The Tiny house Blog

Maximizing Space: Window Treatment Ideas for Tiny House Living

Updated on:
March 14, 2024
Window Treatment Ideas for Tiny House Living

Image Source: Canva

The tiny house movement’s history is a lengthy one. This trend became an optimal choice for many homebuyers living through a time when rent and mortgages worldwide had skyrocketed to almost the point that buying a house was starting to look impossible.

By the late 1990s, the trend gained more traction and tiny house enthusiasts started their own design and construction companies. Until now, tiny houses were still the preferred choice for some people who prefer smaller and more efficient homes. If you enjoy tiny house living, note that one of the most important factors is how you decorate and treat your windows.

These are indispensable features vital to bringing more comfort to a room. Without a good window, you’d lose natural lighting and ventilation, which are other very important features, especially in a tiny home. Covering small windows might look like giving up the amount of light and air they provide. 

However, leaving them bare can lead to a feeling of confinement, leaving you with no control over privacy or light. For the perfect balance, you need to find a suitable window treatment and decorate them properly.

So here are some tips for maximizing your space and finding the perfect window treatment for your room.

Use Materials and Structures that Filter Light

Strike the balance between avoiding a cluttered appearance and maintaining enough access to light. Bulky treatments can overpower small windows even when kept minimal in length, so it’s better to opt for treatments that enhance the window’s potential while keeping your room private and giving it adequate lighting.

When choosing the fabric, stay away from heavy materials like velvet and woven silks, as air and light would be unable to circulate with them. Instead, you can choose sheer fabrics like linen or polyester blends to maximize natural light.

Choose The Right Palette

After selecting a window treatment based on its length, form, and material, the next step would be choosing the right color palette. If you want visual cohesiveness, maintain a consistent color scheme that blends your wall and window treatments. Having a theme that seamlessly integrates with the background allows your window to have an uninterrupted visual flow. This illusion of continuity visually extends the space, diverting attention away from the window’s size. 

This also makes the window appear larger while making the room look more expansive, as it presents as a cohesive unit rather than different segments. 

Use Patterns in a Clever Way

Depending on your room’s balance between solid colors and patterns and your aesthetic preferences, your window treatment could feature solid colors or patterns. If you choose the latter, consider a few factors, especially when dealing with small windows.

If not chosen carefully, patterns can easily overwhelm the space. So avoid excessively bold, intricate, or oversized patterns, as they can exaggerate the window’s smallness. Instead, it’s better to choose clean and minimal designs like striped curtains or Roman shades. 

Another option is choosing window treatments that have subtle and orderly patterns like chevrons or patterns with features pointing upwards, as they help guide the eyes upwards or sideways, helping elongate the window.

For rooms with wallpapers, custom-made window treatments that feature the same prints may be a better option so your window treatments blend seamlessly into the background. This creates a continuous flow of design that diminishes the emphasis on the small size of the window. It may be more costly, but it adds a designer touch to the space while concealing the window’s small size. 

Mount Correctly

Alongside your different design choices, you should adjust the scale and size of window treatments to enhance the window’s appearance and instead create the illusion of a larger space. Some tips to help give this illusion include,

Using Blinds and Roman Shades. Opt for simple styles like flat fold shades and mount them just a few inches above the window frame, with a slight overlap of the window trim. This positioning creates the perception of a taller window.

Curtains. The curtain rods should be at least 6-10 inches over the window and extended by the same amount on both sides. This creates the illusion of a visually larger window. When drawn aside, the curtains frame the window without blocking light. Ensure the curtain panel’s width doesn’t overwhelm your small windows. 

Valances. These are short pieces of fabric draped across the top of the window to hide the other window treatments’ hardware while adding texture and color. For small windows, it’s best to position the valance high enough that it overlaps the window trim by an inch, obscuring the trim to make the illusion of a taller window. Patterned valances can enhance this effect.

Image Source: Canva

No to Layering

Stay away from complex window treatments with multiple layers. As pretty as they could look, these would simply add bulk to small windows unless the window is in a bedroom where additional room darkening is required. In this case, utilize standalone blackout options to maintain a streamlined appearance. 

Alternatively, banded Zebra roller shades can offer blackout capabilities, too. If you’re considering the traditional use of valances and curtains, reconsider. They can overwhelm a small window if used together, but each can effectively stand alone too. Alternatively, you can use cafe curtains in place of full-length ones for a layered look without the bulk.

Another approach to layering window treatments on small windows is to incorporate sleek options that can be easily hidden when not used. Roller shades are one great example, with their compact cassettes that take up minimal space and can neatly retract, preserving the window’s appeal even when not in use. 

Make Room For Stacking Room

Regardless of what decor style you choose, the architecture of a space can often dictate the dominant factors, particularly windows. Whatever window treatment you decide based on personal preferences, consider the space they require for stacking. 

For instance, if the wall space on either side of the windows is limited, curtains may intrude on the window area, reducing incoming light. In these scenarios, it’s best to opt for Roman shades mounted just a few inches above the window frame. This helps them stack above the wall, ensuring an unobstructed window clearance when correctly placed. 

At the same time, if you prefer a vertically folding treatment but don’t have enough space for Roman shades to stack on the wall above, consider a sleek alternative, like roller blinds. Their slim cassette design makes them practically unnoticeable, making minimal impact on the space. 

Covering the small windows in your tiny house may feel like giving up more light and air, but leaving them bare means facing light control and privacy challenges. Striking a balance requires finding the appropriate window dressing and styling. 

Some of these challenges may include,

  • Finding the balance between maximizing your window as a source of light and covering it without darkening the space.
  • Balancing functionality with the concern that bulky treatments can overwhelm the  small window 
  • Limited space around the small window may restrict options, affecting the stacking room and overall aesthetics.
  • Placements close to the ceiling may make any treatment look awkward.

Despite these challenges, skilled designers can help transform a tiny window into your home's best feature without any limitations.

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