Using Bamboo Blinds & Curtains To Make A Window Look Taller

Finally! Our living room window limbo is no more. This weekend we actually got around to picking up some bamboo blinds to bridge the gap between the top of the window and the curtain rod. Gotta love making windows look bigger and taller while introducing some texture in the process.

Here’s the w.b.b. (window before blinds) totally begging for something under that rod:

And the finished product thanks to two wood blinds from Wal-mart (for 25 bucks a pop) and John’s manly muscles (free of course):

We actually have the same exact blinds in the den and above the laundry nook in lieu of pricey cabinet doors. We love that we could tie them into yet another space to keep things consistent and create the illusion height. White Ikea floor length curtains flanking these simple wood blinds is absolutely our favorite combination for big picture windows (and one that we often suggest to everyone who will listen) but what say you lovely readers? Think we did our home’s biggest window proud?

Psst- Wanna know more about finding the right window treatments for your home? Check out this exhaustive answer.

Comments

  1. Alicia says

    Thanks Sherry. I am loving looking through everything you’ve done. Ours was flipped before we bought it (two owners before) so we havent had to deal with as much as you have. But we still want to make it our own. I was actually thinking chocolate velvet since our living room is a sort of latte tan. We dont have an accent color yet. We are still working on that. Not sure what to do yet. Maybe I need to get a mood board for my birthday that is coming up. :) Thanks for the advice!

  2. Jen says

    I love the curtains, but I am wondering what you would do if you want the light look, but the efficiency of thermal. We are moving into a new house that has a large 3 section window in the living room and dining room, and I am a little nervous about curtains since the windows are older and not as efficient. Any suggestions?

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Jen,

      Pale tones like white and ivory can keep things looking light even if you use heavier materials. So by all means go for something that will be super efficient like thermal, but get it in a nice light tone like white or soft tan for that airy and open feeling (or even have light silk or cotton sewn on the front of each thermal panel for a decorative look that means business).

      There’s also good old fashioned weatherstripping tape, which also really comes in handy when you’re dealing with drafty old windows. Hope it helps!

      xo,
      Sherry

  3. Eboness says

    Yes, yes, yes! Love the way you did this….I have the same issue with a set of triple windows in my family room. They are less than 6 inches apart so I’ll have to treat them as one window. The ceiling slopes toward the wall with these windows making them look squatty. My family room has an asian/exotic feel to it so the bamboo shades will be perfect! (I love the ones that retract like roman blinds, instead of on a roll). Right now I have white wooden plantation blinds that fit inside the window and do absolutely nothing for the room. Designer fabulous!!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Eboness,

      So glad our bamboo blind idea works for you! We had a hard time finding a wide enough bamboo shade so we actually used two hung right next to each other and thanks to the texture you can’t even tell! It sure beat having to custom order something big and expensive. Hope it helps! Happy hanging…

      xo,
      Sherry

  4. Julia says

    I love the window treatment! We are renters (boo!) with terrible vertical blinds that we can’t remove and we have been looking for a way to cover them. Since the vertical blinds already have this skinny faux valance on top of them, I think the blinds could be used to cover them in the same way you covered the wall space under the curtain rod, adn the curtains would cover the blinds on the sides. Do you think this technique would work over the vertical blinds, or would there be too much going on underneath the blinds and curtains?

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Julia, ‘

      Good question! A great way to cover your vertical blinds completely is to open them so they’re gathered all on one side of the window and then hang curtain panels high and wide to hide the vertical blinds on the side of the window. Then you can use some bamboo roman shades above the window and under the high curtain rod to bridge the gap between the rod and the top of the window (and cover the vertical blind valance too). Hope it helps! Happy hanging…

      xo,
      Sherry

  5. Whitney says

    Hello Sherry and John!! I read your blog everyday and I love all your ideas and everything you have done with your house! My husband and I just recently bought a townhouse and in the master bedroom there are no blinds:( Right now we don’t have the money to go and buy nice plantation shutter like we want and I was thinking of using this idea that you have of roman shades and then curtains. I love roman shades and love the wood look of these. Can you please tell me where you bought them and if you think they are still available? Also when you put the wood shades down how much light do they block out in the living room? Our master has eastern exposure so on the weekends we would not like the light to shine in! Thanks so much!
    P.S. I might be contacting you both for a design dilema in the near future for my living room!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Whitney,

