You may be dissatisfied with a small window that makes your basement look dull and boring. Now you're wondering how to alter the size of the window or make it just look bigger to improve your basement's ambiance. After consulting with the experts, we have come up with a set of guidelines to help you on this issue.
To make your basement window look or appear bigger, you can opt to do any of the following:
- Disguise window size.
- Do away with dark shades and curtains.
- Do height and width manipulation.
- Be creative with patterns.
- Include embellishments to trim and moldings.
- Place your furniture tactfully.
Continue reading as we elaborate on the methods you need to employ to make your basement window look large. We'll also tackle the colors to use, how to replicate natural light in your basement, and how to mimic a window.
When You Can't Enlarge A Basement Window
According to building codes, there is a limitation on how large your basement window can be. So when you have reached the size limit, you can only refurbish your basement to enhance the size of your window, making it look large so that it blends well with the room. Let's delve into the several methods to do so:
Disguise Window Size
This is an excellent method that requires some handiwork and fools the eye into thinking the window is bigger than it actually is. You can use shutters which are pricey at around $350, or in this case, old bi-fold doors that cost only $15.
What You'll Need
- Bi-fold door that look like shutters or you could use actual shutters (should be the same width or a little smaller if your window is wide)
- Privacy window film (makes the windows glow or appear translucent)
- Sandpaper and wood-fill
- Window trim
- MDF or a material that can build up gaps if needed
- Paint and primer (use white paint)
- ¼ inch MDF panels (for blocking the light behind the shutters)
- Screws, nails, and basic tools
- Shutter latch
- Cut the bi-fold to the preferred length of window you want in your basement.
- Use wood-fill to cover any holes on the door, and sandpaper the rough edges and areas until smooth.
- Wipe with a damp cloth, and apply one coat of primer and two coats of paint.
- Anchor the new ‘shutters’ to your wall. You can do this by fastening a temporary cleat to the wall and resting the shutters on it since they are too heavy to hold by hand.
- Next, nail the shutters to the wall and to reinforce it even more. Put two screws, one on each side, and also attach the hinge-fillers to the wall.
- Build a frame around the window and shutters.
- Paint the frame and then attach the shutters. To block out the light, use ¼ inch MDF panels.
- Finally add a shutter latch and voila! You have your new window.
Do Away With The Dark Shades And Curtains
Dark shades or curtains can absorb or block out light making your windows look smaller. Instead, opt for light-colored or sheer curtains that allow the light to shine through.
Do You Put Curtains On Basement Windows?
You can add curtains to your basement windows. If you want them to appear taller, long drapes with vertical patterns will do the trick.
Do Height And Width Manipulation
A trick that makes it difficult to decipher where the window starts and ends, is by manipulating the height and width of the curtains.
Install long drapes above the window right below the point the ceiling meets the wall. You can also create more width by fitting a curtain rod that is longer than the window and hanging the drapes at both ends.
This trick also works well with blinds.
Be Creative With Patterns
Drapes with patterns that are horizontal make the window appear shorter. So, if you want a window to appear taller, choose a vertically inclined pattern that draws the eye upwards.
In contrast, if you want the window to appear wider, use horizontally inclined patterns.
Include Embellishments To Trim And Moldings
Have you ever tried adding embellishments like side casing or entablature to small windows? Well, they add gravity to the windows making them pop out.
There are many styles to choose from, for example, the Victorian style, craftsman molding, or ranch style casing.
Make Use Of Mirrors
One of the main drawbacks of a tiny window is that it can dampen the light in the basement. This can be solved by installing a large mirror underneath the window, or across the room opposite from the window.
The light reflected by the window tricks the eye to believe the window is larger than it is.
Place Your Furniture Tactfully
A small window can look out of place, but this can be solved by tactfully placing the furniture around it. For example, you can add a hallway table or desk beneath it. This makes it look part of the room and noticeably larger.
Paint The Trim A Similar Color To The Walls
A trim that is a contrasting color to the wall will shrink the appearance of your basement window. Therefore, paint the trim using a color identical to the wall to create a more fluid and integrated feel.
What Colors Make A Basement Look Bigger?
Using colors such as pale blue, light green or off-white, amplify the size of the basement making it more inviting and seemingly bigger.
To enhance this effect further, you can paint the ceiling, moldings, and trim a lighter shade than that of the walls.
When you also use a dark or deep color in a different place in the room, it provides an illusion of a bigger space.
How Do You Simulate Natural Light In A Basement?
Every section of your home is entitled to lots of natural light. It brings out the features in any room, making it more vibrant. This is not so with the basement, which is dark.
There are various ways of adding natural light into your dimly lit basement, as shown below:
- Use of mirrors
- Painting the wall white
- Open floor plan
- Installing solar tube or sun pipe
- Glass/glazed doors
How Do You Make An Illusion Of A Basement Window?
Some basements do not have windows, making you feel cramped in and the room gloomy. If your budget cannot allow you to fix one, then you can fake one. There are many ways of doing this but we shall look at two:
Fit LED Glow Lights On The Wall
These lights that are full-spectrum brighten up the space where they have been installed. Moreover, they will be very useful if you bring into your space purifying plants that will produce oxygen and use up carbon dioxide, increasing fresh air in the room.
You can easily install them by getting LED lights, an acrylic sheet, and a thick wooden frame. Fix the tubes on the right and left sides of the frame using screws or adhesive.
Cut out your acrylic and fit it into the frame by using glue or drilling it into position with nails or screws. Next, mount the frame onto the wall. Since the lights will be too bright, you can hang a sheer curtain over the fake window.
Use Window View On Stick On Decal
This is a fake window vinyl sticker with stunning outdoor views that come in many varieties. For example, you can have one with a lavender field, a tropical paradise, or a breathtaking sunset.
These, are, however, recommended on smooth walls. And, if you get bored, you simply peel it off and replace it with another one.
Making a basement window look bigger is simple when you apply a few tricks here and there. Examples include manipulating the height and width with drapes or using mirrors.
You can also make your basement look bigger by using colors. And, if there is no single window, you can fake it.
You can also simulate natural light in the basement using various methods such as painting the walls white or fixing a lightwell in the basement.
Have a look at our previous posts and find out if you need a window in your basement bathroom and if you can ever enlarge your basement window: