Advice For Dressing Big & Tall Windows?

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Q: Maxwell's post on covering windows made me realize I absolutely need to put something on mine. The problem is, I have never had such large windows before! One of the things I love about my new apartment is the huge windows - but their size is starting to feel like a giant obstacle. 

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My bedroom and living room each have an entire wall taken up by windows (each room only has windows on one wall). I'm trying to figure out how to put something on these puppies without a) going broke and b) overwhelming the rooms with fabric:

The windows measure 75" from the top of the molding to the bottom (a foot taller than me!), and they're 46.5" wide! In the bedroom, there's only about 12" between the windows, 14" between the windows and the walls, and only about 6" between the top of the molding and the ceiling. There's much less space between the windows and the walls in the living room (5" on one side and 9" on the other). The molding is really deep— the top sticks out about 4" from the wall. There's also furniture beneath the windows (chairs in the bedroom and a couch in the living room) that I'd prefer not to move.

I'm worried that hanging "high and wide" wouldn't work because there's not enough wall higher or wider than the windows. Is that so? Would hanging curtains overwhelm the room in fabric and block all my gorgeous light, or would it be OK? Is it possible to hang curtains inside the window, or is that tacky? Also, is it OK to have curtains that stop at the bottom of the molding, so they wouldn't get in the way of the furniture? Any advice/ideas/strong opinions would be very welcome!

Sent by Julia

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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