How to Decorate Small Windows

Small windows can present a unique decorating challenge, but with a few clever design tips, they can add an abundance of character and style to any room. Proper decoration can maximize natural light, create an illusion of a larger space, and enhance the room’s overall aesthetic.

How to Decorate Small Windows

Whether you’re looking to create a cozy nook, brighten a dark room, or just add some flair, this guide on how to decorate small windows will provide you with creative ideas and practical solutions for making the most of your small windows. Let’s explore the various ways to dress up those petite panes and turn them into stylish focal points of your home.

Understanding the Characteristics of Small Windows

Before we jump into the decoration tips, it’s important to understand the different characteristics of small windows. The most common features of small windows include:

  • Limited Size
  • Lack of Symmetry
  • Placement on High or Low Walls, Making Them Hard to Reach
  • Awkwardly Shaped and Positioned in a Room

These unique characteristics can make decorating small windows a daunting task, but with the right approach, you can enhance their beauty and functionality.  

Assessing the Functionality and Placement of Small Windows

The first step to decorating any window is to understand its functionality and placement within the room. Small windows typically serve three purposes:

Provide Natural Light:

Small windows may not let in a lot of light, but they can still play a significant role in brightening up a room with natural light.

Offer Ventilation:

Even small windows can help with air circulation and provide ventilation in a room.

Small Windows Can Help With Air Circulation

Add Visual Interest:

Small windows can also serve as decorative elements, adding character and visual interest to a room. Understanding the purpose of your small window will help you determine how best to decorate it. Additionally, consider the placement of your window within the room. Is it on a high or low wall? Is it positioned in an awkward spot? These factors will influence the type of decoration and treatments you choose. 

11 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Decorate Small Windows

Step 1: Measure Your Window

Before you begin any decoration, it’s essential to accurately measure your window. This step will help you choose the right treatments and material sizes. You’ll need to measure the width and height of your window, including any trim or casing.

The measurements will also be crucial if you plan to purchase pre-made treatments or curtains. But don’t worry, there are plenty of options for small windows on the market. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit.

You can also consider having custom treatments made to ensure a perfect fit. The bottom line is to have accurate measurements before proceeding with decorating your small window.

Step 2: Choose the Right Window Treatments

When it comes to small windows, there are plenty of options for window treatments. One type that works well for petite windows is a valance. Valances are perfect because they add a touch of style without overwhelming the window’s size. Another option is a Roman shade.

Another Option is a Roman Shade

These shades fold up neatly when opened, allowing maximum natural light to enter the room while adding texture and interest to the window’s appearance. The key is to choose treatments that are lightweight and not too bulky.

Avoid heavy drapery, as it can overwhelm the small window and make it appear even smaller. It’s also best to avoid long curtains that pool on the floor, as they can make a small window look out of place.

Step 3: Add Privacy with Sheer Curtains

If your small window is located in a private space like a bedroom or bathroom, you may want to add some privacy without blocking natural light. Sheer curtains are an excellent option for this purpose. They allow light to filter through while still providing some coverage and privacy. You can pair sheer curtains with a valance or leave them bare for a simple yet elegant look.

But be mindful of the color and pattern you choose as it can impact the overall appearance of your small window. It’s best to stick with light and neutral tones to keep the window looking open and airy. The same goes for patterns. Small prints or subtle stripes work well for small windows. You can also add some texture with sheer curtains, like lace or linen.

Step 4: Install a Curtain Rod

If you decide to go with curtains or drapery, you’ll need a curtain rod. When choosing a curtain rod for small windows, keep in mind that it should be short enough to fit within the window frame and not extend beyond it. This will help to maintain the window’s size and not make it look smaller than it is.

Additionally, opt for a thinner rod rather than a thick one, as this can also create the illusion of more space. It’s also a good idea to choose a curtain rod that matches your window frame for a cohesive look. You can also opt for a tension rod, which requires no drilling and is easily adjustable. It’s a great option for renters or those who prefer an easy installation.

