Unless a basement is built into a hillside and has a ‘walk-out’ door wall or large egress windows, typical basement windows are too small to offer much light or a view. But you can make them appear larger and brighter with a few decorative tricks.
Creative Ways to Enlarge the Look of Small Finished Basement Windows
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Window Treatment Options
When selecting window treatments for basement windows, avoid fabrics that are dark and heavy. Instead, select fabrics that are light in color and weight. Adding simple panels to either side that run from ceiling to floor complete the illusion of height. On a wall with several small windows, a continuous run of fabric will make it appear that there is a bank of windows.
If privacy is an issue, blinds can provide and block the view into the basement, and if vertical blinds are used, they can make the windows appear taller. Choose lighter colors to keep the look expensive. However, if you want the windows to appear wider, then select light-colored horizontal blinds.
A valance can also impact the appearance of the window. Install the valance above the frame of the window, and then lengthen it past the sides of the window frame. A wider valance will result in a wider looking window. To increase the visual height, position the valance bar above the window frame.
Regardless of the window treatment chosen, installing a mirror above, below or to the sides of the windows can make the window appear wider or taller. Once window treatments are installed it will be difficult to tell where the window ends and the mirror begins.
Enhance the Windows with Decor
In addition to using mirrors adjacent to windows, try adding framed wall mirrors across from your windows. Mirrors will actually make the entire basement look larger and brighter because they will reflect light and space throughout the entire room.
Large wall art, such as a landscape painting can bring an outdoor view inside and make it feel as though you are looking through a window. Choose large panels of unframed canvas art and position them to create ‘windows‘ across a large expanse of wall.
Decorative wall art, such as metal wall plaques can make a small window appear larger. Place one or more wall art pieces directly below a window, to make the window appear taller. Likewise, you can position pieces of wall art on both sides of a window, in order to stretch it out horizontally. If you want to increase the appearance of the window’s overall size, then install wall art both vertically and horizontally around the window.
Consider using molding around a window. This will have the same effect as molding on walls, adding depth and definition. Similarly, by adding molding to the window in the same color as the surrounding wall, you can create an optical illusion that makes the window blend into space, drawing less attention to its small size.