Many rooms, especially smaller rooms, will have just one window. Larger rooms however may feature multiple windows, often spaced closely together. This allows more light to enter the room in question.
Unfortunately, selecting curtains for large windows poses a challenge - how can we dress all those windows while retaining a cohesive identity in the room?
This, as you might imagine, is of particular concern if we’re looking to dress multiple windows placed close together.
There are no hard-and-fast rules governing how to dress multiple windows. If you’re faced with this decision, you have many options. In this article, we’ll run through the most common options for dressing multiple windows, and help you pick the one that best matches your tastes.
One of our first jobs should be to establish just how much glass needs to be covered. That means measuring the windows – or the track or pole, if you already have one installed. We’ve explained how to measure for curtains here, so we won’t repeat ourselves too much.
We will, however, stress the importance of getting this right at the outset. Take your time when measuring, and think about how much overlap you need on either side. You’ll also need to think about the drop. If you’re going for floor-length curtains, you’ll need a little bit of clearance at the bottom to prevent the curtain from dragging against the floor. If your calculations produce a fraction, then you can round either up or down for a fuller or sparser look, as needed.
Obviously, if you’re going to be splitting your curtains in the middle, you need an even number of panels – in this case, you can round up or down accordingly. Curtains that are too big for the window can look unsightly; curtains that are too small will allow light in around the edges. You don’t want to have to mess around returning curtains unless you can help it, so measure carefully.
A double window will generally require double curtains, but this will depend on the size of the windows in question. Personal preference will massively influence your decision, and the rules of thumb of bygone days have, to a large extent, been dispensed with.
Traditionally, you’d choose double-wide curtain panels; at least two-and-a-half-times the size of the window being covered. This will allow them to cover the entire window when drawn, while creating a neat wavy effect.
You can usually afford to go a little over or under this total. Lots of curtains crammed into a small space will give the room a more formal look, while a minimalist approach tends to make things appear a little more relaxed.
It’s a similar story with triple window curtains, except the task is even trickier as there’s a greater expanse of glass to cover. Here’s where you can run into problems with symmetry (or a lack of it).
You might decide to treat your triple window as though it were a single, long double-window, and have a curtain on each side drawing into the centre.
Another option might be to dress each of the three windows with its own miniature curtain. This will cover a portion of the window even when the curtains are drawn, so if you’ve invested in ultra-thin aluminium window-frames, you might be averse to hiding them with thick curtains.
If you’ve got a window that covers an entire wall from floor to ceiling, your options are somewhat limited.
Window walls offer several unique advantages. Not only are they hugely impressive in and of themselves, but they also offer unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape. They also allow the maximum possible amount of natural light to enter the building’s interior, which increases the impression of space.
Of course, windows which cover the entire wall leave little space for curtain rails. You’ll need to put them at the very top of the window, or suspend them from the walls on either side. It’s often a good idea to space out your curtains into groups – that way you can avoid having a huge clump of them on either side of the glass.
Given that a significant portion of the appeal of window walls is how much light they let in, it might feel slightly wasteful to cover yours in a thick, heavy curtain. Doing so might well offset heat loss from the window, however, which is going to be a big concern if you have single glazed windows.
Should you elect for heavier curtains for your window wall, you’ll want to ensure that the rod is strong enough to hold them up. A five-metre stretch of heavy curtains, complete with blackout lining, will place a significant weight on the rail. Make sure that you’ve got something sturdy to hold everything in place.
Large windows, if deployed correctly, can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of a room. With the right dressing, it’s possible to tailor this impact to match the décor – and your own personal taste. As we’ve seen, there are many options available; just be sure to assess them all before making your decision.