Country window treatments

This term is usually used to describe small, sometimes ornate windows found in many homes. Sometimes they are referred to as cottage windows.

Whatever their size, these windows will have a older look to them, even if they are of a modern construction. They hark back to a bygone era.

This is the key when you come to designing your country window treatment. Stay with traditional schemes and you won't go far wrong.


Lack of space

space for drapes on country window

Allowing space for top treatments and stackback

Because country windows can be small with numerous panes of glass, the rooms are often dark. It's therefore advisable to allow as much daylight into the room as possible. This means keeping the drapes of the window.

But lack of space is often one of the main features. The window frame can be close to walls or other architectural features, or set just below the ceiling.

So the first thing to do is check how much space you have above the window for valances or cornices, and to the sides for stack back.

In many situations the amount of space isn't ideal, and you'll often have to compromise in order to use your preferred drape design.

Sill length or floor length?

My preference is always for floor length drapes, but country windows can be an exception. Because they are small, often rectangular as shown in the illustration, having the drapes finish three or four inches below the sill can be an attractive treatment.


pole over country window

Pole used with country window

Poles or rods are my preferred option in many situations. They are especially useful if you don't have very much room above the window.

In very old buildings which have a rustic interior, black metal rods may be an excellent choice. If you have a lot of wood, such as floors, walls or other fitments, then a wood pole is the way to go. Poles are available in many different types of wood, and in a variety of diameters.

I suggest staying away from more modern alternatives such as brushed metal, or rods with fancy glass finials.

Top treatments

A classic top for country window treatments is a valance. Providing you have enough space above the window, this will give a soft and traditional look.

Don't make the depth of the valance less than about 6" (15cms) or it will look thin and ineffective.

The same goes for cornice boxes. If you use a shape, keep it uniform, such as a scallop. If you have the sides lower than the central section, only have them deeper by a small amount.

Simple and traditional

These are the two ideas to keep in mind when designing drapes for a country window.

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