Fitting Odd-Shaped Windows

Fitting Odd-Shaped Windows Wallauers

There’s the perfect solution for every type of window shape imaginable.  

By Diane Franklin

Not all windows are created equal. There are angled windows, arched windows, semicircular windows, bay windows, corner windows, tall windows, high windows, skinny windows—and let’s not forget about the glass on patio doors and French doors as well. Fortunately, you can cover all of these shapes with window coverings that are both fashionable and functional.

Arches, Semicircles and Angles

Some of the best choices for these geometrical shapes are pleated shades, cellular shades and interior shutters. For arched windows use a pleated or cellular shade to create a fan or sunburst effect. You can achieve this same type of sunburst effect with plantation shutters. If you have a standard-shaped window below the arch, achieve cohesion by using a window covering in the same style and color. Mixing a starburst cellular shade on the arched window with interior shutters or mini-blinds on the window below, for instance, may be jarring to the eye.

If you have a window with a semicircular top, custom fabricators will be able to make a treatment that fits the shape perfectly. The same is true for angled windows. However, you need to be sure that measuring is done precisely. It is best to have your local paint and decorating store do the measuring, as they are experts. Also, remember that if you measure for yourself, the manufacturer will not be responsible if the product does not fit.

Angled windows add a unique visual element to a room, and if you pick an appropriate shade or blind to cover it, you can accentuate the appeal. Often, an angled window will follow the contour of a vaulted ceiling. Or sometimes they are angled because they are in an attic, loft or other unusual space.

Pleated, shades, cellular shades and interior shutters work very well on angled windows, just as they do on arched-top and semicircular top windows. Other visually arresting choices for angled windows include woven wood shades, Roman shades, sheer horizontal shades and horizontal blinds (metal, wood or faux wood). Again, leave the measuring to the experts to ensure an accurate fit.

Tall, High and Skinny

Tall windows can be made to look dramatic with floor-to-ceiling draperies. You can close them for complete light and privacy control, or open them up to let in the view and the sunshine. Use a valance treatment at the top to create a decorative embellishment. Other window treatments that work well on these windows are Roman shades, roller shades and top-down/bottom-up cellular shades. For tall or high windows, you may want to consider motorized shades so you don’t have to worry about reaching the cord.

Treating a high window often can be done with a valance-type of treatment, such as a balloon shade. This is especially effective if the high window is stacked above a more traditionally shaped window. If you have high windows in a two-story foyer or in a finished basement, you may wish to opt for a solar shade to control the heat and the light.

Some of the best window covering choices for skinny windows include half-inch horizontal blinds (metal, wood or faux wood) or 3/8-inch pleated or cellular shades. Two-inch blinds or shades would look a little too thick in the smaller dimension. If you want to make a skinny window look wider, go with an outside mount rather than an inside mount. Your paint and decorating store expert can provide specifics on the differences in dimensions and costs.

Bay or Corner Windows

Horizontal window shadings are a nice choice for bay windows because they allow you to accentuate the view while still filtering out some light. Interior shutters and wood blinds provide a nice, warm look for these windows. For a more luxurious look in the bay window nook, consider Roman shades or cellular shades.

Many of these same window coverings work for corner windows as well. You may wish to treat two corner windows as mirror images of each other. As an example, use a swag treatment over a drapery rod for each window with the tail of the fabric hanging longer on the two sides that are farther away from the corner.

Patio Doors and French Doors

For many years, vertical blinds were the most popular window treatment for patio doors, but their popularity has waned in preference for other types of products, such as panel track blinds and sheer vertical shades. You can add a decorative embellishment at the top of the door with a coordinating or contrasting valance.

French doors also have a wide range of options that will work. However, you want to make sure you select something that doesn’t interfere with the door handles or operation of the door. Some of the choices include Roman or woven shades. Pleated and cellular shades also are good options. When considering these choices, look for cordless options. Not only are these options safer for children and pets, but you also will be able to ensure that there are no cords to get tangled up around the door handle as you go in and out.

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