BASEMENT WINDOW CURTAINS: IDEAS, PHOTOS & TIPS
There was a time when the word ‘basement’ was synonymous in people’s minds with dark dungeons. After that, basements were relegated to be mere storerooms. Luckily, gone are the days of neglect! Basements are finally getting the attention they deserve from homemakers, and being put to use to add value, utility, and style to homes.
From gaming lounges to man caves and classic home theaters, basements are transforming into utilitarian spaces with well-defined purposes. And why not! With the right décor, even these dark, subterranean rooms can be transformed to have a strong aesthetic presence in your home.
The hardest challenge to address with basement decor is the lack of natural light and airiness. Basements often don’t have windows at all, and even when they do, the windows are typically short and close to the ceiling.
If, however, you’re blessed with windows in your basement – though struggling to dress them – fear not! Our expert stylists are here with their top tips to help you dress up your basement windows with curtains in style. So come along and explore these basement window curtain ideas for inspiration!
Stitched to perfection to match your window’s dimensions, Spiffy Spools custom curtains are just the addition your basement decor needs. Order custom basement curtains and drapes from Spiffy Spools in any size. Pick from over 3,000 fabrics and patterns!
Laying the Base for Basement Window Decor: Styling Decisions
Both for their function and aesthetic, your window treatments need to flow well with the purpose of your basement and its decor. Dressing up your basement windows with curtains can be tricky, and that’s where we come in with ideas and tips from our designers. To top it all, we have also included our fave fabrics to give you all the inspiration you need for your basement window curtains.
Basement Window Curtains: Goals & Preferences
Before we dive into ‘how’ to style your basement window curtains, it is important to understand the ‘why’. Why add curtains to your basement windows?
With small windows typical of most basements, space for natural light to enter is already compromised. So you might think that adding curtains to this will make the situation worse. However, leaving basement windows bare not only takes away a decor opportunity but also limits the versatility of your basement windows.
To help you make up your mind, here are the top reasons why one might want curtains in a basement:
PRIVACY: Without curtains, your privacy is compromised. So there is an unspoken need for maximizing light inflow without compromising privacy, especially in basements designed to be casual lounge areas, libraries, game rooms, or any room that doesn’t need light blocking. And thoughtfully chosen curtains can help you achieve this goal.
ROOM DARKENING: Achieving darkness becomes a primary requirement in basements designed as theater rooms or bar lounges where glares of light are often unwanted. In these cases, blackout curtains come to the rescue, effectively blocking out light and creating the perfect environment for the room. You may also be looking to enhance the acoustics of your theater room by muffling out external noises – another benefit that high-insulating curtains can offer you.
AESTHETICS: In a room that has been lovingly decorated with tastefully selected elements, bare windows can look out of place and sadly neglected. Since most basements tend to be cold and stark to start, you may not want to miss out on the opportunity to bring softness, color, and texture through your window dressings. Layering textile/fabric accessories such as curtains, rugs, cushions, etc. is after all a time-tested way to invite warmth and homeliness to any space.
CREATING ILLUSIONS: Along with fulfilling aesthetic requirements, curtains can play an important role in hiding flaws and creating an illusion of space and height in a small, low-ceiling basement. With carefully chosen fabrics, colors, and patterns, curtains can help downplay the small size or odd shape of the windows, while creating a sense of flow and continuity.
Small Details Run the Big Show: Basement Window Curtains Styling Tips
Now that you know the various reasons one may want curtains to dress their basement windows, it’s time to make sure you choose the right drapery to suit your individual goals. To that end, start by asking yourself what specific purpose and functionality you’re trying to achieve with your basement curtains.
Do you need complete privacy and room darkening, or are you looking for privacy with light? Is your basement serving as a dark and moody media room or a daytime home office? Do you need fully functional drapes or can stationary, decorative panels or valances meet a purely aesthetic need?
Once you have answered these questions, use the tips below to design the perfect window curtains for your basement.
Dingy to Dapper: Make the Right Fabric Choice for Basement Curtains
With a discerning eye for decor and carefully chosen elements, an otherwise unwelcoming basement can be transformed from a mere storage space to a fully functional and inviting den.
While deciding on the fabric for your basement curtains, it’s important to consider the purpose of the space and the ambiance you want to create. Furthermore, the material composition, palette, and pattern of the chosen drapery fabric all influence the mood of the room. On that note, here are a few things to keep in mind while making your choice:
The composition of your curtain fabric is an important factor in achieving the desired goal and ambiance of your basement. The fabric of your basement window curtains should enhance the functionality and purpose of the room.
So if you are looking to let in more light in your basement while maintaining privacy, use sheer drapes. Sheers are lightweight, loosely woven fabrics that beautifully filter sunlight, which is great for providing your basement with a bright, airy feel while also providing privacy.