Step 5: Use Mirrors

Mirrors are an excellent way to make any space appear more prominent and brighter, and this is especially true for small windows. Placing a mirror directly opposite a small window can reflect natural light and make the room appear more significant. You can also opt for decorative mirrors on either side of the window to add some visual interest.

Mirrors Are an Excellent Way

Just be mindful of how much sunlight is entering the room, as too many mirrors can create harsh glares. But a well-placed mirror can work wonders in making your small window and room appear more spacious. You can also use mirrors as a creative alternative to traditional window treatments. It’s a budget-friendly option that can still add style and functionality to your small window.

Step 6: Add Greenery

Placing plants or flowers on the windowsill is another great way to add some life and color to a small window. It can also help to create an illusion of the outdoors, making the space feel brighter and inviting. Opt for smaller plants that won’t take up too much space, and make sure to choose ones that thrive in natural light.

You can also hang small potted plants or succulents from a curtain rod above the window for a unique touch. The key is to find the right balance and not overcrowd the small window with too much greenery. It should enhance the window’s appearance, not cover it up entirely. The right plants can also help to improve air quality and add a touch of nature to your room.

Step 7: Incorporate Window Film

Window film is an excellent alternative to curtains or blinds for small window decoration. It’s easy to install, and there are a variety of designs and patterns to choose from. Window film can add privacy while still allowing natural light to filter through.

You can also get creative with window film by cutting it into different shapes or creating a stained-glass effect. Just make sure to measure your window accurately before purchasing the film as you’ll want it to fit precisely. But this option is an excellent way to add some personality and style to your small window.

Step 8: Utilize Decorative Hardware

Don’t overlook the importance of decorative hardware when it comes to small window decoration. This includes curtain tiebacks, knobs, and finials. These small touches can add a lot of character and style to your window treatments. For a more feminine touch, opt for flowery or ornate hardware.

Opt for Flowery or Ornate Hardware

If you prefer a more modern look, choose sleek and minimalistic hardware. Just make sure to keep the size of your window in mind when selecting hardware, as you don’t want it to overpower the small window. It’s all about finding the right balance and adding subtle details that will make your small window a standout feature in your space.

Step 9: Play with Patterns

If your small window is located in a space with neutral walls and furniture, adding some patterned treatments or curtains can add some much-needed visual interest. Just be mindful of the size and scale of the patterns you choose. For small windows, it’s best to stick with smaller and more subtle patterns that won’t overwhelm the space.

You can also mix and match patterns for a fun and unique look; just make sure they coordinate well together. Patterns can add some personality and depth to a small window, making it stand out in a room. You can also use patterns to tie in other elements of the room, such as throw pillows or rugs, for a cohesive look.

Step 10: Final Touches

Once you’ve chosen and installed your window treatments, don’t forget the final touches that can elevate the overall look and feel of your small window. This includes adding decorative accents like candles, vases, or picture frames on the windowsill or nearby shelves. You can also incorporate elements that tie in with the window treatments, such as throw pillows or a rug with similar colors or patterns.

Picture Frames on the Windowsill

Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with these final touches, as they can truly make a small window feel like a stunning focal point in any room. Although small windows may seem challenging to decorate, with the right techniques and elements, they can become a beautiful and functional feature in your space. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for your unique small window.

Step 11: Maintenance

To keep your small window looking its best, it’s important to regularly clean and maintain the treatments you choose. This includes dusting or vacuuming curtains and blinds, wiping down window film, and cleaning any hardware.

It’s also essential to regularly clean the window itself to ensure maximum natural light can enter the room. Keeping up with maintenance will not only help your small window look great but also prolong the lifespan of your chosen treatments.

Following these steps and tips on how to decorate small windows can help you transform your small window into a beautiful and functional element in any room. With the right treatments, hardware, and decorative touches, you can make even the smallest window look stylish and inviting. So don’t overlook the potential of a small window – embrace it and let it shine! Happy decorating!

