You’ve chosen black window frames, but now you’re not sure how to cover them. Here are my favourite window treatments for black windows and also which window coverings to avoid.
The black window trend has been around for almost 5 years (can you believe it?) so it’s high time this post appeared on the blog!
Are you building a new house and wondering if black windows are the right choice? Read this post first. News Flash: not every home looks good with black windows. 🤭
And don’t read this post if you have already chosen window coverings that seem wrong (I’m not trying to crush your spirit or make you feel worse). When you hit the tipping point with too much black, you can feel it and you don’t need me to tell you.
For those of you who are about to buy window coverings for your black windows – this post is for YOU!
The best window treatments for black windows
As I said in my black windows post, the best inspiration photos of black windows usually show them uncovered, like in this kitchen/dining area below. However, most of us need some privacy or light filtering at some point.
So, what is the best way to cover black windows?
Here are some dos and don’ts for choosing window treatments for your black windows.
✅ DO consider white fabric roller shades (in whatever gradation of white coordinates with your trim).
Hear me out, I know what you’re thinking. Before you immediately picture the roller shades with a tassel we’ve all seen in grandmas house, I want you to know that roller shades have come a long way.
This is not the style of roller shade I’m talking about!
They no longer have the plastic look of years ago. In fact I inherited fabric roller shades in my new home and they are exactly what I would have chosen, so it’s great that I don’t need to replace them.
The fabric roller shades on my windows are not 100% opaque, allowing some light to filter in. They also have a linen texture that matches my off-white trim, and you can still see my window mullions and the slight outline of the mountains behind them.
Here is a room where they are covering black windows. These fabric roller shades make a great choice because then at night, instead of looking at black holes on your walls, you’ll have a much softer view. Plus, it provides a seamless appearance from both the inside and the outside of your home.
❌ DON’T choose black window treatments of any kind to cover your black windows.
Your windows will already look black at night and this will enhance that darkness. Also, if you’re not in a condo with big windows like this image, it’ll look like you have black squares all over your walls.
✅ DO consider drapery on your black windows.
Adding some tailored drapery that will mostly be open during the day and closed at night would make the second-best option for covering black windows. If your windows are on the smaller side, dressing it with panels on both sides makes it look larger in addition to adding scale and balance in the room. And, draperies can also add softness and vertical height to a room.
In this room below, the drapery is a similar colour as the walls, and of course, the black has been repeated in small, medium and large in the living room decor.
❌ DON’T under any circumstances choose the zebra blind. (Just like grey floors, they never should have been invented.)
In this ad for zebra blinds, they are perfectly coordinated with the furniture–as they should be because they are no longer neutral. These same blinds on every window will not look good.
Because this next photo is what they would look like in the real world. For example, here the scale is too big for this kitchen window and since hard window coverings are so expensive, they should last much longer than the lifespan of a trend.
I would rather change up my drapery every 10 years to get a different look rather than a blind that covers the window for privacy as well. And, let’s be clear, a house full of striped shades is just not good decorating.
We haven’t even started creating contrast and interest with textures and soft furnishings and we already have to deal with the fact that the walls are full of stripes. Most people forget to consider the street view when choosing window coverings for black window frames. Do you want to see stripes on the outside too?
Read more: The Key to Great Design is Contrast
❌ DON’T cover your windows with 2″ black or white blinds.
Two-inch black wood blinds will darken the room immediately. Not to mention, you’ll need to dust them all the time (just like espresso or black wood floors).
Yet again, in addition to more stripes with horizontal slats, you’ll be looking at black squares everywhere during the day and the night.
Notice this advertising image was strategically taken while the sun is shining directly at the windows. They are tilted just perfectly to cut the light and to create a wash of light over the white sofa with black windows.
Perfect contrast again.
But, please don’t be seduced by ads like this that make these blinds look good. It will not look like this on every window in your home, even if you do recreate something similar in your living room, for example.
Here’s the fundamental lesson from today’s post.
Good photographs sell products that are not that pretty. That’s because they trick the consumer into thinking they are making a good choice because the room looks so beautiful in the ad.
That’s how paint colours are sold every single day.
You see it all of the time… beautiful rooms shown online with paint colours that won’t look the same in your house, either because you don’t have the same decor, or the same colours or same neutral undertones as the ‘so neutral’ paint colour being advertised. Choosing a paint colour solely based on a room image you like won’t look the same in your home in the end.
Window coverings are expensive so choose carefully.
If you’d like my help with your paint colours, new builds or renovations, see all my eDesign packages here.