You recently moved into a basement apartment or bought a house in which you'll use the basement for extra living space. The only problem is that the ceilings are low, which you're worried will give the area a cramped feeling. Use strategies for drapes and curtains on the basement windows to create the illusion of a higher ceiling. 

Basement Styles

If you have a standard basement with only a handful of small egress windows, you might consider not putting up any window treatments unless you have good reason to worry about privacy. If your place is a basement duplex apartment, the builder likely installed numerous windows around the ceiling area to provide natural light. A walkout basement typically offers the most natural light with a patio door or large windows along the open wall.

No matter which design you're dealing with, similar strategies work to make the ceiling seem higher and the entire space bigger.

Light Colors

Light colors make a room seem more spacious, so choose curtains or drapes in pastels or variations of white. If the basement has any large windows, you might add a sheer valance to the top.


If you want your window treatments to have patterns, consider vertical stripes, which add the impression of height. Another possibility is to choose other simple patterns with a vertical effect, such as subtle diamonds in vertical lines. A third option would be to choose drapes or curtains featuring one or more diagonal lines starting about midway through the fabric and reaching to the top. 

Avoid busy patterns and anything with a horizontal design.

These are common strategies in fashion to help a person look taller and slimmer. 

Details at the Top

If you prefer window treatments without patterns, consider at least a small amount of patterning at the top. This tends to draw a person's eyes upward, which makes the ceiling seem taller. 

Thinner Fabrics

Choose thinner fabrics rather than heavy ones so you can push them entirely to the side during the daytime. You don't need a foot or more of draperies on each side of a window simply taking up space during daylight hours. 

Create the Illusion

When you shop for window treatments (from outlets such as Sylvans & Phillips Drapes and Blinds), keep these considerations in mind and select drapes or curtains that most appeal to you. You'll be pleased with the way your basement living space looks and the effect of height you've produced.