Budget-Friendly Small Window Decor Ideas

  • Utilize Thrifted or Diy Window Treatments
  • Incorporate Free-standing Plants or Flowers Instead of Purchasing New Pots
  • Look for Sales or Use Coupons When Purchasing Curtain Rods and Hardware
  • Use Inexpensive Materials Like Window Film or Contact Paper to Create Unique Patterns and Designs. 
  • Shop at Discount or Bargain Stores for Decorative Accents and Hardware.
  • Repurpose Items You Already Have, Such as Old Scarves or Fabric, Into Curtain Tiebacks.
Use Inexpensive Materials Like Window Film

These budget-friendly ideas can help you achieve beautiful and stylish small window decor without breaking the bank. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can transform your small window into a stunning feature in your home.

Troubleshooting Common Small Window Decor Issues

  • If Your Small Window is Located in a Room With Limited Natural Light, Try Incorporating Lighter and Reflective Materials Into Your Decor to Help Brighten Up the Space.
  • For Small Windows That Face a Busy Street or a Neighbor’s House, Consider Using Thicker Curtains or Adding a Layer of Window Film for Added Privacy.
  • If You’re Struggling to Find the Perfect Balance Between Natural Light and Privacy, Consider Adding Sheer Curtains or Blinds That Can Be Adjusted to Your Liking.
  • If Your Small Window is Located in a High-humidity Area, Opt for Moisture-resistant Materials for Your Window Treatments to Prevent Mold Growth.
  • For Small Windows With Awkward Sizes or Shapes, Consider Having Custom-made Treatments Such as Shades or Shutters to Ensure a Perfect Fit. 

With these troubleshooting tips, you can overcome common challenges and ensure that your small window decor not only looks beautiful but also functions well in your space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Use Heavy Drapery for a Small Window?

A: It’s best to avoid heavy drapery for small windows as it can make them appear even smaller. Opt for lighter materials and colors instead. The same goes for thick curtains or blinds. You want to keep the window looking open and airy. If you prefer a more substantial window treatment, consider using two small panels on each side of the window instead of one large one.

Q: Can I Add Window Treatments to Small Windows in a Dark Room?

A: Yes, you can still decorate small windows in a dark room. Stick with lighter colors and patterns for your window treatments, and add some mirrors or reflective surfaces to help brighten up the space. You can also opt for sheer curtains or light-filtering blinds to allow more natural light in. The key is to balance privacy with natural light.

Q: How Can I Make a Small Window Appear Bigger?

A: Besides using the tips mentioned above, you can also try painting the wall surrounding the small window a lighter color to create an optical illusion of more space. You can also consider adding some built-in shelves or bookcases around the window to make it appear larger and add some storage.  Overall, the key is to keep the window treatments and decor light, simple, and minimalistic.

Painting the Wall Surrounding the Small Window

Q: Can I Use Bold Colors for Small Window Treatments?

A: Yes, you can use bold colors for small window treatments as long as they are balanced out with lighter elements in the room. For example, if you want to incorporate a bold-colored curtain, balance it out with neutral walls and furniture. You can also consider adding small pops of the same color throughout the room to tie everything together. Just remember not to go overboard and stick to one or two bold colors at most.

Q: How Often Should I Change My Small Window Decor?

A: The frequency of changing your small window decor depends on personal preference and style. Some people may switch out their window treatments and decorative elements seasonally, while others may keep them for years. The key is to choose timeless pieces that can easily be updated with small accents or accessories. This way, you can change the look of your small window without breaking the bank. 


Decorating small windows need not be a source of frustration; in fact, it can be an opportunity to unleash your creativity and transform a limited area into a standout feature of your home. By using light, airy fabrics, strategic placement of mirrors, and thoughtful accessory choices, you can amplify natural light and give the impression of more space.

Remember, the goal is to complement the window’s size and shape, not overwhelm it, ensuring that your petite windows make a positive impact on your living environment’s overall ambiance. With these tips and tricks on how to decorate small windows, any small window can become a charming and stylish element of your room’s decor.

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