On the other hand, if room darkening is your goal for an enhanced media or gaming experience, then use blackout curtains. Blackouts are tight-weave, special-treated fabrics that cut out all unwelcome light while also muffling any external noises.
Another factor to consider for basement curtain fabrics is their breathability. Basements are notorious for being dingy and claustrophobic spaces. Therefore, our drapery experts recommend picking breathable, lightweight fabrics like linens and cottons, over polyesters, silks, and heavy velvets.
Spotlight On: Elf Blue
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to stare at the sky from your basement? Sounds like an impossible dream but not with our Elf Blue curtain fabric. Cool, elegant, and serene, they are like your very own piece of the sky. Easily blendable with various color palettes, the pale bluish-green hue makes this drapery fabric an easy choice for any basement. The linen-like slubs bring the cozy element and help to cultivate a casual ambiance. This drapery fabric can do wonders for your happy place.
Spotlight On: Cameo Cream
Our Cameo Cream curtain fabric is the literal manifestation of ‘bespoke beauty’. It is an elegant neutral fabric with a herringbone woven stripe. The soft color and subtle pattern of the curtains blend into the room. The sublimity of these curtains makes all the magic come alive. The versatility of this easy cotton makes it an excellent complement to any color palette and decor style.
Spotlight On: Morocco
Want to go blackout without going all black? Morocco is the fabric for you. Its dark blue-on-pale blue color scheme looks sophisticated whether on its own or paired with complementing curtains. This hardy performer ruthlessly cuts down sunlight streaming in from the windows to make your space so much more tranquil.
Spotlight On: Pastel Day
Go beyond regular beiges and blues and drape your basement windows in these lovely purple textured sheer curtains. Their unusual pastel color is reminiscent of soothing lavender fields. The eye-catching striped texture of Pastel Day lets in soothing light for a fresh and airy feel. Pair these with floral print artwork on the wall for a sweet and pristine look.
Choosing the right palette for your basement window curtains contributes to the entire mood of the room. The purpose of your basement and your personal decor vision need to be factored in while making up your mind regarding the palette of your basement curtains.
To help you along, here are a few pointers:
- Light Vs Dark Colors: If you want to invite a feeling of light and airiness, curtains featuring lighter colors or pastel shades can turn out to be the X-factor in your rooms. Whereas, to achieve a darker, moodier ambiance, opt for light-absorbing, deeper colors. They efficiently cut out glares of light and turn your basement space into the perfect home theaters.
- Let the Curtains Blend in with the Walls: If you wish to blend in the windows to draw attention away from their odd shape and small size, use drapery of the same color as the walls. This creates a sense of flow, and as they seamlessly sink into the backdrop of the walls, their edges become indistinguishable, making the windows seem larger.
- Colors Should Sync with Decor Style: Another important factor is to maintain synchronization with the overall palette of the room. So whatever colors you choose for your drapes, make sure they play nice with all the other elements in the room.
- Avoid Strong Contrasts: You will be well advised to avoid a strong contrast palette for your curtains as it will only draw more attention to your oddly shaped windows and make them stand out.
Spotlight On: Silver Comet
Looking for a soft-toned curtain to complement dark floors and furniture? Silver Comet, our pale beige fabric with brownish-yellow undertones might be the best catch. The sunny hints help to bring warmth and cheerfulness with a sophisticated touch.
Spotlight On: Roaming Red
Room darkening needn’t be a drab affair ruled by boring greys and beiges. The perfect shade for classic media rooms, Roaming Red brings drama and boldness to your basements. This deep red, light-blocking fabric looks stunning and stops incoming sunrays and noises very efficiently.
Spotlight On: Light Amber
Looking for dark curtains without the moodiness? Light Amber is that cheerful shade you have been searching for. This cutesy orange fabric looks pretty as a peach and works really hard to cut down external noises and inflowing light. Its charm also goes well with several colors or as standalone statement pieces in an otherwise colorless room.
Spotlight On: Yamini Linyanti
Part of our swoon-worthy cotton collection, Yamini Linyanti captures the magic of monochrome without overpowering the room. With a raw, softly tactile feel and its body of light blue, it feels like a modern take on cotton, bursting with textural flavor. The bright color brings the charm of cinematic valleys right to your basements. This medium-weight cotton falls beautifully and never fails to impress – no matter what the heading style – from the fullness of pinch pleats to the minimalist look of the eyelet heading.
Patterns need to be used wisely in basements to make sure that they do not overwhelm the space. Consider the patterns-plain ratio of your room, and your aesthetic or decor inclination before coming to the decision on whether you want your curtains to be patterned or not.
Since basement windows are small, and patterns are an energetic and eye-engaging addition to any space, (as much as they can zhuzh up your space), wrong pattern choice can make the room feel cluttered and busy. A word to the wise – steer clear of large and bold motifs that look out of place on small windows and draw unnecessary attention toward the odd shape/size of the windows of the basement.
