What Type of Curtains Make Small Spaces Look Big?

D Ann Kross
Oversized window treatments visually enlarge your space.

Windows offer an ideal spot to help your small space gain visual ground. You can expand your area visually with curtains and window treatments that provide a flowing fabric backdrop that suggests an enlarged window opening behind them. Hard-working moms can appreciate the simplicity of utilizing ready-made curtain panels for a quick and easy solution. Opt to extend the rod width and height of your curtain to enlarge a small window opening and to visually enhance a small-scale room.

Curtain Choices

Mount one of several curtain styles outside of your window opening to achieve a more spacious feeling in your small room. Full-length pleated, tab-topped or rod-pocket curtains that extend above the window elongate the lines of your small space; utilize them in lieu of shorter curtain lengths. Smocked and box-pleated curtain headings can also visually extend your small space when you install extra-long panels. Opt for extra-wide curtains to further extend the visual dimension of your small space.

Fabric Focus

The fabric you choose for your curtain can also help to create an illusion of a larger space. When you blend curtain colors with walls, furnishings and area rugs, it blurs the dividing lines in your room. Consider working with light colors that easily reflect light, such as cream, pastel colors or antique white. Fabrics with small repeats and textural details, such as a woven geometric design, can provide visual interest in your up-close spaces. Fabrics with horizontal stripes can make the room seem wider but draw from the height of the room, while vertical stripes floor-to-ceiling on fabrics add height, especially when you paint the ceiling a white or a lighter shade than the walls.

Small Space Style

Small spaces don't need to be small on style. Take advantage of the diminutive scale to pump up your curtain's style factor in your cozy space. Elect small dramatic touches, such as placing a small half-round accent chest in front of floor-length drapery panels with a board-mounted take-up valance to create an instant focal point in the room. Pair two armless chairs in smaller living rooms instead of a standard-sized sofa in front of extended curtain panels. Avoid using overhead lights in a small room, as that brings the ceiling down. Place lamps on end tables where needed, or buy a tall floor lamp instead.

Designer Tips

Choose curtain styles with uncomplicated details at eye level, such as grommet-topped panels. Avoid translucent or sheer curtains that reveal window shapes, or inside-mounted curtains, such as cafe curtains that draw attention to a window opening. Instead, go for fluid fabrics with oversized proportions to enlarge the room. Board-mounted stationary curtains, such as boxed-pleated heading styles, come in floor-to-ceiling options that can easily be installed with L-brackets or angle irons for a simple all-in-one treatment. Pick lined curtains to minimize the light filtration through drawn curtains.