Six Textural Window Treatment Ideas for Visual Appeal and Privacy

December 19, 2009

Here are six ideas for window treatments that provide both light and privacy. These window treatments can be used anywhere except the bathroom.

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Creative Window Treatment Ideas

  1. Place stackable, folding bookshelves in front of your windows. Staple fabric to the side of the bookshelves that are closest to the window, up to the second to top shelf, or high enough to prevent people from seeing in. Fill the shelves with books, plants, lidded boxes or baskets, allowing light to filter in through the top shelves. To give this treatment a more customized finish, paint a border around the window opening in a color to match or complement the fabric backing the shelves. Do not place electronics on these shelves as even filtered light can cause damage.
  2. Mount a sliding closet door kit in front of your window. Use the side facing into the room for a bulletin board, or to anchor art or a mirror. Adjust the doors according to your needs for privacy and light. Doors add architectural interest and motion without taking much extra space.
  3. Buy glass paint and brushes and use your windows as picture frames. This is especially fun for children, as you can use illustrations from favorite books, cartoon characters, toys, or even the alphabet as inspiration. If you are not good at freehand painting, hand copy, photo copy or print the design on paper first. Tape the paper on the outside of the window, facing in, then paint on the inside. If you prefer to paint on the outside (for easier clean up later, unless you are decorating a second story or higher window), don't forget to reverse the image before painting. Glass paint can also be used to create faux stained glass.
  4. Consider hinged, self standing panels. Check consignment and import stores for custom painted, carved or tooled panels. Or make your own from plywood, then pad and cover with fabric, or sand and paint. Panels can be extended or folded depending on how much horizontal window space you need to cover. Allow for at least a slight fold so the panels maintain their balance.
  5. Decorative and privacy film is available at home improvement stores. It comes in a variety of designs and opacity, from subtle etched glass effects to heat blocking and mirror finishes. Just cut it to size and use a spray bottle of water and a squeegee to apply.
  6. Hang a curtain wire with clips (available in Ikea stores) and use your favorite textiles for a custom look. Consider bolt fabric with pinked edges, a sheet set, or for the kitchen, tea towels stitched together.

Window treatments are one of the fastest ways to radically alter the look of a room, and often one of the least expensive. Be bold.

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