How to Use Window Drapes With an Arched Window

Dressing an arched window can be challenging. We've got the details here on how to use window drapes to make a beautiful covering.

Arched windows can be a gorgeous architectural feature on a house. They add elegance and height to a room in ways traditional windows could never hope to do. But when it comes to hanging curtains, arched windows can be awkward.

With a flat window, it's easy enough; the curtain rod goes at the top, and pick out some window drapes you like. But with arched windows, how do you take something as square as a rod and window drapes and make them complement the rounded beauty of your window? Below are seven tips on how to style your curtains to best show off your arched window.

Get High

Arched windows are great for making ceilings look loftier, so why shouldn't your drapes do the same? Curtain rods placed at the ceiling help enhance the height of a room. Putting the rod at the ceiling will also keep the window from looking stumpy (as it would if the rod were placed closer to the window).

Hang a straight rod that's a little wider than the window just below the ceiling. Get window drapes long enough to reach your floor and arrange them at the far ends so your beautiful window is on display. If you have exposed pipes that run near your windows, these can also be used as makeshift curtain rods.

Compromise is Key

Depending on the location and size of your arched window, placing window drapes halfway down the window may be the best way to get the privacy and protection from sunlight you need without covering up your beautiful architectural feature. Place the curtain rod across the window at the bottom of the arched portion, leaving the top uncovered. You'll want half-length window drapes for this.

This treatment can be excellent for half-size arched windows, such as you sometimes see over kitchen sinks. It can also be a good option if you have an arched window upstairs, where you need protection from prying eyes from below, but would like to leave the natural light and open view for the top. If the arched portion of your window contains especially spectacular geometry, this can be a great way to show it off.

Use the Middle Ground

If you have more than one arched window grouped together (for instance in a bow window), hanging a rod over the top, even with curtains bunched at either end, may still obstruct the view. Instead, consider getting rosettes or a small rod to go between each window. This will allow you to show off more of your windows while still gaining the advantages of drapes.

Having window drapes grouped like this on either side of floor-to-ceiling arched windows can be particularly stunning. It creates a very vertical impression, so if you have high ceilings, this can be a wonderful way to show them off. For this job, you again want full-length drapes.

Show Your Swag

Swag window drapes can be a great way to accent the shape of an arched window without framing it in rigid vertical lines. If you want to really take advantage of the softer lines an arched window can provide, this may be the way you want to go. Swag-style drapes can work on large or small windows depending on how dramatic an effect you'd like.

Using rosettes and maybe one short rod, place two long window drapes at the center top of the arched window. Take each curtain and secure it on the side of the window where the bottom of the arched window forms a corner; make sure to leave enough slack in the curtain for it to drape. From there, you may add additional rosettes further out to the sides if you wish, or simply allow your curtains to drape from there to the floor.

Eyes on the Prize

If you opt to hang a straight curtain rod over your arched window, picking a curtain rod with a decorative centerpiece may serve you well. A carved crest situated right over the center of your arched window can draw eyes up and help give the whole window a very finished look.

You still want to hang your rod near the ceiling for this style, so as not to artificially lower the height of your room and make your window look stumpy. This effect also works particularly well on windows that are wider than they are tall. Taller windows already have so much vertical draw that an additional pull in that direction may not have as much effect as it would on a wider window.

Stay on Top

Using valence curtains to cover the top part of your arched windows can lend an elegant, classic feel to your room. You want to be sure to buy a valence that matches the curve of your window, but if it is fitted properly, it can be a stunning effect. This generally works a little better on shorter, more vertical windows.

You may want to get a valence with a subtle, intricate pattern. This will add almost a gingerbread effect to your room and will help draw the eye up to the curve of the arched window. A valence that is scalloped at the bottom can also be a lovely touch.

Be Flexible

If dancing around the issue of how to hang a straight curtain rod just isn't working for you, don't be afraid to bend the rules - or in this case, the rod. Get a flexible curtain rod that you can shape to hug the top of your arched window. This does work better for windows that are a little less curved on top but can lend a very pretty, soft look.

You will want to be sure to get curtain rings that lock in place if you choose this style of drapes. Gravity will not be on your side with standard rings, as they will all just slide to the ends and hang there. When you want to pull the curtains back, you'll need to do so with tie backs.

Find Beautiful Window Drapes

Take time to look at your arched windows and determine which style will best accent them and suit your style. Done properly, your arched windows will become a major focal point on your house and the subject of tons of compliments.

When you're shopping for drapes, head over to Budget Blinds. They have beautiful custom curtains, and they live up to their tagline: Style and service for every budget. Check out their gorgeous window drapes and find your next addition to your home.