Skip to main content
Before and AfterBlueTrue Colour ExpertYellow

Need an Extra Window Somewhere? (Do This Instead)

By 07/15/2014April 8th, 202221 Comments


Need an Extra Window? (Do this Instead)

When I saw this living room designed by True Colour Expert™ and Interior Designer Jennifer Reynolds my first thought was:

“Look at those beautiful drapes! Wait, are the windows smaller than the drapery? No, it’s art in between each set of panels!”

Jennifer Reynolds

Here’s what it looked like before:


You could also simply hang framed mirrors in between the panels to create the effect of windows.

Bookcases with Wallpaper

I love how this wall looks custom but the cabinets are clearly off-the-shelf. Some diligent sourcing with perfect measurements was required here! The blue accent walls are beautiful!

Another True Colour Expert™ and Interior Designer Traci Zeller just finished a wonderful dining room where she installed artwork in between two bookshelves but it also has a similar effect of a window (below).

Need an Extra Window Somewhere? (Do this Instead)

Love the swing arm lamps and combination of ghost chairs with upholstered.

Traci Zeller Dining Room

Beautiful that the skirted accent tables relate to the art in the adjoining room! See the before pictures of this room here.

Love the inspiring blues and perfect neutrals in both these spaces!

Do you have an empty wall that could use a faux window?

Related posts:

What Everyone Should Know about Blue

Trend Alert: Blue is Getting Brighter and Happier

Ask Maria: How do I Work with Taupe and Blue Gray?

If you would like help creating a palette for your home, become a client. Online or In-person.

To get your exterior colours right, download my How to Choose Exterior Colours with Confidence webinar and get my go-to list of colours.

Download my eBookHow to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

And, if you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert.

29 pins


  • Awesome! I often use Jennifer’s example of making awkward or small windows look 150% better!!! And Traci’s designs are always beautiful. Thanks for sharing these!

  • Cherie says:

    I have always been interested in ways to make windows look larger and to create the illusion of windows where there are none. Such great pictures in this post to show the possibilities. What I like most in all these photos is that they are not tricks meant to fool you, but decorating ideas that give you the same FEELING of windows. And the chests with shelves above give the FEELING of built-in shelves, but are not meant to trick you. They just look good! Thank you, Maria.

  • t’s true, there isn’t any training like it or better than Maria’s True Color Expert Training! You will learn a great deal about color, coordinating hard finishes and furniture. You will also learn the language to get your point across! I always knew something was not working but did not have the language to express why. The course was well worth the investment in my business.

  • mairi says:

    Love the art-as-window idea and drapery edging. Is the wall above of these pictures back-lit somehow? It looks to me like LED panels. Nice touch!

    • B.J. says:

      I’m not sure if this is where your referring to but in the before picture there is a row of small windows near the ceiling. This is why it looks so bright at the top. 🙂

  • Gina says:

    Thanks for this post, Maria, and for sharing the work of a fabulous designer! Kudos to you both!!

  • Lucy HAINES says:

    Maria, Great post! So many inspirational ideas! Love the drapery idea. I have used this in several of my designs and did as you stated, put framed mirrors between the drapes. It opens the room and creates a wonderful focal point.

    Love your posts.

  • Babs Loyd says:

    Your transformation of the high window wall is impressive. The whole room looks beautiful and I like the yellow and blue with the pale grey.
    I tried to see your Pinterest spot and was taken to a page which said: Not available, choose from these instead!

  • Outstanding work by Jennifer and Traci! Thank you for sharing and highlighting these great ideas. I love seeing creative genius!

  • Linda Leyble says:

    Hi Maria…thanks for publishing these gorgeous and creative rooms!

    My master bedroom bed wall only has one window (which I hate!) and my husband thinks it’s silly and too costly to add another window on the other side of the bed. I have several ideas on how to solve this issue but each time I procrastinate because I really really want the other window!!

    Any ideas???


    • Maria Killam says:

      Drapery and a mirror similar in size to the other window? I can’t imagine what else would be better 🙂

      • Paula Van Hoogen says:

        I really do admire these effective window fixes and your idea here of a mirror and panels, Maria…..but…if Linda’s husband ever DID agree to a real window, keep in mind that a fixed unit is a good deal cheaper than an operable window.

  • sandyc says:

    What a timely post heading, Maria. Just envying Melissa at The Inspired Room yesterday. Her laundry room update revealed a magnificent double window. Sadly, due to the dumbness of the builder in making a laundry room window an option in my particular plan and the greater dumbness of the original owners not to select the option, I have the black hole of Calcutta opening to my kitchen. While I plot and plan, a colorful lamp with a low-wattage bulb a la your suggestion for dark corners, Maria, keeps the room bearable. Great ideas here – thinking of some kind of mural or poster or large photo of a window looking out and some extension of creative low-level lighting all day.

    Also reminds me of a trick I saw once in an apartment in New York, the typical hotel-style one exposure setup with limited natural light throughout. To the left of the entry was the dark kitchen and to the right was a long dark hallway that ended in a wall with a door to the left into the bedroom. The owner/designer found or had someone design a trompe-l’œil wall showing an elegant stone balcony with abundant greenery, gorgeous blue sky and some bright red & gold cushions on the chaise and had it lit (back in the 1980s so probably slightly more expensive to light than now). The effect was so stunning. Anyone entering that apartment would take one look to the right and probably say “Bring me my drink – I’ll be out on the balcony”.

    Thanks again for the inspiration, Maria, and also thanks for your generosity in sharing your sources of inspiration and introducing us to some very talented designers.

  • Babs Loyd says:

    Jennifer’s solution for the high window wall was genius. Useful for anyone with that type of window. The large painting in the dining room gives so much energy to that space.

  • Chere says:

    What a creative idea ! It’s really hard to imagine that wall with just the art and no drapery panels it actually expands the visual ….pretty and impressive . Beautiful all the way around , done with yellow accents which I usually don’t like but here it’s great . (However , Maria I liked your yellow couch) . This could also be beautiful behind a large bed wall … For those of us who aren’t necessarily headboard fans .. It’s good to be open to new ways and ideas in many avenues in life as our own head talk is what gets us stuck even in home decor . Thanks for this show of beauty! Excellent job Jennifer .

  • Diane G. says:

    This is really clever. Instead of those high windows being dated and rather pointless…she used them as the jumping-off point for a unique, sensational design element. They could have been detrimental but aren’t… and they do give some great natural light. So creative.

    • BillP says:

      These windows are very popular in a lot of new construction here in Florida. They work particularly well in high ceilinged rooms where the next house isn’t far away. They allow natural light and the height assures privacy. This is an excellent way to treat them.

  • Beverley Smith says:

    Eureka! You’ve just solved a problem I have in my newly renovated basement, with two tiny basement windows near the ceiling! Love this blog. I had bought mirrors to hang on the opposite wall to reflect light from those windows, but wasn’t sure where to place them. Still might do that somehow, but I’ll definitely take this road, whether I use mirrors or works of art.

  • Carol J says:

    Wow, I’m so impressed by Jennifer’s work.

  • Renee says:

    Gorgeous transformation, really like the gray, yellow and blue combination.
    I chuckled when I saw the yellow bench. After looking for 2 years for a slender bench without success, I had one made and painted bright yellow as the one above. For a fun piece, I had it upholstered with black persian lamb (from an old coat). And here I thought I was original!

Leave a Reply