How about a little Mefi interior design?
November 14, 2013 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I have an awkward window and I don't know what to do with it in terms of covering it up. It's in a baby's room. Please help.

This window is inside a room I'm decorating for my baby. It's short and long and very awkard in terms of the window treatments/coverings that can look good on it. It is 2 feet tall, 9 feet long and it starts 5 feet off the floor. I was thinking about getting some wooden shutters, but they are expensive and take more than a month to make, so I'm hoping some creative Mefites have any other suggestions. Extra points for links or pics that I can get a look at.
posted by CrazyLemonade to Home & Garden (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've seen lots of mid-century houses with these shape windows, where people just get regular length curtains of the correct width, and mount them as if the window went all the way down to the floor. You could do that with some cheap curtains as a temporary measure. I would just get custom blinds made, they're not hideously expensive. I fitted out my entire house in custom blinds from and was very happy with the results.
posted by Joh at 12:30 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Curtains, right down to the floor, maybe with a valence covering that bit of wall above the window.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:30 PM on November 14, 2013

I'd say fake it out, buy adorable curtains in your nursery colors and just hang them up on a curtain rod. So the curtains go to the floor? Big whoop. If you want light open it up.

You can get insulating or light blocking curtains, Wal-Mart of all places has them for kids rooms in cute paterns. Total cost $40.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:31 PM on November 14, 2013

Response by poster: Oh, I forgot to add that I can't just put curtains all the way down because there's going to be some furniture mounted on that wall, below the window.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 12:33 PM on November 14, 2013

Yup, I'd do full-length curtains down to the floor, and then perhaps a high book-shelf or changing table to off-set the space beneath.
posted by hollypolly at 12:34 PM on November 14, 2013

How accessible are they going to be once the furniture is in? Can you access both sides? Only one side? Do you want to be able to open and close the shades or would you just like some window treatments? I sort of like the DIY roman shade (link goes to Martha Stewart, there are many other high and low end options) look, maybe with a valence up top if you're feeling crafty.
posted by jessamyn at 12:48 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do you need something that will darken the room? You'd have to have a custom shade, maybe a roman shade? Or maybe DIY?

Or just window covering with a little valance? This contact paper stuff is intriguing, meaning I think of doing it but don't have a suitable window.
posted by readery at 12:51 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Adding a blue tinted window film could make the room more relaxing during the day. I think it's a neat window.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:52 PM on November 14, 2013

If you don't need light to be blocked, you could go with stained glass window clings (maybe paint the window frame in a complementary color).
posted by Bardolph at 12:53 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

You could always crop the curtains so they either drape around the furniture but don't touch the floor or that they only slightly hoover over the furniture when shut.

Alternatively: would it be possible to get 9 feet long wooden shutters (or other shutters you like) in a regular length and shorten them yourself? Might be worth a try, as regular length shutters should be easy to find & not that expensive.

Ikea had some window decals a while ago that looked like potted plants. Those were neat. But if you want to be able to darken the room, decals would be out.
posted by travelwithcats at 12:55 PM on November 14, 2013

Response by poster: Yes I want to be able to completely darken the room. The furniture will be stuck on the wall but I think will permit access to both ends of the window.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 12:58 PM on November 14, 2013

You could add a frame and a little molding around the window and to that attach three "doors" (with cool knobs) that hinge open upwards and can be propped open. Basically it would look like you have some cabinets up there. Alternately it could be one big door that looks like three, but having three (or two) gives you more options in terms of letting light/air in. If you don't like working with hinges you could probably work out some sort of sliding up system, but hinges are the easiest way to go.
posted by mikepop at 1:04 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

It would be relatively easy and inexpensive to make custom horizontal "shutters" from foam core, of the type that prop up with a stick on old-timey businesses? Get cute quilting-type fabric that coordinates with the room and upholster the foam core; attach above the window with some type of hinge, and create props to hold up each shutter from balsa wood rods or something. (You could be very crafty and make these decorative.) That would be light-blocking and very inexpensive, and could be a temporary-but-attractive-enough solution until you decide what you want to do there permanently, like wooden shutters.

Obviously you could do permanent up-above shutters of wood -- even reclaimed shutters painted bright colors! -- but that's a more involved, expensive project.

