Guest Author

Guest Author

Design Dilemma with Cheryl Torrenueva: Curtain Length Over Baseboard Heaters?

Posted by Guest Author Wednesday, December 30, 2009 7:20 AM EST


Brenda, the owner of today's Design Dilemma, has hit on a common issue: baseboard heaters and window coverings.  Baseboard heaters are unsightly, and on top of it all, the divas of home heating -- don't cover them, don't paint them, don't, don't, don't.  Well, as usual our devoted style steward Cheryl Torrenueva (Restaurant Makeover, Colin & Justin's Home Heist) has some advice on how to work around them, and even throws in some ideas on how to blend them into the background.

From Brenda J.: "What do you do with drape length when the window is directly over the baseboard heating ?"

From Cheryl: Hi Brenda,

This is definitely one of the most common questions that homeowners ask, so you're not alone! There are so many window fashions on the market that can solve this problem, so please don't shorten your curtains to look like they’re running away from a flood!

Firstly, try and avoid covering baseboard heaters as it interferes with their function. The air and hence the heat can get trapped, and you may get condensation on your windows.  Keep the area clear and go for one of these fabulous options;

Roman Blinds

A custom fit roman blind adds softness, texture and pattern to your space.  In Episode 7 of Season Two of Colin and Justin’s Home Heist, we added visual interest to the walls with paneling and sprayed every inch (even the baseboards with heat-proof paint) with robin’s egg blue.  This helped to distract from the typical eyesore that baseboard heaters can be. For added elegance and texture, we opted for gorgeous damask velvet roman blinds.  If you have roughly a 2" depth within the frame of your window, measure the blind to fit perfectly inside for that custom designer look.


For a more modern look, try horizontal wood blinds or even custom wood shutters that fit the exact dimensions of your window frame.  In Episode 21 of Season One of Colin and Justin’s Home Heist, we used wood blinds that we stained the same colour as the headboard.  This helped to pull an overall clean aesthetic together for what everyone thought to be the cutest loft bedroom.

Insider Tip: To create the illusion of shutters, choose horizontal blinds with a 2" wide slat (in white) from your local building store (Home Depot, Rona, Lowes) and have them cut down to the inside measurements of your frame.  I've done this a million times and it really makes a difference!

Curtains or Bust
If you really want the look of curtains, use a stiff fabric and cut the length of it a good foot longer than floor length, so that the curtains can balloon and buckle.  We did this in the living room of the paneled bedroom house to align the window treatments with the room’s more glamorous feel.  You can see how the buckling of the fabric allows it to balloon away from the heaters to allow for air flow.  

Hope this sheds some light into your space!


Do you have baseboard heaters beneath your windows? How have you dealt with the window treatments? 

Topics: Window Treatments


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