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]
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 Room darkening curtain panel
How to: First Prep the window, then Create the Curtain:
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. (use the tension rod inside the frame because a curtain rod hung outside/over the window frame might make the curtain that shows inside the room hang unevenly.)
2. Over the sheer curtain, hang a blackout curtain, I hung mine by simply nailing it in place over the window frame with tiny nails. Since the curtain will never be opened there is no need to place it on a rod.
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)
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.
CREATE THE WALL 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)
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.
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:
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 kept the window covered until I nearly forgot there was ever a window on this wall!
Dampening Road Noise by Covering a Window
Road noise can be torture for light sleepers. Since sound waves penetrate into homes more through windows than walls, blocking a window is a great way to both handle a window causing interior design problems and turn the volume down on street noise disrupting the bedroom.
The method outlined above should create a noticeable drop in volume of road sounds like tires, engines, and voices from sidewalks, but to create a dramatic drop in the volume of these sounds, you can mount noise dampening foam to your wall and over the covered window before hanging the curtain that will show in the room’s interor. The added layer of foam should deaden and silence all but the absolute louded noises that were wafting freely through your window.
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.