Design Dilemma #6: How Do I Deal With My Tricky Windows?

You may dream of living in a property with beautiful windows that flood your home with light but the reality could be a little different. Do you have windows that are too small or too narrow for a space? Perhaps they’re a bit wonky, mismatched or positioned in an awkward corner. Whatever the challenge, the Stitched team is here to help. Here are 5 tips for dealing with tricky windows.

Too small?

The answer is to trick the eye into thinking the window is larger than it is. An effective way of doing this is to paint the window frame the same colour as the surrounding wall so the boundary between the two is blurred. It then becomes less clear where the wall ends and the window starts. This is also a great way of drawing attention to the view out of the window. When a window is painted in a contrasting colour to the wall around it, our eye tends to stop at the window itself; when there’s no change in colour, we look past the window to whatever lies beyond.

Curtains or blinds should be positioned so that they don’t obscure a small window when pulled back. Ensure tracks or poles are sufficiently long so that curtains have sufficient space to ‘stack back’ away from the window. Similarly, mount blinds outside the reveal of a small window and high enough that the blind clears the window when open.

Too narrow?

A narrow window may have attractive, delicate features so it’s important not to drown it in fabric. Roller or Roman blinds are best mounted within the frame so as not to obscure it. A single curtain, held back so it drapes diagonally across the window can also be very effective.

If you have a narrow window that doesn’t have features you want to draw attention, choose a beautiful fabric to draw the eye to the curtains instead. As with a small window, choose a long pole or track so a pair of curtains stack back away from the window. Not only will this maximise light into a room but it will balance the proportions of the window, making it look wider than it is.

Too cramped?

For two windows set close together on one wall with little space between them, a track or pole mounted across both windows with one curtain at each end is the answer. This is also a great way of unifying mismatched windows, making them look part of a considered decorative scheme.

When a single window is near a corner so there is little or no space on one side, use a blind or a single curtain on the roomier side. Or a combination of the two!


A feature of many loft conversions or top floors, dormer windows project from a sloping roof and have vertical front and sides. They can be tricky to deal with as the space around them is often limited. One option is to hang curtains on one or a pair of hinged rods which can be swung open to rest against the dormer wall during the day. Alternatively, a track or pole can be mounted outside and above the dormer recess and the curtains (which need to be relatively lightweight) can be held back against the wall with a decorative rod positioned below the window sill.

Too close to a door?

Perhaps you have a window close to a glazed door. One solution is to mount your track or pole across the top of both with a full-length curtain at each end and a third, full-length curtain in between the window and door. A single track or pole gives a greater sense of continuity than two separate fixings.

Staying with a single track or pole, a second option is a pair of ‘dress curtains’ either end (i.e. curtains that don’t pull closed) combined with separate Roman or roller blinds mounted above the door and window. This solution provides the perfect opportunity to mix colours and textures in your fabric choice for added drama and impact.

Need more help?

If the above doesn’t address your specific tricky window dilemma, get in touch with our team today. We’re up for any challenge and will help guide you to the perfect solution….

Get in touch