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Refresh & Reset: Small Spaces

Updated: May 31, 2022

It is time to discuss the Refresh and Reset of the small odd-shaped windows in your home. These tend to be in the kitchen, bathroom, entryway, and basement. Windows that are short or tall and skinny are perfect contenders for custom window curtains. An ill-fitting window curtain can distract from all the effort and finances that you put into creating a beautiful room.

Keep on reading for our top three ways to style curtains for small windows:


A window curtain valance is also sometimes referred to as a top treatment. On a standard size window, a valance can be positioned at the top, over the primary window panels. It can be places in between or over the primary window panels and is usually 18”-20” long depending on the style selected. For small windows, skip the primary panels and style the window with only a valance. This is a great look for a kitchen window! In the above two photos, the cotton sheer valance with rod pocket styling adds a softness to both kitchens. Valances that are styled with a rod pocket can be hung on a standard curtain rod or a decorative curtain rod while valances styled with grommets should be hung on decorative rods.


A café curtain is usually placed near the middle of the window and hangs to the sill. This allows light in through the top half of the window and affords some privacy. The fabric for this style of window treatment tends to be lighter than a drapery panel. The cafe curtain received it's name because it was primarily used in cafes and diners! Restaurants wanted to give people privacy while eating without affecting the light. However, do not let the name trick you into limiting this versatile curtain hanging solution to the kitchen. It is a widely applicable, in rooms like a bathroom, laundry room, or home office. Because these panels are small, they can be hung on a café rod, or a tension rod. In the bathroom to the right, the cotton sheer café curtain is hung from a tension rod.


A sidelight window is a tall & narrow window. Originally, they were included on either side of the front door. Now they can be found in other areas of a house where space may not allow for a full-size window. These are sometimes referred to as picture windows, because they frame a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape. Sheer curtains are the best choice for these windows because light will not be compromised, and privacy will be provided. The length of a sidelight window curtain should be the same as the length of the window. The curtain rods should be mounted inside the window frame. It is an optional choice to add a bottom rod curtain tie back in the center for a more formal look. In a more casual setting like the beach house featured in the photo to the left, the cotton sheer was selected for the sidelight window and mounted only at the top.

We are here to help you along this journey with helpful tips, free swatches, and complimentary design consultations.


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