A faux window, sometimes called a fake window, is an ideal solution for a dark or windowless room. Unlike a landscape painting, a faux window gives the illusion of a real window and so creates a feeling of open space. You can even dress your faux window with window treatments, like a blind, curtain or valance, to complete the illusion that your fake window is real. Such window treatments can hide a neon light hung over the faux window, for the added illusion of sunlight streaming in through the fake window frame.
As you read the steps of this fun faux window project, start imagining the kind of view you always wished you could have. For now, you will.
The Faux Window Frame
For your fake window frame, you have two choices. Look for an old window frame in a garage sale or on Craig’s List. Or buy a faux window picture frame, which has panels the standard size of photos (for example 4 x 6). The advantage to the latter is that this kind of faux window will come with glass, which will increase the illusion of a real window when the project is done.
The Perfect View
This is the best part of the faux window project. Now you get to choose the perfect view. All Posters has a fantastic selection of landscape posters, from forest views to mountaintops, the English countryside to Madison county’s covered bridges. Here’s what you should keep in mind when choosing the perfect view for your fake window:
- The Size: know in advance the size of your faux window. The poster you choose has to fit these dimensions or be just a little bigger. So don’t fall in love with the perfect view just to realize that the poster isn’t wide or tall enough.
- The Season: if you choose a winter landscape, just bear in mind that it will look fake in summer. Season-neutral images will look more real in a fake window. And yet, half the fun of the faux window project is the chance to have your perfect view year-round, even if that means Autumn leaves in spring.
- The Perspective: if you want your fake window to look very real, try to match the view in your faux window to that outside your real windows. If other windows face a tree and a street, then choose a poster with a tree in a picturesque garden.
- The Image Depth: up-close images tend to look more real in a fake window, simply because most window views are of up-close scenery, like the house across the street or the trees in your garden. However, if you are willing to give up on realism a little, here is your chance to have a sweeping view of a mountaintop or a lake.
- The Setting: if you live in Alaska and choose a Tropical Island poster for your faux window, the view will look out of place and fake. It’s best to choose a perfect view that will appear harmonious to your home environment.
The Faux Window Finish
If you already have at least one window in the room where your faux window will hang, consider painting your fake window frame to match the finish of your real window. Even if this means that you will have to finish your faux window in plain old semi-gloss white, the harmonious look will be worth it. Your fake window will look more real because it is as plain as your regular window.
If, however, there are no windows in the room, here is your chance to be inventive. Simply match your faux window finish to the room’s decor. For a modern room, a sleek black or metal finish would be ideal. For a country design, an antique or crackled look would be a good fit. For a natural look, stone or terra cotta would be beautiful.
If you have glass inserts in your faux window picture frame, set them aside. Or if you are working with an old window that still has a glass pane, cover the glass. Next prime the fake window frame for a more even and durable finish. The easiest way is to use a primer spray paint. Next, either match the finish of the other windows in the room or use your imagination to pick the perfect finish for your fake window.
Attach The Poster
Once your fake window frame is dry, you are ready to attach the poster to its back. A simple stapler is all you need. First lay the poster face up on a large table. Next position the faux window over it. The poster is likely to be bigger than the fake window, so move the frame around until the view past it looks perfect. With a pen, mark the poster along the faux window frame, so you’ll be able to cut the poster down to size. When the poster is cut, turn the fake window over and staple (or glue) the poster to the back of the frame.
To create the illusion that sunlight is streaming through your fake window, you can install a cheap, flat neon light fixture above your window. If you choose this option, you will need to install window treatments on your fake window so as to conceal the neon light fixture. If you don’t wish to do this, simply hang your faux window at this stage of the project and enjoy the perfect view you always wanted.
But if you have an electrical outlet near your faux window, it’s a great idea to hang the neon light over the fake window frame. Pass the cord along the edge of the fake window, so it dangles on the side.
Now install a curtain rod over your window. The valance will hide the neon light fixture, and the curtains will hide the electrical cord. In addition, the curtain will hide the fact that your fake window isn’t flush with the wall, as a real window would be. You can even hang a Venetian blind over the window for added realism. All these steps will enhance your faux window further, increasing the realism of the perfect view beyond and adding energy-efficient, fake sunlight to an otherwise dark room.