How to Cover High Windows

High windows can provide extra light, warmth and visual interest in your living space. Without the proper coverings, these windows can look stark and cold. Shades or curtains add color and softness to the space, while blinds, shutters or drapes are an elegant, inset solution for privacy and sun protection. 

Loft Window

Whether you choose one window covering or layer several, this decor element is sure to have an impact on your high windows.

As you're preparing to cover high windows, you'll need to answer a few key questions about how you want to decorate or cover your high windows. Step back, assess the space and ask yourself a few questions.

Do these windows need coverage over the glass for privacy or protection from the sun? Do you need opaque window coverings for this room? Will you want to adjust how the window coverings are positioned throughout the day or leave them in one position?

What is the size and shape of each high window? Can you reach any part of the window yourself? Once you’ve decided on what you need from your window treatments, it’s time to start looking.

High windows come in a variety of forms. Some extend upward to accommodate cathedral ceilings but still extend to floor level so that you can reach the bottom part of the window. Others are too high to reach or see directly through. You may have high windows on the ceiling in the form of a skylight.

If you want privacy or shade from the sun through these windows, you will need window treatments that can cover the glass, such as shades or blinds. Curtains and drapes can cover high windows, too, if you're willing to deal with opening and closing them. It's often difficult to arrange long swaths of fabric over tall windows, so you might prefer to leave the drapes in place and work with an adjustable shade or blind instead.

Motorized window coverings are a popular option for high windows. With this type of product, you can open and close the window treatments using a remote control so that you don't have to worry about finding a way to reach high windows. You can choose automated window coverings that open and close on a preset schedule throughout the day.

Curtain rod placement for high windows

When hanging over ordinary windows, curtain rods typically sit somewhere between 2 to 8 inches above the top of the window frame. Placing the curtain rod higher creates a more dramatic look, drawing the eye upward and making the room look larger. 

However, when you're dressing large windows, you may not have 8 inches of open space above the top of the window. If the windows extend from floor to ceiling, there's little need to create a dramatic look as these windows provide that with their height.

With curtains for high windows, choosing the right drapery hardware is extremely important. The curtain-rod size is more important than placement when it comes to high windows. Because the curtain rod is so much higher, you should use larger hardware. If the windows dwarf the rod or it's so high that it appears overly small, you'll have an imbalanced look in your room. 

Choose a large curtain rod and prominent, eye-catching finials to give your space an elegant appearance. For a sleek, modern look, you might skip the finials and opt instead for a prominent but simple metal rod across the top of the window.

Suppose you have tall windows and only want coverage for the bottom portion, where people can see through. In that case, you might also consider placing your curtain rod over a portion of the window. In this case, you would want to position the rod around average ceiling height, about 9 feet from the floor.

Curtain design for high windows

High ceiling curtains enhance your home decor and help pull together the overall look of a room. Choose fabrics, colors and patterns that coordinate with the pieces in your living space. Neutrals let the view from your window take center stage and keep the look clean and uncluttered.

You might try a bold solid color or striking black-and-white pattern for a contemporary style. Intricate patterns and rich fabrics like velvet suit a traditional or bohemian aesthetic. Light linens or sheers complement a French Country or coastal style.

Choosing the right curtain length for high windows

As with most windows, you have three primary choices for your curtain length: to the bottom of the window, to the floor, or pooling on the floor.

You’ll want to consult with a professional to determine the exact size of your windows.  Because large, high windows are so difficult to physically reach and require specialized, custom-made window treatments, curtains, and fixtures, it’s not the right time to experiment with DIY projects. Get in touch with a specialist in window treatments to make sure you are happy with the result, and it works with your decor. 

Drapery Panels Living Room

Hiring a professional will make this process much easier. You’ll be able to rely on their experience and skills, and you’ll be confident in the results. Especially with high windows, it’s better to have an experienced installer come hang and dress the drapes.

Hanging high curtains

Installing curtains, blinds, shades and other window coverings over high windows presents a distinct challenge. It's best to hire a professional to hang high curtains in hard-to-reach spaces. One needs to take extreme care when balancing a ladder, finding the correct position and correctly securing window treatments at an extreme height.

Streamline your home-decorating project by choosing a company that can help with every part of your window customization, from consultation to custom product design and final installation. Working with experts is the best way to get beautiful, lasting results for your home.

Curtain alternatives for high ceiling windows

Curtains or drapes hang to either side of the window, providing a decorative touch to your living space. However, high windows don't always need swaths of fabric to enhance their appeal. Some windows look better with inset window coverings that sit within the frame. Consider window treatment ideas like shutters, blinds, or shades. Long, skinny windows can be made to look wider with drapery panels hung on either side. 

For assistance selecting, measuring and designing your window coverings for high windows, schedule a free consultation with Budget Blinds. Get an expert opinion and personalized advice to make the right impact with your window coverings.