How to Decorate Three Windows Side by Side

Windows are the eyes of a room.

Drapery Panels

They allow light in, and, in ideal situations, they provide a panorama that can become a part of the interior decor. Selecting appropriate coverings for three windows that are side-by-side is based on the usage of the windows. If they overlook another building or have an unattractive outlook and if they remain closed the majority of the time, the windows require a different approach to design than if they open and close frequently and/or have a pleasant view.

Treat the three side-by-side windows as one by installing two fabric drapery panels that open in the middle of the center window. The drapery fabric you select should complement your decor but not overwhelm, as you don't want the windows to become the center of attention. Buy a decorative drapery rod, and hang the panels from rings or tabs. Use tiebacks at the sides to keep the panels open.

Use a traverse rod that operates on pulleys to open and close pleated panels that cover the three windows, creating one visual. Buy a fabric drapery that blends with your walls without standing out. A combination rod will allow an inner sheer panel to remain stationery when the exterior fabric panels are opened in the center. The best effect is created when the draperies run from the top of the window to the floor.

Install one, long boxed valance over the draperies covering the three windows. This unites the windows and coverings into one decorative effect. A complementary fabric or the same fabric as the draperies can be used as a valance covering, depending on whether the windows are to be prominent or passive.

Fabricate decorative toppings to un-valanced panels by smocking the top six inches of the three-window drape or pencil-pleating deeply into the drop. The three windows become one visual in the room.

Blinds and Shades

Install shades within the frame of each of the three windows. They should all be of the same material, whether they are wood, horizontal or vertical blinds, or made of fabric.

Top the three windows with one boxed valance. If fabric is used for the shades, cover the valance with the same fabric. If blinds are installed, select a valance fabric that coordinates with the decor of the room, preferably an accent pattern or color.

Choose a decorative fabric band if you are using wooden blinds of any color. The same fabric can be used if you want a boxed valance overhead. Use one boxed valance for the three-window configuration.


Install plantation shutters on each of the three windows. They can be purchased in a variety of colors to match your decor, or you can custom-paint them. They can be set within the window frame or fastened to the adjoining wall.

Inset French shutters with fabric panels, and install on each of the three windows. Use the same fabric for each of the windows.

Use solid-panel shutters if the outlook is undesirable. Open them to let light in, but keep closed in the evenings for a warm, wooden, paneled-wall effect that stretches across the three-window span.

About the Author

Jann Seal is published in magazines throughout the country and is noted for her design and decor articles and celebrity *in-home* interviews. An English degree from the University of Maryland and extensive travels and relocations to other countries have added to her decorating insight.