Instead, you will make a much more clever choice with thin stripes, petite climbing vines, upward moving chevron, or even greek keys that extend and move upwards or sideways, making the eyes travel along them and visually elongate the windows. Quite like magic, this makes the room look spacious – a trick we all swear by!
Spotlight On: Piana
Piana is part poetry, part panache, and pure luxury. Its white base fabric has been embroidered with multicolored geometric motifs in pastel shades of pale green and sky blue. Some of these have a slight tasseled look for a designer feel. Alternate and not-too-crowded placement of motifs creates a feel of visual harmony.
Spotlight On: Tidal Wave
A breath of fresh ocean air for your basement, Tidal Wave is our soft white cotton adorned with stripes of blue, green, and yellow. The three bright hues are the perfect hues for making your basement your perfect happy retreat. The vertical stripes are also great for adding the illusion of height to your basement.
Spotlight On: Stage Star
Add instant visual allure to any room with this dazzling linen-look fabric that features a bold abstract pattern and distinctive color palette. Its violet-red and carnation-pink hues blend in vibrant smudges and faints to create an arresting look that’s perfect for any space. With its vibrant colors, Stage Star promises to infuse a note of glamor into your basement.
Choice of the Wise: The Right Kind of Wide
Given the petite size of most basement windows, the space is ideally not to be overwhelmed with any decor accessory, including your curtains. For spaces like a basement, it is best to use curtain panels that are not too dense with pleats.
The fullness (density of pleats) of a curtain can be determined by the width and the heading style you choose for your curtains. While measuring curtains, we generally love to keep 2x fullness, however, when it comes to the basement, it is recommended to never go beyond 1.5x fullness.
What is 1.5x or 2x fullness? To explain this trade term, let’s say your window’s width is 100 inches and you’d like to dress it with one single panel. Then, 2x fullness would mean that your curtain panel should be 2 x 100 inches i.e 200 inches wide. In case you’d like a pair of curtains for the same window, each panel should be 100 inches wide. Similarly, when we say 1.5x fullness, it means your single panel drapery should be 150 inches wide and panels in a pair should be 75 inches wide each.
Factor in the heading style too since dense pleats offered by styles like pinch pleats can be inordinate for such a small space. Instead, our stylists recommend going for more minimalist heading styles that use less fabric like grommet tops, flat panel tops, and rod pockets.
Though, if you require blackout ambiance, avoid grommet top curtains since their eyelets may cause light leakage, defeating the entire purpose of getting blackout curtains. Rod pockets and back tab tops will be your top candidates for serving blackout purposes.
Each curtain heading/pleat style is suited for different spaces and moods. From formal and dramatic to casual and minimalist, Spiffy Spools offers over a dozen heading choices for custom drapes. Explore the heading choices we offer with our Curtain Headings Style Guide and order custom curtains from Spiffy Spools.
Go Royal with Long Curtains: Deciding Curtain Length
While length does depend on your personal choice, we all go gaga over floor-to-ceiling, full length curtains for both their looks and functionality. Floor-to-ceiling curtains or tall-length curtains win the deal because not only do they look glamorous with their elegant fall but also being tall, they woo the eye upwards and give the illusion of height.
Also, while there’s not much that you can hide with short curtains, long drapes cover the entire space when closed, creating the illusion of bigger and larger windows behind them. If you are looking for curtains for your media room, you should definitely think about wrap-around floor-to-ceiling curtains since they offer complete blackout and enhance the acoustics of your theater room.
Right Height & Width: Hardware Positioning
Your curtain hardware needs to be perfect to enhance the functionality of your curtains. If you get the wrong hardware or place it at an inappropriate height, it will hinder the functionality of your curtains and also affect the overall looks of the drapes.
One of the key challenges that you face with basement window treatments is that you cannot compromise on the little light that enters through the tiny windows. To achieve this goal, extend your drapery poles by a few inches on both sides of the window frame. This ensures that the drapes have stacking space on the walls, without blocking even a little bit of light coming through the windows when drawn aside.
If there is space between the top of the window and the ceiling, place the curtain hardware on the highest point possible. This will make the ceilings look taller when the curtains are hung, especially when you opt for tall or floor-to-ceiling curtains.
Placing the curtain rod higher toward the ceiling and extending it on both sides also ensures that there are no light leaks through the seams of the windows or drapes. This is something you need to factor in, especially if you are using your basement space as a media room.
READ MORE: CURTAIN ROD SIZE & LENGTH GUIDE
Order Custom Curtains for Basement Windows from Spiffy Spools
As we close this piece, we hope you find yourself ready with a roadmap to buying the perfect curtains for your basement windows. So, without any further ado, give your mind the rest it deserves with retail therapy and shop with us.
There’s no such joy as browsing through our collection of over 3000 pretty fabrics, each winning you over with its charm and magic. Make whatever you want out of your basement with custom curtains stitched to perfection by Spiffy Spools. Your personal drapery master, always at your service!