Published on July 3, 2020

An airy room with sun streaming in from every angle sounds like a dreamy place to live—until you realize there are no walls to place your furniture against. In large living or dining areas, it’s easy to float a sofa or table in the center of the space, but in cramped quarters like kids’ rooms or bathrooms, it’s another story.

If you fell head over heels for a light-filled space, there are ways to manage awkward window placements. Just follow in the footsteps of these clever designers, who worked around all sorts of openings in the cleverest of ways.

If You Can’t Find the Right-Size Furniture, Make It

Bedroom with plywood headboardPin It
Photography by Christian Torres

Hotelier Stephan Watts didn’t want to obstruct the views of the historic coastal town in this guest room at Dreamers Welcome, his property in Wilmington, North Carolina. But he also needed a wall for the bed. He managed to check off both boxes with a custom headboard broken into two plywood wings that frame the window.

Fake a Window Wall

Sara Sherman Samuel's tan and pink bedroomPin It
Photography by Matthew Williams

Sarah Sherman Samuel’s master bedroom curtain may look like it’s hiding a single wall-to-wall pane behind the bed, but that’s actually a trompe l’oeil effect the designer concocted to hide two skinny, uncentered openings. She wrapped the entire corner with fabric using a mounted track, making the whole room feel larger and cozier all at once.

Create a Wall Out of Thin Air With Drapes

Pink kids bedroom with corner windowPin It
Courtesy of Benjamin Johnston

Designer Benjamin Johnston had the opposite problem in a client’s daughters’ room in Houston—the space has a dramatic corner window, which is great unless you’re trying to sleep—but he came to a similar conclusion as Samuel. Johnston installed wall-to-wall automated drapery panels mounted on ceiling tracks and floated the canopy beds in front of it. He even hung art, just like a regular gallery wall.

Use Art in Lieu of Curtains

White bedroom with large canvasPin It
Photography by Amy Neunsinger

Leanne Ford already had plenty of natural light in her Los Angeles bedroom, so she didn’t mind obstructing one window to create a more symmetrical layout. The large canvas leaning next to the bed? It actually hides the opening that didn’t quite work with her design. 

Install Your Vanity Mirror in an Unconventional Way

Pink bathroom with window-mounted mirrorsPin It
Courtesy of Chiltern Firehouse

At Chiltern Firehouse in London, the bathrooms are bathed in sunlight. Privacy and optimal vanity ambience are achieved not with curtains but with mirrors installed directly on the countertops in front of both windows. This smart idea opens up a whole new world of possibilities for sink placement.

Make It Look Intentional

Gray kids room with twin bedsPin It
Courtesy of Courtney Barton

Designer Courtney Barton found herself faced with a dilemma when decorating her son’s room: Every wall had multiple windows. She solved the problem by bringing in two beds instead of one (also handy for sleepovers) and positioning each underneath an opening so the layout looked symmetrical. “The key is to balance the scale,” she explains. Her trick: adding a larger dresser in the middle and hanging small sconces on either side. Now the windows look like a welcome addition. 

Introducing Domino’s new podcast, Design Time, where we explore spaces with meaning. Each week, join editor-in-chief Jessica Romm Perez along with talented creatives and designers from our community to explore how to create a home that tells your story. Listen now and subscribe for new episodes every Thursday.

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