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Small windows are often found in a cloakroom, a utility room or to either side of a front door. They generally benefit from having a window dressing without curtains, and as such, pelmet and roman blind, or pelmet and roller blind combinations are particularly successful.

 

The three illustrations below show stiff pelmet and roman blind combinations. The shaped lower edges are the same on both blinds and pelmets and yet the three styles produce completely different effects. Roller blinds could be substituted for roman blinds if more appropriate. Remember that it is particularly important to scale the pelmet correctly to suit the proportions of the window - a scale drawing is invaluable! 

A typical style of small window
You may also wish to make a full scale paper cut out of the pelmet and place it over the window to make sure that you are happy with the effect before proceeding. 

Pelmet and roman blind combinations work particularly well on small windows

In the two pictures below, we aim to show how the look of a window can be substantially altered by the positioning of the window dressing. The window on the left has a roller blind inset into the window recess. In the diagram on the right, placing the roman blind on the outside of the window recess increases the width of the window. This technique can be used on any window size. You can increase the height of a window by installing a pelmet or valance higher than you would normally or increase the width by extending a pelmet board or curtain tracking further back onto the surrounding walls.

The positioning of the window dressing can alter the scale of the window

Using a shaped valance and roller blind combination on the small window, to the left below, is another option that softens the outline of the window and yet at the same time retains the simple, uncluttered look achieved by not having curtains.

Lambrequins are particularly successful on a small window, as shown right below. Always positioned on the outside of the recess, they frame the window and a blind attached to the inside of the lambrequin frame provides privacy if required.

A shaped valance and blind look uncluttered whilst Lambrequins give a tailored look to a small window

For a softer look, use an asymmetrical curtain drawn back to either the left or the right. A voile or sheer fabric would be particularly appropriate for this type of curtain as light restriction is kept to a minimum. Conventional curtains could appear cluttered and restrict valuable light on such a small window. If a pair of curtains is the only option, and there is available space, then consider taking the curtains further back onto the surrounding walls. This would increase the width of the window and the stack back of the curtain fabric on each side

An asymmetrical curtain will be more effective than full curtains on a small window

Select a different style of window from the list below:

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