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Most of the time, the windows act as supporting characters in homes. Their job is usually relegated to function, letting in necessary light and air, while nearby details like curtains, wall paint, and furniture get to have more flexibility with style.
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But I think it’s time to give windows the chance to have more “main character energy” in design. After all, natural light is a major request in any home, and windows make that happen — why not make them more of a star? Luckily, there are ways to upgrade windows without spending a lot of money or, if you’re a renter like me, losing your security deposit.
Here are three ways you can add personality to your otherwise plain windows without breaking the bank, or the glass.
Use Electrical Tape to Create a Pattern
The simplest and most budget friendly way to add character to plain windows is to fake a grid using electrical tape. To do so, measure the window height, divide by three, and lightly mark along the top and bottom of the window. Next, apply a single piece of electrical tape to the pane, connecting the marks from the bottom to the top of the window to ensure straight lines. Repeat for the width of the window. (Depending on the size and shape of your windows, you may need to divide by more or less than three). Use black tape for black windows, white tape on white windows, or the full rainbow of options if you’re looking to have a little fun.
Although not as simple as the square grid pattern, you can also use electrical tape to create a diamond pattern, particularly on a short rectangular window. However, if the measuring and math required to ensure evenly sized and spaced diamonds overwhelms you (like it would for me), you can order custom vinyl decals on Etsy. While more expensive than a roll of electrical tape, these are still budget friendly and will guarantee a perfect diamond pattern.
Add Decals to Give the Illusion of an Old World Window
There are also decals on Etsy to make panes look like French wrought-iron grill windows, and yet are completely renter-friendly. Each is custom-made based on the measurements of your window, and every piece attaches via magnets to the window itself. These are the most expensive option on this list, but they’re also the most show-stopping way to add Old World charm.
Easily Incorporate the Look of Stained Glass
One last option to infuse a bit of charm into your home is with stained glass window decals from Etsy. The mix of textures and colors make it look surprisingly like real stained glass, and while the decal covers the entire window, it still lets a lot of light in. If you‘re not afraid of color, these would make a major statement.