Shine some light on my sidelight
May 21, 2015 6:37 PM   Subscribe

I've recently moved into a house with a sidelight - you know, those narrow windows right next to the front door. I can't for the life of me, however, find a stylish window treatment for it. Halp!

I really can't stand the look of the ruffled/bunched up voile curtains that so often hang in sidelights, and ideally I'd like just a flat curtain panel in a fun, funky pattern and a pop of color. I don't own a sewing machine so my DIY skills are lacking. But for the life of me I can't find any stores online that do any kind of contemporary designs in a sidelight size. I'd consider window film as a last resort, but I've installed it before and it came out... um... imperfect. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks!
posted by Ms. Toad to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We bought custom blinds online for our sidelights, similar to these from Blinds Chalet (I forget where we got ours). They're simple to install and look good.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:46 PM on May 21, 2015

If you have an idea of what you want you should be able to find someone on Craigslist who can sew it for you. Check out Pinterest for inspiration. Or maybe you can find something on Etsy.
posted by vignettist at 6:51 PM on May 21, 2015

Was not initially enthused about the cell style shades Johnny Wallflower linked to, but installed similar ones with no strings (they magically stay up and down on their own), at my mom's urging. I LOVE them now. Mom was right. Seconding cellular shades.
posted by slateyness at 7:01 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

(Oh, and you can get them cut to width at your local big box hardware store)
posted by slateyness at 7:02 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Window film isn't easy to do well, but actually frosting windows is pretty doable DIY.
posted by mmf at 7:17 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

You can totally do a panel this size as a no-sew project with iron-on hem tape; if you can measure a square corner and mark straight lines it will look fine and be easy to make. Tons of tutorials via Pinterest if you search "no sew window panel".

Or plantation shutters are common in sidelights; any big box home center will carry them if you don't want to go to a specialty source.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:22 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Some scarves are long like a sidelight, or go for a long hanging plant. You could find a prom dress at a thrift store and use a spring curtain rod to hang it in there. There are old school beaded curtains that you could double up, to be more private. Some import stores have those with discs or jewel-like beads that let in a lot of light. All's fair in sidelight window coverings. Some cloths are so heavy they will hang flat like serapes, or heavy muslin. Heavy muslin, you could get creative with a sharpie or many colors of sharpie, and ceate your on graphic. Shopko has all kinds of singular panels, spring rods, and you at one time, could buy round clips to grab fabric and then fit on spring rods.
posted by Oyéah at 10:02 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

How wide are they? IKEA has these window panels that are 24" wide. They are kind of stiff mesh and semi-translucent. Here is one pattern but there are lots of others including solid colors. They have various ways of hanging them. For some narrow bay windows I ended up folding over the top by about 2" and hot gluing it down to make a thin sleeve. Then I threaded a small tension rod through it and put that in the window frame. It ended up giving light, some privacy and doesn't look fussy.
posted by barnone at 1:29 AM on May 22, 2015

This is the type of tension rod that I used, in white to blend in with the window frame.

The IKEA panels are very easy to cut down to size if needed.
posted by barnone at 1:36 AM on May 22, 2015

I see a lot of people using the stained glass window films. You could go really eclectic and make beaded curtains using crystals that will throw prisms everywhere.
posted by myselfasme at 6:02 AM on May 22, 2015

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