Another option would be make some little ruffly cafe curtains of a heavy, lined fabric, and splitting them in the middle so it creates the illusion of two smaller windows rather than one large one. Or even three. One long curtain pulled all the way across might look silly tied back, but four smaller curtains that tie back on the sides and in the middle may look more appropriately-scaled. (I'd make them pocket-style or tabbed so you can push them all the way back, not just pull them to the side with a fixed top.)

(Remember that window coverings in children's rooms should not have long exposed cords or ties.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:15 PM on November 14, 2013

I helped a friend decorate her baby room with the same darn window (though circa 1978). I ordered wood blinds from Smith+Noble. They ship in 5 days.
posted by cecic at 1:57 PM on November 14, 2013

Blinds are a good idea. But if you really want a beautiful space, you should drape the entire wall with a relatively heavy curtain from ceiling to floor. Preferably 4-6 inches from the wall or even more. Behind this curtain, you can have a long rail (or several) upon which you can hang all sorts of stuff - clothes, diapers, towels etc. IKEA has railings and solutions for storing on them. I'd choose a baby-blue curtain, but that is a matter of taste, a light but warm yellow would be excellent as well. White is the minimalist style, and can be very elegant. Whatever choose of color, this way it is really, really simple and relatively cheap to create order and harmony in your room.
Think of the lighting, too. Maybe you want the general ambient lighting to be directed at the curtains, to create a rich set of reflexions because of the texture and folds. And then local functional light at the different elements of the room - the table, the bed, the chair for nursing / feeding, the book shelf. There is not going to be a very good natural daylight from that window, so maybe you want to plan almost as if it wasn't there?
You divide this big curtain near the window, so during day-time, you can draw the part over the window to the side. Here, you have a folding table hung on the wall. This is at a practical height, and over it, the daily necessities are hung in pots on the rail.
posted by mumimor at 2:22 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

This set of images demonstrates how curtains can be used to create beautiful spaces, and to cover irregularities in the given building. Obviously, this is a luxury apartment and nearly 100 years old, but I know from experience it works in normal modern homes as well.
posted by mumimor at 2:37 PM on November 14, 2013

Depending on the theme of the nursery: I picture a cornice board, very DIY, covered in appropriate fabric to coordinate. Search DIY on the 'net for instructions. Underneath, a simple drapery rod the same width as the cornice on which I would hang many draper panels of sheer fabric panels on the windows, probably a length of 36". So you've got a cutesy cornice with flouncy almost foamy gobs of sheer heavenly fabric underneath. For room darkening, underneath the drapes you could use standard shades available at the big box stores. This is not a window that will fade into the background so you may as well rock it out.
posted by Lornalulu at 3:55 PM on November 14, 2013

This really sounds like a job for pinterest, go browse there and you'll have a dozen great ideas in a few minutes.
posted by The Monkey at 5:53 PM on November 14, 2013

i would have a roman shade made. you could do a pattern or something with trim or a solid fun color. some fun options here.
posted by wildflower at 8:30 PM on November 14, 2013

Wood blinds to match the wood in the furniture you will have on that wall? That's how this nursery handled windows like yours.
posted by misha at 9:24 AM on November 15, 2013

I also like the idea of a kid-friendly cornice topping the window.

Here's a simple (really! my Dad made one!) DIY tutorial for an inexpensive cornice that you cover with fabric. Cool feature--you pin the fabric on the cornice rather than sew it in place, so you can change the fabric.

What's great about that, to me, is that while BabyCrazyLemonade adores cute little ducks, TweenCrazyLemonade might prefer tie-dyed spirals or gothic skulls or whatever.

With kids, any option for flexibility is a real plus, IMHO.
posted by misha at 9:49 AM on November 15, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers, everyone. So far I've now discarded the shutters and I'm now leaning towards a roman shade that's maybe a little taller than the actual window, to make it look bigger and less narrow than it actually is. Sort of like these which seem to start above the actual window frame.

I'm not going for the DIY look since I put a lot of effort (and money, aghh!) into my first baby's room and don't want this one to look like I got lazy, even though I have a lot less time to get it done due to reasons.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 6:11 PM on November 15, 2013

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