Looking for ideas on how to make windows look bigger? All you need is this simple tip with a curtain rod and a little DIY.

Windows are one of the keys to making a room look larger. Learn how to make your existing windows appear bigger in minutes. Take a look at your windows in a new light with this simple idea.

how to make windows look bigger

I wish I could show you the first house we ever lived in.

I didn’t write a blog back then so the only pictures I have of the house involve family.  I didn’t really take pictures of the decorating.

But suffice it to say it looked NOTHING like this.  I had a yellow couch with red roses and blue flowers and tomato red walls and a pink rug with an overall geometric design and blue and white plates on the wall.

It was such a tiny house and I didn’t really have a lot of money to decorate with so I shopped yard sales and painted everything in sight and became an expert at making things look like they were so much more than they ever intended to be.

Like my windows.

We had eight-foot ceilings and tiny windows and I tried everything to make them look like pictures in all the decorating magazines I read and nothing really worked.

Until I discovered this tip.

Dining room curtains make windows look bigger

How To Make Windows Look Bigger

It’s so simple really.

I’ve never really even talked about it here because I thought everyone hung their curtains like this until recently I was in the middle of a design consult and I suggested it and the client loved it and told me I was brilliant.

Which of course some days I am.

To make your windows appear bigger, all you need to do is take advantage of the space over the window and hang them between six to eight inches above the space.

Hang your rod 6-8 inches above the window to make your windows look bigger

Here’s a close-up.

I didn’t hang the rod directly over the molding.

I let it breathe.

And just be elevating those curtains a simple six or eight inches can make all the difference in the look of your windows and it such an easy way to make windows look bigger.

It makes them look fancy and all about themselves and a little like they are ready for the Academy Awards.

Here's a look at how to handle a bay window

Here’s another angle.

Now what to do about the curtain rods?

The curtain rods can either be shortened like when you have a tricky situation like a bay window.

Here they just extend over the one window.

Dining room curtains from the living room

Or in this picture (and the first picture of the dining room) you can see I’ve added a long curtain rod across the top of the window.

I did this because the sun that comes in from the window can be a little overwhelming in the afternoon.

If you choose to hang a curtain rod like this, make sure you have a center bracket for support so your curtain rod doesn’t go all lame in the middle.

Master bedroom curtains

In the bedroom I used the same tip to hang the curtains, but a used a shortened stationary rod instead.

Here’s my DIY tutorial on how I made the curtain rods.

Total disclaimer:  it says $5.00 curtain rods but that was several years ago, so I need to adjust the post to allow for a cost of living increase.

Living Room Curtains

Another Tip To Make Windows Look Bigger

And I used the same curtain treatment in the living room, too.

See how hanging the curtains just a little bit higher makes such a difference.

And see the molding above the doors? That’s another tip to make windows look bigger. You can see how I added the molding above the windows here.

It draws your eye upward and makes every window look just a little bit brighter.

The better to let all that sunshine in. 🙂


Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for Becky Becky

    Karianne, I would love to try this in my living room. We have very wide molding around our windows and I've never really been happy with the way the curtains are hung. Your home is so beautiful. I love the picture of your foyer. Also, I just read the other day that red lipstick is "in" for Spring. Just thought you'd like to know what a trend setter you are. Have a great day.

  2. Image for Terri Lee Terri Lee

    I can't believe this post is showing up in my inbox this morning! Long story made short.... We've lived with just blinds on the back of the house ( I like clean straight lines and love my view) for 15 years, but for some reason this year, my house seems to be colder than usual. I woke up this morning at 5 am (not usual at all) and knew that today was the day I would hatch my plan to add curtains to all those windows. Now I have a plan and I have you to thank ~ You're an answer to my prayers! :)

  3. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    I think curtains are really like the pants in a great outfit. Low riding curtains drive me almost as crazy as boys who walk around in saggy pants. Hike 'em up! Next to that, curtains that are too short are just like wearing high waters. Let those curtains touch the floor. Now, let's envision that for a minute...Josh Reynolds in saggin' high water pants. Even HE couldn't make that look good (okay, maybe HE could, but no one else). So let's all make our curtains as dashing as Josh...m'kay? Nancy

  4. Image for Terri Terri

    okay.... so ................... Really???? You are featuring THE curtains??? lolololol.... toooooooo gorgeous!!!! Love the idea of going UP with the curtain rods... and getting creative with the rods!!! Now I am off to gather some more "Thistlewood" ideas !!! Have a great day !!!!!!

  5. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Oh my goodness! The most difficult thing about my life right now is getting these awesome design inspirations (like this!) in my inbox and having to postpone using them in lieu of an upcoming move across country. All I can say is thank goodness for Pinterest! And thanks for the awesome design ideas, Karianne!!

