A Guide to Bathroom Window Coverings: Do’s and Don’ts of Dressing

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Dressing Bathroom Windows

Most any type of window coverings can be put in a bathroom window. Which items work best depends on your style, the window size and orientation and if your bathroom is small or large as well as where the window or windows lie.

A Guide to Bathroom Window Coverings

You have a huge selection of items to use for your bathroom window coverings. You can choose from custom window shades, drapery panels, roller blinds, shutters and more. This guide can show you how to use a single window covering and also how to layer your windows treatments as well as the mood they will all set in your bathroom.

  • Roman Shades are Relaxing

Roman shades pull upward into soft folds to let light in and allow views out from the windows in your bathroom. On narrow windows, it works best to have the shade drape in a single swag and on wider windows, it adds interest to your bathroom to have two or more swags. You can choose a neutral color if you already have color in your bathroom such as painted cabinets or you can add a fun print to lighten the mood. It’s best to add a liner to the rear of your Roman shades in a bathroom to protect your fabric of choice from deteriorating in the sun and use a light-filtering shade instead of a blackout Roman shade.

  • Combining Drapery Panels with Balloon Shades

If you have several windows together in a block, you can use decorative drapery panels that hang on the sides of the bank of windows with a custom balloon shade at the top. It works best to have an ample amount of fabric so it lies softly on the sides of the windows in folds to compliment the soft and gathered balloon folds at the top. This style will act as a backdrop for a bathroom that has other decorative items such as a marble shower or a wrought iron chandelier. If your windows are above the bathtub, this will only work well with a free-standing tub that is not next to the wall, otherwise shortening the drapery panels will appear chopped off and odd.

  • Low Maintenance Shutters

Shutters are both a very handsome and practical window covering in bathrooms. You should choose faux wood instead of hardwood to withstand the humidity and moisture in a bathroom so they don’t fade, crack or warp over time. You can paint shutters in any color you wish for a bold statement piece in a bathroom with mainly neutral colors. The best orientation to hang them is the double tier style in which there is one set of shutters on the top of the windows and one set of shutters on the bottom of the windows. This gives you the versatility of only opening or closing off half of the window at a time and you can still customize your lighting in the bathroom by tilting the vanes to any position you desire.

  • Fixed Balloon Shades add Color and Pattern

If you have a bathroom window that no one can see in and privacy isn’t an issue for you, you can consider fixed balloon shades. This type of window covering adds color and pattern to a bathroom to soften clean and straight lines such as are found with marble floors and countertops. The best idea is to hang the balloon shades above the window trim at the top so you can still open and close the windows. The series of soft swoops add sophistication in a relaxed but still formal style. Remember to choose a fabric that will hold up well in a humid bathroom such as cotton.

  • Roller Shades Block Both Light and Cold

Roller shades in a bathroom give you great light-blocking abilities along with insulating the window in the cooler months when they are closed. You can choose a woven wood or a thick linen fabric to add texture and interest to your bathroom scheme. Your choice of fabrics can relay anything from vintage to modern and anywhere in between. If your window is above your bathtub, you should limit the cord’s length to raise and lower the roller shade or choose a cordless option to appear neat and crisp.

  • Drapery Panels to Create a Spa-Like Appearance with Zones

This idea works very well in spacious master bathrooms to create separate zones. You can use a heavy fabric and hang it on drapery rods with rings to create a niche for your vanity area when closed and another to create a separation between your dry zones and your wet zones of your shower and/or bathtub. Oversized drapery panels add privacy to your master bathroom and also create a luxury spa-like experience.

  • Sheer Roman Shades Add Softness to Your Bathroom Window Coverings

When you enlist Roman shades that are fabricated from sheer linen with an embroidered print, they give you the feel of softness that reminds you of a part garden room and a part spa room. This works especially well if you have heavy cabinets and ornate tile to add a more neutral touch and create balance with softness in an otherwise heavy appearance. You can use a sheer to let light in but still give you bathroom privacy from the outdoors.

