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Natural light inside is a decorators friend, however when I found myself faced with a master bedroom with limited placement options for a bed, I wasn’t thrilled about having to place my bed directly in front of a window. In this post I’ll show you how I solved the window-behind-my-headboard issue by simply “removing” the window.

I say removing because my method effectively renders the window invisible from the inside. From within the house, no one ever guesses there is a window behind my bed. By completely blocking the light and choosing to curtain the entire wall, I create an elegant and romantic backdrop for my bedroom that no one would ever guess is in place to hide a window.

[you have my apologies for the elementary school style drawings. I just tried a graphite crayon for the first time and I’m hooked on the silky-smooth feel of drawing with it]

 

bed in front of a hidden window

Supplies:

LOTS of fabric. (I picked 2 bolts of cheap grey satin-finish polyester)

2 furring strips (thin pieces of lumber, about 1″x3/4″

Needle & Thread (for stitching channels into fabric for furring-strip rods)

1 Basic Sheer Curtain

1 tension rod

1 Room darkening curtain panel

How to: First Prep the window, then Create the Curtain:

WINDOW PREP:

1. Keeping in mind this will be visible from outside the home, start by putting up a “Normal” Curtain on a tension rod set within the window frame. (important, use the tension rod inside the frame because a curtain rod hung outside/over the window frame might make your large curtain hang unevenly.)

Doodle Illustration: How to Deal with a Window Behind your Bed
Step 1: Place a regular curtain in your window, to provide visual appeal from outside the house.

2. Over the sheer curtain, hang a blackout curtain, I hung mine by simply nailing it in place over the window frame. Since the curtain will never be opened there is no need to place it on a rod.

Doodle Illustration: cover the window with a blackout curtain. You can nail or tack it up, since it won't need to open.
Next, cover the window with a blackout curtain. You can nail or tack it up, since it won’t need to open.

3. If you are working on a sunny day, there probably will still be light shining through even after these two curtains. For your accent wall curtain to convincingly hid the window, you need to block all light. At this point you can get creative about blocking light. This Blackout White Board product can be cut to size and stapled up with a 100% guarantee of light blocking, but whatever material you use will be sandwiched between two layers of attractive curtains, so feel free to be creative. (I stapled old corrugated plastic political signs up, extending well beyond the edges of the window frame, to block light creeping in around)

Doodle Illustration: Blocking the window
Use a light blocking material to cover any light still passing the edges of the blackout curtain.

4. When you’ve confirmed you’ve blocked all light shining in and around the window, you can turn your attention from the window to hiding the window completely using a curtain behind your bed.

curtain behind bed
In 2014 I helped a friend repeat this project for an Air BnB bedroom. This curtain conceals window, hidden the way I’ve described, directly behind the headboard. My friend chose to go with a curtain rod, at a greater expense, and she chose to not use a board to weight the bottom. While stunning, you can see how you eye is drawn to the finials at the edges, and how the elegant gathering falls looser as it extends to the floor. The whimsical branches and colorful pillows help redirect focus away from both of these features.

 

CREATE THE CURTAIN:

1. I believe the trick to doing this well is going BIG. Think of it as creating a statement wall rather than covering a window so you can place a bed in front of it.

2. Measure how high you want your curtain to be (I strongly recommend extending all the way from floor to ceiling) add 5 inches to each end (adding 10″ total, for hemming into channels). Take this measurement to step 3.

3. Cut strips of fabric off your bolt, cut to the length calculated in step 2.

4. Hem channels into each end of the curtain for the furring strip. (I recommend a channel at top and bottom, the board at the bottom will prevent your curtain from billowing, and instead hold in place the fabric you’ll gather evenly and elegantly)

Doodle Illustration: Making a Badckdrop Curtain
sew channels for the curtain “rods” into each end of your fabric strips

5. Place the strips of fabric onto one of the boards. Make sure you have plenty of fabric to extend the length of the board with plenty of excess fabric to fall elegantly gathered.

6. Have a helper or two help you mount this board to the wall using a screw at each end. For now, leave the screw loose (but secured to the wall) so you can re-position fabric to ensure it falls evenly. (I recommend lumber “rods” vs a metal curtain rod because 1. price, 2. the texture of the lumber will hold your gathered fabric without slipping, and 3. Curtain rods draw the eye to the finials, this style of curtain romantically directs the eye back to the bed)

7. Feed the second board into the bottom hemmed channel. It should not need to be secured to the wall, it’s weight will be sufficient to hold gathers and prevent billowing. Pull the fabric out past the ends of the board by a few inches on each side, hiding the lumber.

8. Adjust the fabric so it’s evenly gathered across the width of the curtained wall.

Doodle Illustration: Making a Badckdrop Curtain
Before you begin arranging and adjusting, your curtain should look something like this: multiple panels attached top and bottom.

9. Climb back on the ladder to tighten the screws holding the top curtain rod and, in the process of tightening, pinch a bit of fabric over and tuck it around the edge of the wood, pinning it between the wood and the wall, as shown:

Doodle Illustration: Making a Badckdrop Curtain
The edge of the curtain gets tucked around the side of the wood rod after it’s secured to the wall- concealing the rod completely.

putnam_cottage_2_3311


 

Once you’ve hidden all the light and hidden the wood portions of your curtain, your previously windowed-wall should appear to be a plain wall with a dramatic curtain. With curtain in place, you can now place your bed and headboard in front of the window and now having to worry about being disturbed by light, curtains, or the unwanted bedroom arrangement a regular curtain behind your bed.

I set this up in my master bedroom in 2011, and haven’t changed it since! Though my bedroom furniture changes, this curtained statement wall has stayed put and, honestly, I pretty much forget there was ever a window behind my bed!

 

How to hide a window behind a bed
For a tutorial on creating the gathered curtains on the exposed windows shown here, see my other curtain tutorial.

Check out this super-glam celebrity-inspired take on this look, where a pink curtain stretching the length of the room is added behind a dramatic bedframe to add feminine charm to a room furnished with many harder angles.

Curtained master bedroom
source: unknown

 

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