  6. Image for Susan Susan

    I now live in a little house with 8-foot ceilings and I think this tip is genius, too...imma do it! I really do need to treat my windows to some decent window bling. :)

  7. Image for Yvonne @ StoneGable Yvonne @ StoneGable

    I love the idea of making my windows appear bigger. Not so much for the downstairs, but for the upstairs. I'm going to try your trick of adding trim above my upstairs window. I love your home!!! xo

  8. Image for Gee Gee

    :) Luv this post. I 'stumbled' upon this trick a few years ago. Quite accidentally as the Mr. was helping me put rods up. Never looked back! Happy Friday Eve! Hugs, Gee

  9. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    Did you paint your coffee table again? Didn't it have some kind of cute stencil? Well, no matter. Nothing wrong with trying stuff and changing stuff. I am considering buying an armoire I saw at Salvation Army yesterday and ditching the TV stand we have. It is super functional, bug the armoire would look cooler. I just don't know if my 37 in TV will fit or not. And that's a deal breaker with the Mr. Maybe I'll just build one of those cool pipe and wood ones. Cuz I only have about 20 unfinished projects right now. Have a jolly day, The Other Marian

  10. Image for Louise Adkins Louise Adkins

    Hint: Be sure to realize that if you mount the rods higher and you want them to reach the floor you need to allow for those extra inches. If you are making your own curtains you won't have an issue but if you try it with ready made curtains you might have a problem.

  11. Image for Mary Deckert Mary Deckert

    Hi Karianne! I used your $5 curtain rod tutorial for my dining room window and it came out great. No Lowe's around here, so I bought the finials at Michael's and the brackets and dowel rod at the Home Depot, where they cut the rod to length for me. The rod goes across the window so it was longer, but I think the whole project cost about $10. I painted them the same color as my window molding. I can't tell you how long I looked at curtain rods in stores and always walked away empty-handed because they looked cheap and tacky, but were $100 each. Thank you!

  12. Image for Jessica Jessica

    I love this trick!! And you are a genius for sharing because it's something that is so simple, but you forget when you are actually hanging curtains! And the blue curtains are gorgeous!

  13. Image for Anne Anne

    I love this tip. Right now I can't decide what to do with curtains in my condo. I have small windows, but they all have gorgeous plantation shutters. For now I just have them on their own without curtains, but I think I need to find another way to add some texture and softness. And, okay fine, I kind of just love the process of looking at a million design blogs and figuring out what I want to do. ;)

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Debbie, The curtains are from Soft Surroundings, but they no longer make them! I wish they did, but Pottery Barn sells something similar. Here is the link... https://www.potterybarn.com/products/smocked-drape/ When I just looked they are on sale, too!

  14. Image for Jan light Jan light

    Karianne, I just don't get it. Yes it looks lovely in you beautiful house but we are remodeling a modular home in Florida and I think (please don't hate me) this would look stupid and not OMG look at those windows. I wish you were here to help me.

  15. Image for Becky Becky

    You just keep getting better! I have a silly question...when yall eat dinner at the works of art dinner table, does all of the stuff on the table end up on the floor until dinner is done, like at my house? Just need reassurance that you are normal?!? :)....or is that we are normal????

  16. Image for Cynthia Cynthia

    8 foot ceilings...what length drapes do you use? And, have you ever thought to post before and after pictures of the rooms you have helped redecorate?

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Cynthia, Depending on how high your windows are, you may be able to use 84" drapes. If they are close to the ceiling, I would go with 96". And I have posted a few pictures of before/after, but I can always add more. :) Happy day friend! karianne

  17. Image for Cindy Cindy

    This is a great tip I will have to try. I love the four chairs in your living room. Thinking about doing this in my family room. It's a small room and the overstuffed recliner sofa seems to take up all the space. Your home is beautiful!

  18. Image for Deb Saaranen Deb Saaranen

    Hi...love your blog...I'm a newbie here! Would you also maintain the same treatment set up if you had some sort of blind mounting in the window frame? I live in town and definitely need to close something for privacy...thank you!

  19. Image for Stacey Stacey

    Hi KariAnne! Thank you so much for linking this beautiful post with us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. We are thrilled to have your support. That picture looking from one room through the entry and into the other room is lovely. I don't remember seeing that point of view before. Funny story for you...in our house we have high and wide curtains hanging on those shorty rods like your white ones. A friend of mine from high school came to our house for the first time (a man) and said, "What happened Stacey did you run out of money buying your curtain rods?" I just about died and informed him that he didn't know what's in style. :)

  20. Image for Maria Maria

    Great tip, KariAnne! Your home is so beautiful and the textiles you chose for each room, from the curtains to the rugs compliment it even more. Thanks for sharing such a simple, but impactful tip with us on #SHINEbloghop. We're so glad you were able to stop by again this week!

  21. Image for Shelley @ Calypso in the Country Shelley @ Calypso in the Country

    So glad I came across this post. I have 9 foot ceilings and in my kitchen I have sliders that I would like to dress up with curtains. I have been having trouble finding good examples of curtains over doors. Even though our doors are sliders and yours are french doors, the photo of those gorgeous blue curtains is exactly what I needed to see! It totally makes sense to hang them like yours. Thanks for the tip! Shelley

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