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?

  1. Nell says:

    I love bux’s idea of full length drapes. I would do that, no question, if it didn’t obscure the only wall with that fabulous wallcovering!

    Alternatively, something clean and tailored would benefit, as the room is already busy. I love the idea of matchstick blinds and spray-painting them a zingy color. If you aren’t serious about privacy, this is a great, cheap solution.

    Another tailored idea is roller shades with the fabric of your choice laminated onto them. This is an inexpensive DIY project. It will also give full privacy.

    Another full-privacy solution: Two hinged frames that open and close on either side of each window, but set inside the windows, on the same plane as the wall. I’d cover these frames in barkcloth on both sides so that there’s no “wrong” side when they are open. I’d choose hinges which allow the shutters to open all the way, so that they rest against the wall when open. Tailoring with these details in mind would allow you to go crazy with the fabrics, while not increasing the clutter factor.

  2. Erik the Red says:

    Hi John,
    Great looking space! I agree with Sputnik’s plug for Dawn Frasier’s retro fabric designs. I think that colors that “pop” would be better suited towards pillows and art, not the window treatments.
    I have a couple suggests since your space has so little tiki.
    How about make the treatments look like Marshall speakers covers. Of course you should get the Marshall mini fridge to match. The covers could be hinged so they can attach to the ceiling when open.
    Or, framed art, also hinged. Depending on style of art, you could back light it for a nice night time look. Imagine faux fish tanks. Notice that the “pop” could work because of the suggestion of art.

  3. Randy Gaston says:

    Ikea sells several flat panel curtain systems that I think would work well in your situation. Basically they are flat panel curtains that can be slid back over the wall. If you cover them with the same wallpaper you used on that wall, they will be practically invisible open or closed.

  4. tiki room john says:

    aloha all, you guys are great. what a creative bunch. thanks so much for all the suggestions, it’s gonna take us a little to process it all. i like all your ideas, it’s just gonna take figuring out what’ll work best for us. barkcloth is high on the list though. that one with the ukes on it looks awesome. i’ll keep you posted.

  5. Lady of the House says:

    I’d add some color with a cool Hawaiian print of, like, guys surfing while playing guitars, stretched over 2 frames slightly larger than the window. Then you can mount them on “flagpoles” made from one of those old floor-to-ceiling shelving units–the poles with the springs inside. (Ditch the dented metal shelves and just use the poles.) Flip the frame one way–it’s a window covering, flip it the other way, it’s a picture on the wall.

    You could even use 2 different fabrics, one on each side of the frame for a day/night theme…..

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