How to Disguise an Off-Center Window with Curtains

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  April 10, 2012 — 9 Comments

Most of the windows in our house are pretty awesome, but for some reason this one in the soon-to-be-nursery is weirdly off-center. It made my eye twitch a little every time I looked at it.

When we first bought our house there were no curtains. Nary a stitch of privacy to be found. Since we live in an old neighborhood with very small lots it was like living in a fishbowl. So priority nĂºmero uno for me was getting something up on those windows ASAP. I scoured the internet for the cheapest curtain hardware I could find and ordered 19 of these (we have a lot of windows), then paid a handyman to hang ‘em all. I had the foresight in this room to have him hang the rod so that it was centered on the wall, rather than the window. Bee tee dubs, the handyman was SO worth it. I still can’t figure out how he hung the rod above the stairs.

I whipped up some curtains really cheaply (you can read all about my curtain technique in this post from way back in my first month of blogging), but it’s slow going when you’ve got that many windows to cover and I lost motivation pretty quickly. I never got around to making enough panels to really look good on this window–just three that I stretched across to block peeping neighbors. But this weekend I was dying to do at least something for myself, and I figured the doctor wouldn’t be too upset about me spending thirty minutes at the sewing machine. In no time at all I’d sewn three more panels for in here, and once all six had been run through the wash (to shrink the new ones and just refresh the old), I had Nick hang them up and stood back to admire my genius.

You can still see the off-center window pretty clearly, but I think the curtains go a long way toward helping it feel more balanced. I moved the dresser so that it’s centered on the wall, which I think helps trick the eye a little more. In person the look is even more symmetrical, since the brightness of the windows is less noticeable behind the white drapes.

I’m thinking the look could be enhanced even further if I added some decorative panels that blocked more light to the outside edges. That way it wouldn’t be so obvious that the area all the way to the left doesn’t have a window behind it, but the middle area would still have plenty of light coming through the thin white muslin. The panels would have to be pretty thick, though, and super cheap if they’re going to fit into my budget for this room. If it hadn’t been such a pain last time I tackled it I would try dying drop cloths dark gray and hanging them up, but I don’t know that I’m willing to go through all that trouble again. In reality, this look is a major improvement and I’m inclined to keep it this way. Next, I’d like to put up some adjustable blackout shades to hang out behind those white drapes so that I can darken the room for naptime, then raise the shades back up to let the light back in. One step at a time, though, especially since I’m back to work today after a five-day weekend. Good thing I’ve still got 13 weeks until little Jack makes his arrival!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


9 responses to How to Disguise an Off-Center Window with Curtains

  1. What if you hung blackout fabric behind your white drapes. When they are open you could pull them to the point they hide one part of the window to even out the light, and then when they are closed they cover the whole window for baby sleepy time? Then you can fix your problem in one step.

  2. Thought two, you might have to hang it on both sides, but still behind your white. On one side they would just cover the wall and the other side part of the window. Then close for nap time.

    • Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap April 10, 2012 at 8:32 am

      Sarah, you are a genius! I bet I could hide a second curtain rod behind the white curtains, or if that doesn’t work just get one of those fancy double rods.

  3. This is too funny! We are trying to buy a house right now and in the master bedroom, there is this same problem. I already planned on doing the curtain thing but wasn’t sure Jonathon would go for it… now, I can show him your post so he can visualize and approve! :)

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap April 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Lol I’m so glad Nick doesn’t care enough for me to have to get his approval, although he did complain an awful lot about having to hang that many panels!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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  2. DIY Blackout Shades–Part 2 | Living Well on the Cheap - June 15, 2012

    [...] I like that it’s much, much darker without being pitch-black. Much more appropriate for a nice, relaxing nap. And even in their bunched-up state the shades tuck neatly behind the curtains (which are hung centered on the wall, not the window, to soothe my neurosis. Read all about that here). [...]

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  4. How to Whip Up Simple White Curtains | Living Well on the Cheap - July 6, 2012

    [...] in the nursery to create the illusion that the window was centered on the wall (read about that here). I love the how the muslin hangs and that it allows light in without sacrificing privacy, and I [...]

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