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An elegant living room features curtains for arched windows made of Tailored Pleat Drapery in Tidal Line, Slate
November 10, 2023

Curtains for Arched Windows: Design Tips

If you have arched windows in your home, you likely love the beauty of the architectural features and the light they bring into your home. However, sometimes light control is necessary to mitigate heat buildup from the sun or reduce glare. Regardless of your reasons for needing window treatments, one of the best options is curtains for arched windows. Arched window curtains offer a few different application options that allow you to take control of your light and privacy while also still enjoying the beauty of your window. Plus, curtains come in a wide range of styles and fabrics so you can find just the right look to complement your window and the rest of your interior décor.

To find the right curtains for arched windows, learn about types of arched windows, drapery options and more:

What Are Arched Windows?

Arched windows refer to any window with a curved top. The curved portion can be a part of a single window frame, or it can exist in its own frame above a window or door. There are several types of arched windows based on the degree of curvature and the shape of the curve. Learn about the most common types of arched windows to identify your own window.

What Is the Point of Arched Windows?

Arched windows are a beautiful architectural feature that improve the view to the outdoors and let in lots of natural light to brighten and warm your space. However, most arched windows do not provide ventilation as they cannot be opened.

why go custom?

Thanks to their beautiful unique shape, arched windows can sometimes make finding the right premade curtains difficult. That’s why it’s typically best to go with custom drapery to cover arched windows, as you’ll be able to achieve just the right size, style and functionality to suit your needs.

Benefits of Arched Window Curtains

Curtains for arched windows are an excellent window treatment solution for several reasons, including:

  • Enhances the aesthetics of your space with long, lush panels that help accentuate the height of your arched window.
  • Can be easily pulled off your window, with the right hardware and pleat style so you can easily enjoy your window when you want to and cover it when you need to.
  • Provides light and privacy control by blocking some or most of the light coming through your arched windows or doors when the curtains are pulled shut.
  • Improves the functionality of your space by reducing glare and heat buildup so you can enjoy the space in comfort more often.

How Do You Hang Curtains on an Arched Window?

There are two main ways to hang your curtains for arched windows: hanging the curtains above the arch on the wall or ceiling or hanging them just below the arch so the arch is always visible.

A blue room with a tall ceiling features curtains for arched windows made of Tailored Pleat Drapery in Luxe Linen, Oyster

Above the Arch

Hanging your drapery above the arch on the wall or ceiling is a great solution if you want total light and privacy control by covering the arch and the windows or doors below it. This option also accentuates the height of your arch and the ceiling, which makes your space feel bigger and more spacious.

Pictured: Tailored Pleat Drapery, Luxe Linen in Oyster, with C.O.T. Samuel & Sons Mare Embroidered in Oyster, designed by Scott Sanders for the 2023 Kips Bay Palm Beach Showhouse

A blue patterned bedroom has curtains for arched windows made of Pinch Pleat Drapery in C.O.M. hung below the arch

below the arch

Hanging your drapery below the arch allows you to always view your beautiful window and enjoy the natural light it lets it while still giving you the privacy you need by covering the windows or doors below the arch. This application will create a segmented look and can help very tall windows and ceilings feel less overwhelming in your space.

Pictured: Pinch Pleat Drapery, C.O.M Wells Textiles Rose Cummings, designed by Ashley Avrea Cathey for the 2022 Kips Bay Dallas Showhouse

Another possible application is to hang your curtains within the arch on a curved rod. This would require custom-made hardware and will only work if there’s enough space within the arch’s frame to install the rod. This method is often not the preferred route, as it is difficult to adjust the panels on the curved rod, making them not as functional as the first two options.

Types of Curtains for Arched Windows

Types of curtains for arched windows are the same as those you can choose for any other window. However, choosing the right one for an arched window versus a regular window takes special consideration. Explore types of drapes in terms of pleat style, hardware, fabric and lining and learn about the best choices for arched windows to help you decide which is the best for your needs.

Pleat Style

Pleat style refers to how the drapery is fashioned at the very top of the panel and how fabric falls off the panel. Pleat styles range from sleek and modern to elegant and traditional — and they also have different levels of functionality. Learn more about each pleat style to see which best suits your style and functionality needs for your curtains for arched windows.


As you’ve started to learn above, hardware plays an important role in the functionality of curtains for arched windows along with pleat style. But not all pleat styles are compatible with all types of hardware. Understanding your hardware options is essential for achieving the right functionality for your arched window curtains.

Hardware can be divided into two main categories: rod and rings systems and track systems.

A product image of Wrought Iron Hardware shows the character-rich distressed look of this rod and rings hardware

Rod & Rings Hardware

The traditional rod and rings hardware consists of a curtain rod and rings to which the drapery panels are attached. To adjust your arched window curtains, you pull the panels and rings across the rod. While it sounds simple enough, the higher your drapery, the more difficult it becomes to move the panels. Plus, as you learned above, some pleat styles are simply harder to move than others.

A product image of Madison Hardware shows the sleek design and different final styles of this track system

track systems

Track systems feature carriers in a track to which the drapery is attached. The carriers glide effortlessly on their track, making adjusting your panels easy regardless of height. Plus, you also have the option of a motorized track system, which allows you to adjust curtains for arched windows with a remote, an app or even the sound of your voice when paired with a smart home system.

How to Choose Hardware

Since curtains for arched windows can be hung quite high if they’re above the arch, functionality becomes much more important to your design. The right type of hardware will need to accommodate your needs and expectations for adjusting your drapery. If you plan to adjust your arched window curtains regularly, a track system or motorized track system is best for the easiest, most effortless experience. Just be sure to choose a pleat style that’s compatible with track systems.

Fabric & Lining

Your fabric choice has as much to do with aesthetics of curtains for arched windows as it does with their functionality. You’ll need to think about the level of privacy and light control you want from your drapery to choose the right fabric. And if your fabric doesn’t give you the level of light and privacy control you need, you’ll need to consider lining.

Swatches made of Matka Silk have a subtle luster and soft colors that can be used for curtains for arched windows

drapery fabric

Fabric options range from gossamer sheers to inviting thick wool blends and character-rich natural fibers to pristine synthetics. Finding the right fabric will depend on your aesthetic preferences as well as how much light and privacy control you need and your expectation for maintenance.

drapery lining

Lining options include privacy lining, blackout lining and interlining, which can be added to both privacy and blackout lining. Lining increases the privacy and light control of your drapery as well as insulation, especially with interlining. Plus, the added fabric adds body and fullness to your drape panels while also protecting them from the sun’s harsh rays.

A close up of a drapery panel made of Silk Dupioni in Pewter interlining as an option for curtains for arched windows

Inspirational Arched Window Curtains & Other Ideas

With a better understanding of curtains for arched windows, as well as the window designs themselves, you’re ready to start creating your own design. Gather inspiration from these spaces featuring arched window curtains to spark your ideas.

Design the Perfect Curtains for Arched Windows

With all the insight you have into curtains for arched windows, including the windows themselves and your drapery customizations, you’re ready to start designing your own drapes. Not sure where to begin? Schedule a design consultation with one of our expert Design Consultants at your local showroom. They can ensure you pick the right pleat style, hardware, fabric and lining for your arched window curtains to meet your functional needs while enhancing your windows. 

Two women having a design consultation for window treatments as they look at material swatches in a showroom


Schedule a free design consultation with our talented Design Consultants for guidance on product choice, material selection and more.