      The bamboo blinds are actually from Walmart! They come in a variety of sizes and they’re really inexpensive so they’re super convenient. We do recommend visiting the store to grab them (their online selection leaves a lot to be desired).

      As for how much light they block, they do block a fair amount- but ours are just for looks so we don’t pull them up and down each day. We do pull the ones in our laundry room up and down regularly (we used the same blinds as “cabinet doors” to create some concealed storage for laundry stuff) and they seem to have held up extremely well. Even though they’re mounted right into the ceiling! Hope it helps.

      xo,
      Sherry

  6. says

    Hi guys! Unfortunately, our Walmart doesn’t have them in stock (not that I could find). So I’m considering buying online. Do you know which color yours are? I’m guessing natural or pecan. Also, our front windows are such a bizarre size, we’ll be mounting them on the outside… should we try to match the oak trim around our windows so there’s not a lot of conflicting “wood color” or should we go with a lighter bamboo since eventually we’ll be painting all the trim in our house white? Thanks!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Sarah,

      So sorry you couldn’t hunt them down in the flesh. We’re not sure of the color of ours other than to describe them as wheat colored with darker brown markings and brown stitching throughout (so they’re a nice neutral in a room without being too light or too dark). I’d definitely pick the color you like best instead of trying to match them to the trim that you’ll be painting down the line. You’ll be surprised how neutral all bamboo blinds can be, so I doubt they’ll look too clashy, even if you go for something lighter until you get around to painting that trim. Hope it helps!

      xo,
      Sherry

  7. Tatiana says

    #1 I’m addicted to your blog :)
    #2 Where did you get the curtain rod? I’m having such a hard time picking rods and I like yours!

    Thank you so much!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Tatiana,

      We got the rod at Target (surprise!). It’s a deep brown oil-rubbed bronze color which really disappears since we have so many other dark wood pieces in the space. Sometimes a stainless steel rod attracts more attention than the curtains (never a good thing!) so we stuck with something neutral that lets the curtains shine. Hope it helps! So glad you’re enjoying the blog!

      xo,
      Sherry

  8. says

    I’m LOVING this idea. Do you think it would be terribly tacky for us to copy your idea of having those bamboo blinds, except keeping our current window shades underneath? We have some expensive and very practical top-down-bottom-up honeycomb shades in a light cream color, but they are so BLAH (and not intended for creating “style”).

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Kelleigh,

      Go for it! Just keep those honeycomb shades raised and out of view when you’re entertaining so people don’t notice the whole two-blind scenario! This way you can totally use them when you’d like and hide them when company comes over- it’s the best of both worlds!

      xo,
      Sherry

  9. Cindy says

    I love this blog! How wide are the blinds? I couldn’t tell from the photo if they are the same width as the the high and wide placement of the rod.

    I’ve read every post since I discovered your blog in Dec. Thanks so much for your (and John’s) hard work. You youngsters are amazing!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Cindy,

      Our big secret is that they’re actually two sets of blinds hung next to each other to create the look of one long blind (which would have been a lot more moolah, and you can’t even tell the difference). They are hung about an inch below the rod but aren’t nearly as wide as the rod since we cheated the rod about a foot wider than the window on either side so the window would look nice and big. But thanks to the curtains you can’t tell that the blinds are a good deal shorter than the curtain rod, and they frame the window nicely. Hope it helps! Happy hanging…

      xo,
      Sherry

  10. lisa says

    I’ve been struggling with how to dress my 101″ picture window for quite some time and this is the perfect match! Thanks for sharing it!

