Use window treatments to fool the eye.

Window Treatments for Making Two Windows Look Like One

by Linda Erlam

Large windows add a feeling of luxury to a room. They instill spaciousness and openness to a room -- desirable architectural elements. Use decorator’s tricks with drapery and blinds and your modern mom how-to smarts to fool the onlooker's eyes into thinking you renovated the room. By treating your two windows like one, you'll create the illusion of one large window -- or go all the way and make it a wall of windows.

Divide and Conquer

Install stationary drapes between the windows and functioning drapes covering each of the two windows. Increase the width illusion by making the functioning drapes draw back to totally expose the windows; this “stack back” increases the required drapery width by about 20 percent. For example, if the width of the side window drapes is 50 inches, use drapes 60 inches wide; they will stack back into the extra 10 inches, making the 50-inch window appear wider. This exposes the whole window surface, allowing maximum view.

Conceal and Conquer

Add shades or blinds to the two windows and install stationary panels in the center between the two and to the left and right of the windows. Add a valance across the entire window-scape, concealing the drapery hardware. This treatment can also increase the perceived height of the windows with a valance mounted high above the window frame. Use drapes that extend to the floor in this treatment to keep things in proportion. This trick eliminates the visible top edge of the windows.

Faux to the Rescue

Build a faux window to mimic the flanking windows and install it between the two. Treat each window separately with functioning inside-mount blinds, but leave the slats on the faux window in the closed position. If you can’t build a faux window, mount the flanking blinds on the outside of the window frames. No one will know there is no window behind the blind if you leave the slats on the middle section closed.

Shutter Savvy

Install shutters across both the windows and the wall between. Choose shutters mounted outside the window frames, concealing the actual windows; disguise the center wall with the louvers in the closed position. Extend the shutters from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, creating the illusion of a wall of windows. For the DIY-er, or to be kind to your budget, use louvered closet doors in place of shutters; look for them in large hardware and DIY stores.

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images