How to Dress a Window Without Curtains: 16 Ideas

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how to dress a window without curtains

Curtains are a common way of dressing windows in the home. They lend privacy and contribute to the overall aesthetic value of a space. However, curtains are not for everyone, and many alternative options can add flair and function to your windows. Let's learn how to dress a window without curtains.

What Are the Drawbacks to Curtains?

While many enjoy curtains and drapes, they are not the right choice for every home. The fabric can collect allergens, take up too much room, or be attractive to naughty pets. Cats may try to climb up curtains, and dogs may chew on curtains and tear them down.

So, if you are tired of curtains and want something new, consider your reasons for wanting a change and look for options that avoid similar downfalls.

How to Decorate a Window Without Curtains

If you are on a mission to find an alternate window treatment, there are plenty of fantastic options available to you. Some options aim to save space, while others collect less dust and allergens. Many of these types of window treatments will work in any room of your home, while others will only work best in certain rooms.

Common Alternative Window Treatments

There are a few ways to cover windows that are almost as common as curtains. You can find many of these options at a store, and maintaining them is straightforward. Here are 16 ways to decorate windows without curtains.


Both vertical and horizontal types of blinds are effective window covers. They offer privacy and the ability to control how much light you let into your home. Blinds are easy to wipe clean and often last longer than traditional curtains. These window coverings can consist of materials such as metal or wood.

Roman Shades

how to cover a window without curtains? you can use roman shades

If you still want the softness of fabric without all the fuss of curtains, roman shades may be a desirable alternative. These shades consist of fabric, and you can raise and lower them like blinds if you want privacy. They do not have the same space issues as curtains and are easier to clean.


Valances are shaped pieces of fabric that cover the top of windows. They are mainly decorative since they usually do not contribute to privacy as much as other items in this article. Choose a valance for your window treatment if you want to accent the look of your window without blocking out light. They're a classic means for how to dress a window without curtains.

Window Film

Window film is a sheet of plastic that sticks to your window, providing privacy. It comes in many colors, and you can find types that look like stained, leaded, or frosted. There are many different types of film for adding character to windows, including adhesive film and one that clings to the window using static.


Shutters are largely a remnant of past design styles. However, they still make a great option to save space and get some privacy. Depending on your needs, you can install shutters inside or outside the house.

Wood is usually the primary material for most types of shutters, though plastics are coming into style due to their durability. If you put them outside, be sure to paint them with weather-safe paint.


how to decorate a window without curtains? you can use awnings

You may think that awnings are only for commercial buildings. However, they can work well for residential homes as well. Place the right types of awnings inside or outside the window to reduce the light that gets into your home and enhance the decor. When you put them inside your house, use them similarly to valances.

Bigger Projects to Cover a Window Without Curtains

Unlike the above window treatments, these projects involve big changes to the window's structure. Instead of providing privacy by covering windows, these options are great if you want privacy without reducing the light a window lets in. There are also simple ways to replicate these big changes without all the difficulty of the larger project.

Stained Glass

Stained glass is a beautiful addition to any home. The colorful glass can portray images from the traditional to the modern. As light shines through the glass, beautiful colors fill the inside of your home. If you do not want to replace a whole window with stained glass, there are stained glass ornaments you can hang on your windows to replicate the privacy and beauty of stained glass.

Frosted Glass

Frosted glass is a type of glass with a texture that prevents you from completely seeing through it by glazing the surface. This type of glass lets in plenty of light while providing privacy. You can replace your window with a pane of frosted glass, but there are also options if you want a fast solution. Here is how to frost glass DIY style. A window film can achieve a similar look, and so can frosted glass spray paint.

Leaded Glass

you can use leaded glass to decorate windows without curtains

Leaded glass windows can be similar to stained glass windows due to the patterns they may both contain. The main difference is leaded glass is plain, while stained glass is colorful.

Leaded glass is not very common today, but there are similar options you can find, or you can craft glass that looks similar. Use leading strips and gallery glass paint. When done right, this is possibly the most classy answer to how to dress a window without curtains.

Innovative Window Treatments

There is nothing wrong with sticking with the straightforward alternatives to curtains, but if you want a fun alternative, try one of these unorthodox methods. Some of these curtain alternatives are items you can make, while others may be at your favorite home decor stores.


You may think shelves only belong in bookcases or a wall, but the right types of shelves can add lots of character to a window while adding privacy. You can put whatever you want on these shelves, including plants, books, and art.


Plants in a window are a good way to add interest to the area without blocking the light. If you want more privacy, you can place plants on the window sill or hang them from a curtain rod. If you decided to add the aforementioned shelves, you might also want to appoint them with plants. This approach is a great way to give herbs the light they love so you can enjoy fresh ingredients.

Knick Knacks

If plants are not your thing, you can similarly use knick-knacks (or as I call them, "trinkets") as a window treatment. Place them on the window sill, suspend them from the top of the window, or fill shelves in the window with knick-knacks. These solutions add character to the window area but will likely not provide much privacy unless you have big knick-knacks.

Privacy Screen

privacy screen

There are several types of privacy screens to cover your windows. They can consist of many materials, including wood, paper, metal, and plastic. Some may be solid, while others will have patterns cut out in them.

A similar option to these screens includes laser-cut wooden panels which slide down the windows to provide privacy. These screens can be in any style you need to suit your decorative needs. This is how to dress a window without curtains in such a way that can be pulled off with ethnic styling, craftsman decor, and much more. It can work with so many decor styles.

Lace & Cornstarch

Beautiful lace patterns can provide some privacy and beauty to a space without blocking too much light. Apply the lace directly to a window using a paste of cornstarch and water. You can use the lace from a craft store or recycle an old tablecloth.

This activity is a fun idea if you want to involve children in helping with a window treatment. If you wish to remove the lace, you can do so with warm water. This is a great answer for how to cover a window without curtains if you want a glazed or frosted look but with more pizazz.

Ribbon Window Treatment

how to dress a window without curtains? you can use ribbon window treatment

Another great homemade window treatment is a ribbon window treatment. To create this whimsical decor, tie ribbons to a cord or curtain rod so that you have a long line of color. What makes this option so fun is you can use any colors and textures you want. So this ribbon window treatment can work for all types of decor aesthetics.

Beaded Curtain

Beaded curtains are traditionally used instead of a door when you want some fun retro charm. So, why not add them to a window instead of a traditional cloth curtain? Beaded curtains come in several shapes and sizes, with some of these curtains even touching the floor.

They offer privacy and can provide some unique beauty to your space. Depending on the type of bead in the curtain, the light that streams through the window may reflect and add colorful light to the inside of your home.

That’s How to Dress a Window Without Curtains

Whether you enjoy straightforward or avant-garde options, there are plenty of alternatives for you to choose from that can help you achieve the desired look and function for your space.

If you are ready to shut the door on all types of curtains but want to add beauty and privacy to your home without curtains, you can explore alternative window dressing options. Following the tips in this article, you can easily learn how to dress a window without curtains.

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