  • Showcase Your Arched Windows with Cafe Draperies

If you happen to have arched windows in your bathroom, you can really showcase and dress it with cafe draperies to draw the eye to the delicate arch and showcase it as a focal point. This is achieved by covering the window from below the arch downward to the bottom of the window with fabric drapery panels. It’s best to use simple rings on the header and a simple and thin drapery rod so as not to take attention away from the arch above it.

  • Adding Privacy Around Master Bathtubs

If you have a built-in tub with windows on one to three sides of it, you can create privacy while in the bathtub with beautiful or basic drapery panels. In most cases, privacy to the outdoors is not usually an issue when your bathtub has windows around it.

You can choose something quite delicate or a basic, neutral color to soften the lines of the tile floors and the countertops and any other hard surfaces. This idea allows you to open the drapery panels to have a breathtaking view of the outdoors. You can consider having blackout draperies if you wish, but remember that these will only allow light in your windows when they are open and it could make the bathroom quite dark even in the middle of the day.

  • Combining Draperies and Shutters

This design works best for a freestanding tub with a window over it that is not floor length. You can start your first layer with tier on tier shutters and add a light-blocking fabric drapery panel that hangs on each side of the shutters. This allows you to draw the curtain when you need privacy and shut the shutters for an added layer of protection. Of course, you may choose to open both the shutters and the drapery panels and open your window to allow a cool breeze inside your bathroom. Remember to choose faux wood shutters and an all-weather fabric that is water-resistant for durability and a long-lasting appearance.

Second Story Bathroom Window Covering Ideas

If you have a second-story bathroom and no one can possibly see inside the window, you may choose not to dress your windows at all. A great and exciting idea for this orientation is to have a stained glass window that allows light in and in doing so makes an absolutely breathtaking image on your walls or floor, depending on the height of the sun at that time.

  • Go Lacy and Romantic

If you have a smaller bathroom window, it looks great to add romantic lace to your window coverings. The lace is soft and flowing and it filters light. You may consider hanging it from a tension rod inside the window casing so as not to detract from the soft appearance. This looks best in modern styled bathrooms with perhaps a shower in subway tile and gray or neutral walls.

  • Pairing Valances and Shutters

This idea works well if your bathroom window is over a vanity area. It provides you with an exceptional focal point in any bathroom. You can install shutters that mount outside the window frame so they are functional and can be opened and closed. The valance should be mounted at ceiling height and have loose folds that are short enough not to interfere with the functionality of the shutters. A neutral color on the faux wood shutters pairs nicely with an accent color from the bathroom in a solid color on the valance.

  • Unifying Multiple Windows

This is another great designer choice for windows surrounding a freestanding bathtub on two or three sides and it works well if the window does not extend downward past the bathtub’s top. You can install cafe curtains on the bottom halves of all the windows while treating them as one window. This includes the use of specialized hardware for the drapery rods that can fit very closely together at the corners of the windows and appear to be one drapery rod. This method of window dressing accents the window grids and works well with a simple semi-sheer drapery fabric.

  • Woven Woods are the Ultimate for Texture

The very best manner to add texture and interest to a bathroom is to use woven wood shades in the windows. This design is clean and simple and installs inside of the window frame for a sleek appearance. Woven woods are available in a huge array of grasses and woods as well as many color combinations from which to choose. Bamboo is very popular on the island and it can be matched in color to your cabinets in your bathroom for a seamless appearance. Woven wood shades do not compete with other show-stopping bathroom elements such as elegant tile floors or marble bathtubs and they allow tiny bits of light in from the great outdoors to brighten your bathroom in the daytime.

Choosing custom fabricated window treatments means that your bathroom window coverings are guaranteed to fit any window no matter the size or shape. You have many styles to choose from to match your decor and style with a window covering that gives you light control, privacy, and looks great as well.

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Bobby Nakamura

Third-generation of Naka's legacy, Bobby brings over 30 years of industry experience, a passion for design, and a love for food and travel.

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