Swerve the errors that lead to a lack of privacy, a deficit of style, or an inability to manage the light
Houzz Contributor. I’m a freelance journalist and editor writing for nationals, magazines… More
Of all the window treatments in a home, it’s those in our bedrooms that have to work the hardest. Here, effective light regulation is essential for a good night’s rest. Privacy has to be achievable, too (with more demanded of rooms that look out onto town streets or rows of homes). Last but definitely not least, the window dressing has to complement the rest of the room, not look like an afterthought. Avoid the traps with these guidelines.
Mistake No 1: Letting in light at night
Scientists are producing more and more evidence that a disturbed night’s sleep is bad for our health. Among the culprits are the constant light of towns and cities and early dawns.
In this bedroom, solid panel shutters have been enlisted to block unwanted light. They can be made to the exact measurements of a window, so they’re effective as a blackout method. They might also help if it’s noise that’s affecting the quality of your sleep – particularly if your home has single-glazed windows.
Mistake No 2: Fighting with the wall covering
Alongside a patterned wallpaper, a bold or dark paint colour, or a textural finish like this exposed brick, opt for a window dressing that’s harmonious rather than competitive.
In this room, simple wooden Venetian blinds tone with the wall’s colour and continue the horizontal lines of the brickwork to keep the focus on the industrial finish. There’s other pattern in the room, of course, with a bold geometric rug on the floor, but in-between are areas where the detail has been dialled down so the bedroom is a calming place to be.
Discover inspiring ways to use bare bricks
Mistake No 3: Not prioritising privacy
Ground-floor bedrooms, narrow streets, busy roads… There are plenty of situations where creating sufficient privacy is challenging. In this room, window film is a permanent cover-up for the lower part of the windows, with Roman blinds an adjustable second element.
Like etched and sandblasted glass, window film will still let daylight into the room. As here, fitting it to the lower pane of the window might be enough to stop passers-by looking in, while retaining more light than if a full-length voile curtain were used for the same purpose.
This patterned window film echoes the scrolls of the iron bed to add subtle detail to the room, but plain versions are also available if you’d prefer to use pattern for the blind or curtain fabric with which the film is teamed.
Mistake No 4: Neglecting texture
Bedroom curtains add a sizeable element of fabric to a scheme, so they can make a big contribution to the overall feel of a room. In this bedroom, a beautifully textured velvet adds to the luxurious mood. Consider the look you’re going for – if it’s something more laid-back, for example, lined linen may suit your scheme better.
An oversized headboard with an ultra-comfortable button back and wraparound sides, plus an occasional chair, boost the sumptuousness, too, as do layers of cushions on the bed. Floral arrangements are an additional luxury factor – it’s worth investing in good faux versions for year-round five-star style.
Why a scene-stealing headboard could make your bedroom makeover
Mistake No 5: Forgetting Roman blinds
The drape of curtains is appealing, but they’re not the only option when soft gathers of fabric are a must-have in a bedroom scheme. Roman blinds – like the pair in this room – fall in pleats when they’re pulled up, so they can have the same generous look as curtains.
Note how having a pair of windows set close together in this room also makes the blinds a good choice, as they provide a neat treatment that avoids a clash of hanging material. Also, with the window on the left butting up to the bedhead wall, a curtain drawn back here would have no place to go.
Browse window treatments in the Houzz Shop
Mistake No 6: Hanging curtains to sill length
Full-length curtains are a canny way to correct faulty proportions – whether that’s having a low ceiling or a smallish window. Here, by hanging the curtains at the top of the wall, the ceiling feels higher, as the eye’s drawn upwards, and the window appears deeper because the fabric falls to the floor rather than stopping short.
The length of the curtain pole is also a clever cheat in this scheme. By extending it along the whole wall, it makes the window seem wider. It also lets maximum light into the room, because the fabric can be drawn completely away from the glass.
Mistake No 7: Not allowing for bay window angles
Beautiful bay windows create a challenge because of their angles: sunlight will hit the sections differently, so individual adjustments are preferable to manage that.
In this room, shutters offer the opportunity to tilt and deflect the light in the middle and each side section independently to keep the room at the right temperature in sunny weather and save furniture and furnishings from damage and fading.
Tall bay window? Follow this room’s example with tier-on-tier shutters, where the top and bottom panels are separate for maximum flexibility.
Mistake No 8: Missing the chance to improve the view
Not all windows have the outlook you’d want – sometimes it’s dull, or it may be downright ugly. In this room, rather than frame a view to the house opposite, the window’s been dressed to maximise its appeal instead. The striped Roman blind has a smart, tailored finish and its warming colour is picked up in the chair’s cushion, as well as in the throw on the end of the bed.
The bedroom chair and side table also help to keep the focus on this dressed corner rather than the street.
Mistake No 9: Expecting one window treatment to do it all
Sometimes, a single window dressing won’t be able to perform all that you need from it, and two – or even three – might be the answer. Here, shutters offer light control and privacy, while full-length curtains maximise the range of fabrics in the room and soften the look.
Get this room’s scheme with a palette of subtly different neutrals on walls, curtains, carpet, headboard, bed linen and cushions, and add an accent with bedside lamps in warming yellow.
Which window dressing did you choose for your bedroom? Share your tips and photos in the Comments section.