size mirror that she leaned against a wall.

I thought she arranged the furniture nicely and maximized the space in the room, but I commented that I thought the window (I believe the only window) needed some draperies even though it does already have blinds. She was afraid that draperies would take over the room, and I could understand her feeling. So I did a little research...and really it comes down to personal preference.

A Roman shade continues the neutral color scheme in this room and keeps the decor harmonious.

White sheers warm up this window and a good choice to balance the color and pattern in this room.

Stephen Shubel/House Beautiful, January 2009

Here's the look of a window with just blinds. Perfectly fine in this space with the bold color and the layout choices.

And then Tobi Fairley does white draperies so well in this small space. A large piece of artwork and hanging those draperies high give this small space depth and it really doesn't look so small any more, does it?

So I think it really does come down to preference and the look you want to achieve for the space. What are your thoughts on window treatments in small spaces?


  1. Any one of your inspiration photos would have me sold on the idea! Great examples, Holly, it will interesting to see what she decides.

  2. Sounds like she has a lot of furniture/wood in a small space and soft furnishings will soften the room and warm up the space further. I agree that she should consider drapes. Makes a difference.

  3. I'm loving the last room by Tobi. High hanging drapes always make me swoon! Great inspiration pictures.

  4. I am the "friend." Hi everyone! I am considering both drapes and not doing them. One main reason, I just don't like drapes - my house is craftsman style and I like the rustic feel it has without them (it's an old house that was built in 1904 by workers from the lime quary near my house). It's also very sunny, and I LOVE sunlight. While I know specific rooms don't have to go with the entire house, I just don't know what to do about this particular space - the furniture that is in the room is small-ish (it's a 18" wide tallboy from Pier 1 and two matching night stands and a small twin bed from Ikea) so though space is small, you can easily walk in the room and around the bed and it has a large double closet for additional storage. A picture would probably help to visualize it. The furniture itself is a dark and light rattan type of look - the walls are Sandstone Cove Behr. Woodwork is all white, and so are the 2 1/2" slat wood blinds. The comforter is my childhood quilt my mom had made from all of my t-shirts (it's the only twin covering I had and I wasn't buying something new for a guest room that is never used) so it's just kind of a mix of random things I had to make the room. I am stuck right now but I think it might just be something where I have to actually see something I want (fabric, drapery rod, etc) to get inspired to put something in there. The other thing - the walls are plaster - all original walls in that room, so drilling anything into them is quite the pain in the a$$ and process (ie. no real rhyme or reason to where studs are located in 1904 construction) - I think I would be safer going directly into the window frame (has anyone else dealth with this before in an old home, drilling into plaster with irregular studs?). I'd be curious to know.

  5. I do agree with Holly that this comes down to personal preference. Now, that we know who the "friend" is and more about her situation I can see more of the dilemma. Pictures would be helpful (I feel a series coming on Holly!), but my thoughts remain with the fact that Christina, you love the open look and the installation would be tricky at best. What about a cafe styled curtain? They are super easy to make and utilize a tension rod within the existing window frame. It would create a look that softens the space without putting holes into the plaster and not blocking the window completely. Here's a link to a few options. The 3rd photo is my favorite. Look forward to seeing the finished space!
    Take care,

  6. Oops, forgot the link!

  7. I'm glad Christina chimed in with more detail. And maybe I will follow-up this up with another post and a photo. I've got an iPhone photo that could work. And thanks Lori for your suggestion as well - I didn't even think about a cafe curtain but that's a cute idea and even the cafe curtain with grommets could work and then you wouldn't have to nail a rod into the plaster. We have plaster as well and it is not fun AT ALL. Christina - another look I had in mind (that wouldn't be as fabric heavy) would be using one panel and swagging it to the left or right of the window. I couldn't find a photo quickly as an example of this but that is an option, but that option would definitely require more hammering into plaster.

  8. I like Lori's idea of cafe style curtains to add a bit of softness. Fun to see where this goes!

  9. Wow- I love what Tobi Fairley did in that last room you showed! I love the look of draperies, with or without shades. I even like them in small spaces. I agree with you that hanging the rods and drapery high helps make the space feel bigger. It draws your eye up rather than making you see the small space. It's a great visual trick! I just wish I knew that when I hung our drapery years ago. Most of mine are right above the windows!

  10. Third photo is also my favorite with those shutters! LOVE THEM! Hols, also thought about ONE swagging - right on the same page with you there, I know exactly what you mean. I would leave them open almost all the time (there are actually TWO windows and swag them opposite, almost open, inviting) so I might try and see with the curtains I have burried under the bed (the ones that fell OUT of the plaster walls in the kitchen before...). I might try to go right into the window jamb then hem up the excess (should only be 2-4 inches, no problem).

  11. I also have some Pottery Barn sheer things that were previously in the living room that are tie-ups (they kinda of swag in the middle). They are white and sheer. Maybe that would look good....

  12. Don't make fun of my comforter please :)

  13. I think draperies, panels, etc. soften a space, for sure. My friend just gave me a set of white sheers and I've hung them in the office - had no intentions of putting anything up, mainly because I just hadn't given it any thought. Even just the white sheers make an incredible difference to the look and feel of the space - not sure yet if I'm going to trim the inside edge of each sheer with the fabric from my inspiration board - I'm living with just the simple sheers for now, and so far actually quite liking them as is. I will be posting on my blog, but I'm behaving until I have finished the office for once and for... now ;-)

  14. I'm always a fan of roman shades or drapery panels. These are all beautiful examples of how to do them right!

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