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10 Ideas for Basement Window Coverings

by - Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Have you ever come across a design dilemma you just don't know how to solve? That's how it is with our basement window coverings. I was recently down in the basement packing up Chloe's American girl dollhouse and accessories that she no longer plays with (*insert tears*), and I got to thinking about those basement windows which have always been a bit of an eye sore.


basement window coverings, basement window treatment, small basement window look bigger

Update July 2020: we finally remodelled the basement in the spring of 2020! I've updated this post to include basement window covering idea #11: creating decorative black frame window inserts. Head over to this post for the full tutorial.

basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas

With more floor space freed up, it's given me a chance to rethink this entire basement floor plan. We did a small basement refresh last year but we could better utilize the space and update the decor. It's time I decide what to do with the basement windows once and for all.

Basement Window Treatments

I realize having plain basement windows is a minor problem but I dislike the current view and seeing the ivy that inevitably grows down into the window wells. I hopped on Instagram and asked for suggestions on basement window coverings and treatments and there were some great ideas. I thought I'd share them here on the blog in case you're also wondering what to do with basement windows. 

The basement window solution you choose will depend on a few things:
  • Do you want to make the window seem larger?
  • Do you want to draw attention to the window?
  • Do you want to fill the space around window?
  • Are you looking for a budget or more expensive window treatment idea?


Here's 10 ideas for basement window treatments:

basement window coverings, basement window treatment, small basement window look bigger


1. Add Window Trim

One simple solution is to give your basement window a finished look by adding trim.

basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas

My friend Shauna trimmed her window in simple Shaker style trim. The inside window ledge and deep surround also look like they were clad in wood as well. Everything was painted in white paint for a crisp appearance and it helps to reflect the light. Basement windows tend to feel like an afterthought so adding trim makes them look more expensive, intentional and finished.

2. Create a DIY Window Covering Using Tension Rods

basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas

If you want to preserve light but add privacy and softness, a fabric window covering is another option. Tanya created this DIY window covering for the awkward window in her guest bedroom but I think it's a great solution for awkward basement windows as well. She used two tension rods and fabric sewn with pockets at the top and bottom. Ruching the fabric adds some privacy and interest. She also tried the window treatment without the bottom rod so head to her blog post to see that option and the DIY tutorial.

3. Make Small Basement Windows Look Taller with Faux Shutters


basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas

This solution by the folks at Frugal Family Times was really clever. Instead of designing around a small and high basement window, they've made the window look bigger and taller by playing a trick of the eye. Using window trim and recycled shutters, they've given the illusion that the window extends down the wall. If you want to make your basement feel less like a basement and more like the upper floors of your home, this is one way to do that.

4. Create a Larger Basement Window Using Mirrors


basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas

Similarly, and if you have room above your basement window, you can use a treatment that makes it appear the window extends up the wall. Here, a faux transom window was created using a mirror and trim. I like how they've used trim to create the illusion of muntins separating the window panes. They've also made use of the window ledge, using it to display accessories. I think this would be a great spot to add plants as well, and take advantage of that sunlight streaming in.

5. Dress the Basement Window with Drapery Panels



I find this basement window treatment particularly beautiful. If you take idea #3, extending the window using faux shutters, and add full length drapery panels, you can create a lovely window vignette. This is a great option for basement bedrooms when you want your window to feel a bit more lush and decorated.

6. Distract From The Window Using Other Decorative Elements


basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas

Alternatively, you can leave the basement window sizes as they are and use other elements to detract and distract. In this basement above, Sarah Richardson has used a combination of drapery panels, artwork, paint, and wainscotting to draw your attention away from the windows. This room feels layered, well thought out, and elegant. You would hardly believe it's a basement!

7. Angle Basement Windows to Let In More Light



Now here's one idea to consider if you are in the construction phase of building your basement. By angling the drywall at the bottom of your small basement window, you'll allow more light into the room itself. Click over to this blog post to see how the framing of this idea was done. Not really a covering, this idea makes your windows more of a feature.

8. Dress A Basement Window With A Custom Blind or Shutters

basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas 
You can never go wrong with custom window coverings. Getting something custom made to fit your  basement windows perfectly can bring a polished look to your space.

This is how we treated the basement windows in our last home. Because the windows had cabinetry beneath them, and the walls were finished in panelling, I wanted a tailored window covering fit to the exact size of the window. This relaxed blind looks pretty and lent a casual feel to our comfy, family-friendly basement.

basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas
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You can also opt for custom plantation shutters. I love the classic look of this treatment. It allows you to let in light or block it out when needed.

9. Make Basement Windows Look Wider with Blinds and Trim

basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas

Those folks at Frugal Family Times are full of good ideas. In addition to idea #3, they came up with this solution for another basement window. Here, they've used trim and bamboo blinds to make it appear that there are three windows above the bed instead of just one. Doing this gives the window area presence and makes the wall more of a feature. The blinds also add texture and colour and the room feels cozier. Who doesn't want that in a basement!

10. Use Window Film on Basement Windows

Lastly, we come to the easiest, quickest and probably cheapest solution to dress your basement windows: using window film. 

Not just for basements, window film can be used on any window where you want privacy or to block the view, but you also want to continue to have light shine through. Here's how we used frosted window film and a cafe curtain in our recent small bathroom makeover:

basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas

And here's how we used window film in our previous master bathroom:

basement window covering, basement window treatments, basement window ideas

We cut the film into pieces and mimicked the design of the tile on the walls. It was a simple detail that made the window stand out yet still provided privacy.

It turns out there are lots of different ways to cover your basement windows. Basement window treatments can make your windows appear larger, fancier, and more finished. You can make your windows stand out, or treat them simply and almost have them disappear. I still haven't decided what we'll do yet but at least now I have some good ideas!


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BONUS: 11. Create A Decorative Black Window Frame Insert

When it finally came time to remodel our basement, we came up with one more creative solution for basement window coverings! 

Made to look like black steel windows, we created these decorative inserts. The frame is constructed of wood and is backed with acrylic with frosted film applied on top. These inserts sit in front of the original windows and are not affixed in any way; they are a tight fit and just sit in place and can be easily removed if needed.

Click over to this post for the full tutorial.

basement window coverings, basement window treatment, small basement window look bigger

basement window coverings, basement window treatment, small basement window look bigger


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