    For anyone else out there looking to do this idea anytime soon, Target has 52″ wide bamboo shades in Natural on sale for $18.40! I just bought 2. Steal!

  11. Cindy says

    Lisa, thanks for the heads up. My window is 120″ but I can use those at my side by side sliding glass doors. I’m out the door to Target!

  12. says

    My husband and I have decided to try to duplicate the 2 bamboo blinds idea in our living room. We’ve already found the blinds from Lowe’s that fit our window perfectly. Now the question is how do you deal with the cords to pull up the blinds and put down the blinds? I noticed in your picture you do not have a ugly cord hanging in the center of your window! Is there some easy fix?? Thanks for any ideas!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Summer,

      Good question! All we did was tuck up the string that would otherwise have hung down the middle of the window (we looped it around itself and tucked it around the back of the curtain against the wall so it wasn’t visible from outside the window either). Since we never raise or lower the blinds, it’s not really a problem. Hope it helps!

      xoxo,
      Sherry

  13. Barb says

    My situation is sort of like Kelleigh’s, except we haven’t bought the honeycomb shades yet. We want to have the top-down capability so the light isn’t so bright, and we also want the insulation properties of the honeycomb on our single-pane windows. So this would have to be mounted inside the window, right? Would it look totally stupid to cheat curtains with an inside mount shade? I doubt I can talk my husband into adding the bamboo blinds for looks alone. I was thinking of a creamy neutral for the shades and white gauze for the curtains.

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Barb,

      Your honeycomb shades would have to be inside mount, but many people still cheat their rod about 6-8 inches higher than the window frame just so it has some breathing room and doesn’t feel crowded or top heavy. The bamboo blinds are also extremely affordable at places like Walmart and Target so if you hang the curtain high and think it still needs blinds for the full layered and large effect, they don’t have to break the bank. Hope it helps! Happy hanging…

      xo,
      Sherry

  14. jamie eads says

    Hi, I just “somehow” discovered your blog. I am interested in locating the Ikea “Vivan” curtains. I have an Ikea catalog, but am not finding them at all. Is this something that can only be purchased in the store? (not online)
    I am also going to show a contracter a picture of the front of your house. We have a hip roof and I would like to have a covered front porch. I really like the look of yours.

    thanks for any suggestions…..

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Jamie,

      Until very recently Vivan panels were available for purchase both on ikea.com and in stores. Lately we’ve heard that they’ve been out of stock but we’re hoping that they’re back in stores and online soon. Just keep an eye out of check out Bed Bath & Beyond or Target for something similar. They’re just floor length simple white curtains that aren’t too heavy (not too sheer but not too opaque either) for a breezy year-round look. Hope it helps!

      xo,
      s

  15. Teesha says

    Hi Sherry,

    I have a 2 part question that I’d like to get your thoughts (sorry if it’s long): I have an open great room (LR/DR) where the LR window faces the DR sliding door.
    1. For curtains/panels, do you suggest that I use the same pattern/color for both the LR and DR since they are technically all in one room, facing each other….or, use different patterns/colors to “separate” the rooms?
    2. My LR window is not spaced on the wall evenly – I have 24″ on the left side (trim to the wall) and 55″ on the right side (trim to the door). What is your suggestion on spacing the rod on each side of the trim?

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions! Much appreciated!

    Teesha ;-)

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Teesha,

      I would use the same curtains and blinds in both spaces. We actually use the same few treatments in our entire house and the flow and cohesive feeling throughout is serene and inviting. As for the living room window, I would do my best to cheat it as close to being centered as possible with curtains hung high and wide (paired with blinds to bridge the gap to the rod). Just hang them at least 25″ wide on one side while only going about 5″ wide on the other side for more of a balanced look without losing much window light. Hope it helps!

      xo,
      s