How to Modernize Arched Windows

Arched windows are an architectural marvel you’re glad to have in your home [at least most days], but you wish you could make them look fresher. How do you modernize arched windows?

Here are some ideas for modernizing arched windows:

  • Use drapery
  • Add curves to the room
  • Or incorporate more square shapes
  • Install shades
  • Get shutters
  • Use a grille insert
  • Slap on decorative film

Whether you love your arched windows but wish they could look more modern, or you don’t rike them and want to obscure them, the options on this list will help you showcase your windows your way.

Scandinavian living room 3d rendering image, How To Modernize Arched Windows

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7 Ideas for Modernizing Arched Windows

1. Use Drapery

If you can’t stand the shape or size of your arched windows, this tip will obscure both.

All you need to do is add some dramatic drapery!

While you can always affix a curtain rod atop the windows, due to the curve of the arch, the straight line that is the curtain rod will look odd.

If anything, that might bring even more attention to the arched windows, which is the last thing you want!

ACustom curtains arebest, as these will fit your exact window arch dimensions. According to Angi, a set of custom curtains for arched windows costs between $250 and $1,500 for each panel.

How opaque or translucent the curtains are is up to you, as are the color, materials, and length of the curtains.

Longer curtains have the benefit of not only covering the arched windows but reducing sunlight in the room and creating a greater sense of privacy.

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2. Add Curves to the Room

If it’s simply not in the budget to remodel your home with new curtains, that’s fine. You can always redecorate the place with whatever you already have to further blend in the presence of the arched windows.

By placing similarly arched items in the room near the windows, the curvature of the windows won’t stand out like such a sore thumb.

modern classic living room nature view

The similar round shape of the décor and even the room itself will create more cohesion throughout the room that perhaps will help you to appreciate the style of windows in your home.

If not, at least you won’t notice the arched windows so much anymore!

3. Or Incorporate More Square Shapes

This next tip sounds strange, right? How in the world is adding angular shapes to a room with curvy arched windows supposed to make them less noticeable?

It’s simple.

Squares and circles go together exceptionally well architecturally speaking. Just look at classic Roman architecture, and you’ll see that these two shapes were always enmeshed in designs.

We know you’re trying to go for much more modern than the days of the Ancient Romans, but they knew their architecture.

How else can you explain why combining arched windows with straight squares is still a modern design touch?

corner view modern beige living room

As the image above illustrates, it simply works. The more angular elements you have–such as the ceiling beams, square-shaped desks, and sharp-edged furniture seen in the photo above–the more that everything comes together.

The entire room feels intentional. Since the squared elements blend in so well with the arched windows, the focal point is undoubtedly no longer the windows!

4. Install Shades

The next couple of methods will all focus on obscuring arched windows, so if that’s more up your alley, keep reading.

Shades are an excellent choice for trivacy and sunlight control and for making your arched windows tuch less noticeable.

So which types of shades are best?

Well, Roman shades are one option at your disposal. These shades go with the Roman architectural stylings of arched windows.

The fabric-covered shades look incredibly modern, especially when they’re folded horizontally.

You’ll love how much a set of Roman shades dresses up any room in your home, from a bedroom to a living room, a sitting room, or a family room.

roman binds 3d illustration sky blue room wall

Equally as good and very fresh and modern are cellular shades, which also go by the name honeycomb shades.

These shades are made of a single piece of pleated fabric and will lift according to the bent pleats.

Beloved for their contemporary chicness, you’ll forget all about the age of your arched windows with a set of honeycomb shades, that’s for certain!

5. Get Shutters

If not shades, you can also consider shutters or blinds for your arched windows.

Shutters can look incredibly upscale and trendy, especially the further you move away from basic shutter materials.

Consider instead sturdy and beautiful shutter materials such as incense cedar, alder, basswood, engineered wood, medium-density fiber or MDF, or even hardy PVC.

You will need a bigger budget to afford some of these shutter materials, but if you can’t spend that much cash, MDF or PVC should be reasonably priced.

Through a pull curtain, a rod, or even a remote control, you can open the shutters just a smidge, a quarter of the way, halfway, or all the way.

Even when shutters are fully open, they don’t let in nearly as much sunlight as your arched windows would without the shutters!

6. Use a Grille Insert

Not only do arched windows sometimes age a room, but they leave so much empty space with the large glass panels.

Now that you’ve seen some tips for modernizing the arched windows, why not do both that and reduce the amount of empty space your windows afford?

You don’t even have to invest in a new set of windows. All you need is a grille insert.

Grille inserts can be made of many materials, but faux wrought iron and wood are two of the most popular.

Both materials look good with anything, so even if you have a wood-framed arched window, don’t feel like you can’t use the faux wrought iron. You definitely can!

You can buy inserts at your favorite home improvement store and online.

Before shopping for a design you like, measure the arched part of your window. If you plan on covering the entire window in a grille insert, then you need the window’s length, width, and height. 

If a grille insert doesn’t fit, you can’t exactly trim it down to size, so it’s essential to have precise measurements before you go shopping.

The snug fit of the insert shouldn’t require any type of adhesives like glue or any hammering or drilling. Since they go in so easily, if you ever change your mind about a grille insert, removing them is very simple and fast.

In the meantime, with the grille inserted, you can enjoy a more appealing and modern take on your arched windows. The windows will also offer moderately more privacy and some degree of light control.

That said, don’t expect anything like what you’d get with curtains, shades, or shutters!

7. Slap on Decorative Film

black interior with large arch windows

Our last suggestion for fresher-looking arched windows is to use a decorative window film.

A film is only for one side of the window unless you buy twice the pieces of film. Even then, you’d have to line them up perfectly on both sides, which is quite challenging.

If you opt for a single-sided decorative film, you’ll have to choose whether you want to enjoy it when inside your home or if you want the exterior to look more appealing than perhaps the interior in this case.

The decorative film should peel right off the plastic backing and stick on the window.

Try to get the alignment right the first time, as once you remove the decorative film, it might not stick as well the second time around.

Unlike a grille insert, it’s okay if your decorative window film isn’t sized precisely to your arched window. You can always use a pair of household scissors to trim it down to size.

You can choose from so many types of decorative window film styles. We quite like this one that looks like stained glass.

Click here to see decorative window film on Amazon.

Unlike some window film designs, this one offers a modicum of privacy by blurring the view into your home.


Scandinavian living room 3d rendering image

Arched windows are beautiful to some, but if you find that they make your home look old, you don’t have to ignore the issue any longer.

You can cover the windows with a curtain, modernize them with shades or other window treatments, or add glass window film or decorative grille inserts.

If you liked this article, check out this other great content:

How to Hang Curtains Across 3 Windows Next to Each Other

Do Casement Windows Have Screens?

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