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A little bit tiki, a little bit rock ‘n roll: John asks for basement window treatment ideas

John’s basement is a little bit tiki, a little bit rock ‘n roll — it’s pretty fabulous, actually. Now, John needs to finish the room — with some cheap, cheerful, effective and aesthetically pleasing window treatments for his small basement windows. I bet the design of these windows looks familiar to a lot of people; classique. So –what do you think that John should do for window treatments? Read on for his complete question and more pics, and then, let’s hear your ideas. John writes:

hi pam,

a few friends and i have been facebook fans of yours for a while now, using it for inspiration. i have a 1968 ranch in a suburb of boston. we’re putting the finishing touches on the two windows.

they’re nearly side by side and measure 32″x16″.

we were hoping to find this kind of shutter (above), but haven’t had any luck finding them in the right size. we are completely open to a different way to go. we’d like them open by day and closed by night. we can’t justify spending the $ on custom built for the basement. any ideas for a manufacturer or a different solution?

thanks, john
Terrific room, John. I’m ready to come over for a few Suffering Bastards and end up dancing on the coffee table when Love Shack comes on the eight track. But, yes, you need to get window treatments first, so’s we can keep out the paparazzi.

Readers, what are your window treatments ideas for  
 John’s Tiki Rock n’ Roll basement windows?

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  1. Larry says:

    Another thought if you don’t want to build the basic frame from scratch, you can get frame kits for picture frames. They come in all sizes so you could get all the pieces to make 4 8×16 frames, hinge a couple together for each side and then fill the frame with whatever you want: fabric, decorative paper, photos, etc, etc.

  2. Ima Pam says:

    Bux….We have the typical original short pleated curtains on thin rods in our ’63. As we are redoing, the basement, I have thought about going with full length ones for the reasons you suggested-illusion of larger, above ground window, sound baffle, warming-and to visually normalize the room dimensions. Our windows are on the short wall of a very long narrow room. Anyhow, good to know someone else has done long curtains on short windows and is please with the result!

    1. bux1234567 says:

      Ima Pam,

      Cool, I’d love to see pics of how your basement with full-length pinch pleats turned out. I’d send pics of mine if you’re interested.

  3. Loralei says:

    I have roman shades in the basement of my 1962 ranch. They are, oddly enough, striped horizontally rather than vertically, in gold and maroon-y colors. I can’t take a picture right now because, shhhhh, I’m at work. They came with the house so I’m thinking they’re close to original? They look old to me, ’cause they are really well made and perfect for the windows. The other windows in the basement have wooden shutters with lace curtains inset in them, which HAVE to be original.

    I’m pretty sure that roman shades would be cheaper than pinch pleat drapes. Don’t get me wrong – I love those floor to ceiling drapes and they would look super in John’s basement. But I priced them for my living room and OUCH!

    But anybody who loves tiki gods will surely make a great decision regardless!

  4. Lynn-O-Matic says:

    That message was supposed to be in response to Sputnik Housewares re: Dawn Frasier. Don’t know why it didn’t nest like it normally does.

  5. Lynn-O-Matic says:

    I’d consider matchstick bamboo blinds or wooden venetian blinds with barkcloth curtains layered over. That’s a pretty classic tropical/tiki look. The matchsticks let in a lot of light, almost like sheers, and blinds can be adjusted to direct the light in different directions, so they give you lots of options. Whatever you do, I assume you’re also going to include the door in the new window coverings?

  6. MEW says:

    You really can’t go halfway with tiki. My vote is to get some hawaiian fabric and make short, cheap curtains like a lot of us remember our moms making for our basements.

  7. Chase says:

    Hang a grass skirt across the window and accent it with a barkcloth valence; you can use curtain hold-backs to keep the grass skirt open during the day. Haha, I’m just kidding. I do like the idea of incorporating some fun, bright barkcloth though. The bamboo shades aren’t a bad idea either, but may blend with the wall a little too much.

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