There is something about arched windows that gets me inspired. An arch and arched windows go back to Roman times and it is undeniably one of the most important inventions of our time. It’s creation changed the face of the architecture as we know it. Sometimes, I secretly hope for the client to leave them uncovered. To me, architecture is the bones and if the bones are strong there is no need for extra meat, aka accessories.
If you are looking to dress arched windows there are some decisions you want to make:
Should I cover arched windows with draperies? Or, should I leave them alone proudly opened with the panels hanging on each side? Finally, should I create a faux arch or a curve with moldings because I’m obsessed with curves?
Following are the examples of a WIN or a LOSE arched window treatments:
Covering Arched Windows
Think creatively when it comes to stripes.
The stripes don’t necessarily have to be vertical. When placed horizontally, the stripes can create an illusion of a wider window.
The above window treatments consist of two layers, an Italian strung drapery, and a balloon shade. The arched window treatments are stationary (can’t open and close). However, it feels like the draperies were just opened to let the light in. Another clever design decision is that the fabric stripe is placed horizontally which makes the window look wider.
These arched window treatments are beautifully executed. I love the color combination. They consist of the top treatment: lined swags and jabot, sheer panels and drapery panels.
Here is another example of covered arched windows. The drapery panels are installed behind the molding on special arched hardware. I like that the draperies are functional and can open and close. Also, the design of the window glass is so pretty that it would be a shame to cover them. The fabric of the draperies is gorgeous and its’ color goes so well with the room and the outside.
Now, let’s talk about some arched window coverings that I don’t quite understand.
The above curtains seem to take away from the room rather than complimenting it. It’s way too much fabric and repetition for my taste. I would highlight the arched windows by putting up a thin rod all through the wall and hang simple curtains. I think that would draw more attention to the beautiful garden outside.
Uncovering Arched Windows
The rod is all across the wall so that the draperies can open and close. Because of the room’s height, the “stripes” of a different color fabric make the curtains look a bit more grounded and proportionate.
The above panels are beautiful! They look like they have enough fabric to open and close effortlessly. The drapes are behind the molding for a clean, unfussy look.
Partially Covering the Window
The above image is my design work. The client wanted the window treatments to draw a visual line up the top so that it balances out a large wood panel over the fireplace. The lower curtains are behind the metal custom, hand-painted cornice. Because the cornice had to accommodate the traverse system in the back it is double width and double depth. The high-quality traverse system by Orion is a bit more money but it’s worth it. After all, my client doesn’t need to change the hardware for a long time.
3. Creating an Arch with a Cornice
If you are as drawn to arched windows but don’t have them, no worries. With a little imagination and help from a skillful carpenter, you can install curved moldings over your rectangular windows to give you an illusion of a slightly arched or curved window.
Of course, the above window with the curved molding is gorgeous! But you don’t have to go with such an elaborate molding to achieve a curved effect.
If you want to know more or need help with arched window coverings, please just write me a note right here in the comments. I’ll be glad to help.
Click on the image below to get a helpful Guide:
Sally Pike says
I’d very much like your opinion about doing curtains on an arched front door. I’m only considering doing so out of necessity. I live in Florida where the sun coming through our front door glass is extremely hot and bright in the afternoon. I’ve found several pictures of homes where there are curtains at the front door. I found a Pinterest post that really struck me. I will try to attach the photo of that as well as a photo of my door.
I’m curious as to how the curtain stays in place when closed (due to the arch) and how easily it’s opened. I’ve seen some side rods that can be attached to aid in opening and closing curtains that are tall.
Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
Help! I moved in with my boyfriend and this is the dining room. It’s awful!! I want to paint the walls taupe. What should I do with these windows? Thank you in advance
Johnny McCarron says
I’ve also been trying to figure out what I can do to improve my windows. My curtains just haven’t looked good for some time, and I think they could use a new look. However, arched windows can just be so difficult. Do you have any other tips about getting new windows or new window curtains?
Marina Klima Goldberg says
You really don’t need any advice, just a link, right? You’re welcome. If I’m wrong, sencere appologies
Lisa Marinik says
All great ideas. I like your comments on what you would change to help us think ‘out of the box.’
Question: What about simple window treatments for a window seat area in a casual dining area? Right now, there isn’t a window treatment and it looks like a giant square.
Also, I tried to click on your free ebook on lightning, but it said ‘not active, notify website.’
Marina Klima Goldberg says
Please post the picture of your window seat and then I’ll help you better rather than guessing about it. Thanks for letting me know about the free book glitch. Will contact my tech support. Meanwhile, I’ll send you e-mail, if I may. Great to “see” you here.