It's a lot easier to change your curtains than to change your windows. So if you have windows that are irregular, odd, or ill-proportioned to the room they're in, custom window treatments are a fun and cost-effective way of fixing what's wrong with them. It's remarkable how much the shape of a window can be altered by a change in treatments.
The Height of Your Curtain Rods
The height that you hang your curtain rods at can make a huge difference in the perceived height of a window. Windows that seem disproportionately large can have their treatments hung just slightly above the window – in this way, the curtain won't add size to the window. And the difference between a large window and the same window visually broken up by curtains on both sides can be dramatic.
It's more common, however, to try to make the windows in a room seem larger. Hanging curtains from rods that are placed as close to the ceiling as possible, right under any crown molding, has a dramatic effect. While the window itself only partially fills the wall, the whole unit – the window plus its treatment – now fills the wall from top to bottom, and the eye and brain group them together.
If the space between the top of the window and the curtain rod bothers you, a cornice or valance at the top of the window can give the illusion that it continues all the way up to the rod.
Shaped Cornices and Valances
While a rectangular cornice or valance can make a window seem shorter or taller, shaped window treatments can do even more for the way a window is perceived. For example, if you have a home with windows that seem too tall for their spot, instead of a plain cornice, consider an arch shape at the top – this will transform the window into a fancy arched window, giving an attractive frame to the view outside. Square or wide windows can benefit from smooth curves on a valance in order to mitigate the blockiness of the window.
For irregularly-shaped windows, you may want to avoid curtains entirely. If you want to embrace the odd shape of a window, such as one with an angled top in an upstairs room, then custom blinds that are made to fit the window might be your best option. Paper shades or beaded curtains can also fit a variety of windows for a very unique look.
If you want to stick with curtains, consider placing your curtain rod partway down the window, dividing it into a rectangular bottom and an irregular top. This will allow you to use any curtain you like while still showing off the interesting shape of the window.