12 window dressing ideas for living rooms

Let these window dressing ideas inspire your next living room makeover...

Window dressing ideas
(Image credit: Ikea)

Pretty but still practical living room window dressing ideas, will really make a difference to your space – whether it's the final touch to your newly decorated room or just a quick way to update your living room windows. 

First think about what’s on your list of requirements for your living room window dressing? Does it need to create a focal point? Keep the inside of your home private? Stop sunlight damaging furniture and flooring? All of the above? With an exacting list of specifications, and whether you’re planning a new living room scheme or simply swapping a window dressing that isn’t working, follow our guide.

Find more living room ideas over in our gorgeous gallery. 

1. Choose easy-update roller blinds

coloured roller blinds in living room from bloc blinds


(Image credit: Bloc Blinds)

If you are looking for living room window ideas that can be changed with the seasons, check out these roller blinds. The original fabric can be hooked off and replaced with a new one while the blind system itself stays in place. The blind pelmets are changeable, too.

These Fabric Changer designs are Woodland Burst Blackout pelmet roller blind (left), from £91.27 each, and Raspberry Blackout roller blind, from £69.44, all Bloc Blinds.

Read our guide to roller blinds for practical buying information.

2. Showcase pattern with panel curtains

Living room window ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Make a focal point of the window – or distract from a view that leaves much to be desired – with a patterned window treatment. Flat panels put maximum focus on the motif itself as there are no fabric folds, and look contemporary to boot.  

3. Look into flexible living room window dressing ideas

blue toned blinds in living room with sofa

(Image credit: Shutterly Fabulous)

Street-facing living rooms can leave you feeling on show when you’re trying to relax. To avoid the goldfish-bowl sensation, consider tier-on-tier shutters. The stacked panels allow you to cover the pedestrian-height portion of the window and fully open the top, or screen all of the glass, while the slats mean fine control of privacy but will let light in during the day.

These two tone blue shutters cost from £299 per square metre for standard and custom colours, including home consultation and installation, from Shutterly Fabulous.

Find out more about choosing the best shutters for your living room in our guide. 

4. Save space with a Roman blind

living room with white scheme and colourful orla kiely blinds

(Image credit: English Blinds)

Small living room but like the softness of a window dressing made from fabric? A Roman blind will create a generous effect with pleats of fabric apparent when it’s pulled up, but as it fits neatly and hangs down flat it won’t take up space alongside the window or create bulk against the wall. 

This Orla Kiely Rosebud Orange Vintage Roman blind costs from £68.45 for W55cm x D60cm, English Blinds.

Find out more about choosing Roman blinds in our practical guide.

5. Prevent living room furniture fading with window dressings

Living room blinds by Duette

(Image credit: Duette Blinds)

Bi-fold doors and generous glazing create a fabulous connection between indoors and out but the sun can cause furniture and wood flooring to change colour. These blinds are designed to stop UV light damage – and they’ll also make screens easier to see on bright days. Older home with traditional windows? They fit sashes, too.

A made-to-measure blind starts from around £150 from Duette.

6. Combine window dressing ideas for a practical solution

corner of a living room with large open windows covered in a polka dot window film, dressed with neutral coloured curtains and styled with deep blue arm chair and patterned cushions

(Image credit: The Window Film Company)

To keep light flowing into a living space and obscure the view of the curious, window film is a simple and effective solution. Doesn’t feel dressed up enough for the space? Team it with curtains for a more opulent window treatment. Letting the curtain fabric pool on the floor, as here, will make the look more luxurious.

This is MissPrint Ditsy Dandelion film, from £30, The Window Film Company.

Find more window film ideas in our design gallery.

7. Choose a modern take on net curtains

living room with floor to ceiling blinds and seating area with two seater sofa and arm chair and coffee table

(Image credit: Luxaflex)

A blind that maximises light in while foiling attempts to take a nosy at your interior is a 21st century solution to a problem of urban living, and a discreet window dressing idea. It’ll do the same job at night, too, when it can be completely closed.

This silhouette shade is from £299 at  Luxaflex.

8. Stop streetlights intruding with blackout blinds

white scheme living room with black out blinds in bay window, white sofa styled with colourful cushions and a gallery wall

(Image credit: Style Studio)

Prevent the glare from street lamps disrupting the carefully created ambience of your living room in the evenings with a blackout blind. 

These Hive Cellular blinds have a pleated structure that’s also designed to absorb sound to keep that element of the outside out, too. From £118 for a 400mm x 600mm made-to-measure, Style Studio.

Find more of the best blackout curtains in our buyer's guide.

9. Go for heavy fabric window dressings for added luxury

living room with velvet sofa and green curtain window detail

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

Velvet’s a huge trend for sofa upholstery and it’s just as appealing used for window dressings. It looks and feels soft and, of course, drapes beautifully. Try dark shades for a contemporary effect and add brighter jewel tones as accents to the scheme.

Read our guide to choosing living room curtains for more.

10. Dress up a bay with the right window dressings

living with large windows and high ceilings, cafe style blinds and a grey sofa

(Image credit: Hilarys)

A shutter and curtain combination is an ideal way to draw attention to the lovely lines of a bay window. Here, café-style shutters mean the room’s kept private, while floor length curtains frame the attractive feature. Once night-time comes attention’s focused on the sumptuous drape of fabric.  

Richmond café-style shutters, from £375 per square metre; Astro Steel curtains, from £123 for W127cm x D137cm, both Hillarys

11. Go for a combination of curtains and blinds

Roman blind in a living space by Vanessa Arbuthnott

(Image credit: Vanessa Arbuthnott)

If you want a relaxed, informal look in your living room, choosing curtain and blind fabrics that complement each other but don't match is the way to go. Picking designs from the same collection is an easy option. Fabrics by Vanessa Arbuthnott.

Find out how to mix patterns and prints in our design guide.

12. Choose honeycomb blinds for a soft light

Living room window ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Blinds that have a honey comb structure are perfect for living rooms if you want to also keep heat in during the cooler months. They look nice and subtle, you could even layer with a curtain, but actually they are such a practical choice and can drawn to and from as necessary to adjust the light, sound, temperature and privacy. 

These blinds are from Ikea and are a bargain at £25.

How to choose living room window dressings

Dressing a living room window provides the opportunity to impress, or use a more understated treatment that quietly solves the problems it has to. If it’s a separate room, you won’t need to think about the window dressing in relation to others, but in an open-plan kitchen diner and living space, consider repeating colours from a kitchen window treatment to pull the whole space together.

A living room might include bi-fold or sliding doors or more traditional French windows, a shapely bay, or casement windows, and blinds, shutters, curtains and panels might all prove good-looking treatments that could inject colour and – when it comes to Roman blinds, curtains and panels – pattern, too. Roman blinds and curtains will also add to the balance of softer elements in a living room scheme, and the latter can look especially luxurious with generously draped fabric. Other treatments have a simpler, contemporary effect.

However, it’s not only the aesthetic of the window dressing that’s a factor. Light control to reduce glare on screens and protect upholstery from fading may be vitally important, depending on the room’s orientation. Street-facing rooms, meanwhile, need a treatment that brings privacy without making them gloomy, and here specially designed blinds, shutters and window film can come to your aid. 

Read more about living rooms...

Sarah Warwick
Sarah Warwick

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For Realhomes.com, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.