6 Small Window Curtain Ideas to Dress Your Space

Finding the most suitable curtains for small windows takes some planning. If you pick a drape that’s too heavy or long, it will overwhelm the small window, thus causing it to disappear into the wall.

The trick is knowing how to select the right color and size and install the drape on the small window. The right curtain will not only create visual interest but also hide the window’s small size.

Keep reading to get a better idea of selecting the right curtain for small windows. Hopefully, by the end of the article, your interior will look even chicer with your curtain choice!

Curtain Ideas for Small Windows

Ceiling-to-Floor Curtains

Ceiling to Floor Curtains

The first type of curtain we recommend for small windows is a full-length ceiling-to-floor treatment. Such curtains are normally installed with a rod and hung very close to the ceiling. The length of the curtain should fully reach the floor just like puddle-style drapes.

The reason we recommend a full-length curtain for small windows is because of the visual effect it brings by making the window appear taller. Furthermore, long-length curtains eradicate the disproportionate look of the room, which is why most homeowners prefer such drapes for their added advantage of visual depth.

In fact, ceiling-to-floor curtains in light colors can create the illusion of space in a room and make the walls appear taller.

Cafe Curtains

Cafe Curtains

Cafe curtains are typically seen on the small windows of traditional, old cafes. This type of window treatment adds a dramatic touch to the room thanks to its folded design.

Since cafe curtains only partially cover your small window, they can be hung to the desired height. These short curtains allow enough natural light to get into the room whilst maintaining your privacy, so you won’t have to worry about your interior being visible from the outside.

Since cafe curtains give the impression that the entire window space isn’t covered, your small window won’t look disproportionate with the rest of your room. What’s more, during the day, you don’t even have to open the curtain to get some natural light!

In traditional or rustic style kitchens, we think cafe curtains make an ideal choice for short and wide windows. As shown in this example, you can select any color curtain to suit your kitchen’s surrounding decor and accessories.

Sheer Curtains

Sheer Curtains

If you want more privacy but without sacrificing the natural light, consider sheer curtains. Since small windows don’t allow enough light to enter the room, sheer curtains resolve this issue as they are made of transparent materials, so they don’t block 100% of sunlight.

Some people don’t like their curtains being open all the time for natural light. And it is only reasonable that you want some extra privacy in their room. This is why sheer curtains are the right solution, as you have the best of both worlds: some privacy and natural light all in one.

In minimalist-style rooms, sheer white curtains on small windows give a profound visual effect. Whether you pick a plain sheer curtain or a floral one, it can highlight the other colorful accessories in the room by serving as the backdrop to your small window.

Tie-Back Curtains

Tie Back Curtains

To make your small or narrow window all dressed up and ready to grab attention, opt for tie-back curtains. These layered types of window treatments have a high decorative value thanks to their unique design. It’s a surefire way to draw attention to your short or narrow window through colorful tie-back drapes.

There are so many designs available when it comes to choosing a fancy-tiered curtain. They are particularly desirable in formal dining or living rooms and master bedrooms.

The tie-back thick curtains shown in this example are a beautiful shade of blue flanked by neutral sheers for extra privacy. This stylish arrangement brings texture and depth to the small window as well as to the entire room.

For optimal visual effect, you may taper the bottom section of the tie-back curtains while allowing the rest of the layer to fall vertically toward the floor.



In the olden days, valances were all in the same material, pattern and color. But over time, they grew more popular and the choice of designs became more varied. To create a stunning look, think about the design of the valance as it must complement the surrounding decor or theme in the room.

Not only should you match the style of the valance with the rest of your room decor, you must also know that a valance is more like an accessory than a curtain. Its role is to make a short window appear taller. However, this depends on the installation as you must start from the ceiling.

A valance is the ultimate decorative addition in a kitchen with a small window. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same shade as the cabinets. As long as the tone complements the room’s overall color scheme, it will look stylish.

This neutral-colored valance on the small window has created a visual statement thanks to its unique, decorative design. Since the valance is installed at the window’s very top, it instantly draws attention to its texture. This type of window treatment is the ideal option for those who want to make a dramatic aesthetic statement.

Roman Shade

Roman Shade

Just like curtains, Roman shades are also fabric window treatments, but there is one distinctive difference between the two. Roman shades feature a cord system at the back of the fabric for raising and lowering the shade.

You can pick any color you like to complement your interior, however, bear in mind that the size of the shade should coordinate with the small window. Tip: go for a larger Roman shade to conceal the entire window as this helps you control privacy, light and detract attention from the size of the window.

Roman shades in various colors or sizes make an especially attractive choice for small kitchen windows above the sink. This contemporary half-cut Roman shade in the example shown here provides a cohesive, balanced look thanks to the neutral patterned design that goes with the wall color.

How to Make Your Small Window Look Bigger

The Trick is in the Curtain Hanging

How you hang your curtains on the small window can make or break the overall look. If the drapes are long, hang them just below the section where the ceiling meets the wall.

This still creates a floor-to-ceiling, plus you can increase width by using a longer than standard curtain rod. The trick is to create visual depth by hanging the curtain around 3 inches above the small window frame.

If your small window is narrow but tall, make sure the treatments cover the entire wall, with only the rod edges showing on either side.

For shorter windows, it’s best to install a valance above the window so the edge of the panel meets the window. This makes it look as though the small window extends behind the curtain panel.

This trick can also be used with roman shades or blinds. The blind you choose should ideally be 3 or 4 inches longer than the small window. This will help disguise the disproportion of the window.

Add Decorative Molding

Decorative molding, like casing around the small window, can add dimension. This is an especially great idea for Craftsman-style interiors. Decorative molding provides a minimalist and subtle look to frame the window and allow it to pop.

Paint Trim or Molding the Same Color as the Wall

A contrasting trim color is a common choice in most homes; however, when it comes to small windows, the trim can visually shrink the window.

A better idea would be to paint the trim the same color as the surrounding walls for a flowing feel. When you use a monochromatic color scheme in a neutral or minimalist style interior, you’re breaking up the space and making your small window appear larger than it really is.

Go for Patterned Drapes

Vertically patterned curtains tend to draw the eye toward the upper section of the window, so if you want to make your small window appear taller, opt for long-length, vertically striped drapes. To make the small window appear wider, pick horizontal stripes as they make the window visually appear extra wide.

Avoid Dark Curtain Colors

In a room with small windows, natural light needs to be maximized. Avoid dark-color drapes or shades as they block out the light and make your small window appear even smaller.

Light-colored or sheer curtains work best as they brighten up the room by allowing natural light to enter through the small window.

For more curtain ideas, feel free to check out our article ‘ How to Embellish Plain Curtains (9 Inventive Methods to Try) ‘