Windows allow natural light and fresh air inside your home and let you enjoy your neighborhood view. But aside from these, windows enhance your room’s visual appeal and keep you from feeling gloomy, cramped in, and claustrophobic.
This is why if you have rooms where a window is absent or lacking and if you do not have the budget to have a new one fitted in, you can simply create a fake window to give the illusion that it is not entirely a closed space.
To make a fake window, you can put on LED or artificial lights to give your room a semblance of sunlight and additional brightness. You can use wall stickers or decals with a window design, put up a wooden window frame on the wall, or you can build a realistic window minus the opening.
Making a faux window, however, has a few considerations. The materials you can use, the type of fake window you can put up, and the accessories you can add will depend on what type of wall you have, which room it is, and how much you are willing to spend.
Read on and find out the different ways you can make a fake window for your room.
1. Install LED Plant Grow Lights on the Wall
If you want to brighten up a dark and windowless room, such as your basement, you may want to put up a fake window with additional lighting. You can use LED plant grow lights or full-spectrum lights because they are bright, shallow or flat enough, and convenient to plug in. LED plant grow lights also produce lower heat than other lighting options.
Moreover, LED grow lights are very useful if you want to add some indoor plants to your space. You may want to get air-purifying plants that are very efficient at producing oxygen and consuming carbon dioxide. These plants will help compensate for the lack of air or ventilation in the room.
How to Install a LED Light Faux Window
You can get a couple of tubes of plant grow lights or LED lights to mimic sunlight, plus a thick wooden frame and an acrylic sheet to mimic a window. Position your light tubes on the inner part of the left and right sides of the frame. You can use screws or strong double adhesive tape to mount the lights on the frame.
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The next step is to measure your acrylic sheet and make sure it fits on your frame. You can attach the acrylic to the frame by drilling screws or nails into them. You can also use glue.
Mount or hang the frame with the lights and the acrylic cover on your wall. The lights will naturally be too bright, so you can hang a curtain rod above the frame and put up a flowy or sheer curtain over your faux window.
2. Apply Stick-On Decal With a Window View
There is a wide variety of wallpapers and wall decals available now. You can change your plain living room wall into a rustic brick wall, you can use stick-on Moroccan tiles for your backsplash, and you can plant a tree wall decal on your kid’s nursery.
Along with this peel-and-stick trend comes faux window vinyl stickers with a view. You can choose a window that looks out into a stunning view of the sea or into an endless lavender field, a window that opens out to a tropical paradise or to a breathtaking sunset, a window that gives you a picturesque summer garden all year round or a sea of colorful tulips, or a window that makes you feel like your house is a cabin by the lake or a charming English cottage.
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There are so many choices, and the best thing about it is that when you want a change of scenery, you can just peel it off and try another splendid view.
These wall decals, however, are only recommended for walls with a smooth surface. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get the effect you are going for. Moreover, this type of false wall does not give you additional light, so you would want to put it in a room that already has some degree of brightness to it during the day. Besides, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the pretend view outside if the room is not bright enough to give the picture justice.
People use this stick-on window more to add cheerfulness and positivity to a room than to get the illusion of a window. This window decal would give you visual stimulation and serve as an inspiration, much like your phone’s or laptop’s wallpaper does.
How to Apply a False Window Decal
Applying a large one-piece wall decal can be a challenge. So you may want to get help from another person.
First, make sure the allotted wall surface is flat and smooth. Clean it off with a dust cloth or a damp cloth or sponge. Make sure the wall dries completely before applying the decal.
Do some measurements on the wall to ensure that your decal is level and high enough, and mark the wall lightly with a pencil. You can also use dark painters tape for your penciled level lines since it is easy to see through the transfer paper.
Lay your faux window decal face-down on a table and peel back a few inches of the backing paper, starting at the top portion of the decal. Note that a decal has three layers: the backing paper, the decal, and the transfer paper. You will be using the transfer paper and the decal to adhere to your wall surface as you apply it. Exposing only a few inches of the decal will give you a lot of tacky surface with the other layers to stick to the wall.
Next, take the decal to the wall, aligning the decal’s top edge with your level guide. If you used dark painter’s tape, you would see the bottom edge of this tape through the transfer paper. Press the decal and transfer paper firmly in place on the wall, running your hands to smoothen it out. Then gently roll down the rest of the backing paper, smoothing it with your hands as you go along until you have completely peeled the backing paper off.
Get a firm card or a thick ruler, and slowly smooth out the air bubbles. Be sure to work from the center outward so you can move the air bubbles towards the decal edges and then release them. Go over the edges of the decal and gently pull off the transfer paper, starting from the corners.
3. Put Up a Simple Frame False Window
You can make a simple wooden frame and fit an acrylic sheet in it, then install it on your wall. It is pretty much the same as the first false window idea, but without the lights. You can put up this frame, decorate it with curtain sheets, and even slide it in a right-sized photo or print of natural scenery.
4. Make a Window From Electroluminescent Panels
Electroluminescent panels are thin laminated sheets or panels that glow on one side. These EL panels are most commonly used as architectural highlights, in backlighting displays, as safety lighting, and in theatrical props.
Simply prepare two sheets or four smaller sheets of EL panels and mount them to the wall using self-adhesive hooks, Velcro, or loop tape. You can then measure the sides of the sheet and add a window trim or molding. It would be best if you get the same molding used for the rest of your house and painted to match your interior’s colors.
Plug your EL sheet’s inverter into its adapter, which is included in the package, and plug it into the nearest wall outlet.
Once your window with an EL sheet has been installed, you can add a curtain rod above it and hang a curtain made of sheer fabric or lace. You can also skip the trim, curtain rod, and curtain if you opt to just mount a blind over your fake window. Blinds would give your window a different light-filtering effect.
If you want to add a picture to your EL window so you can have a fake view, you can have the picture printed on a sheet of backlight film.
5. Build a Realistic Wooden Window
If you have the budget for it, you can make a realistic window that is more complicated and elaborate. This kind of faux window has the makings of a real window, except that it doesn’t have an opening on the wall. Depending on the type of window you like, you can make a realistic version of it with the necessary parts like the jambs, interior casing, apron, stiles, grills, a glass pane, a window sill, sashes, rails, jalousie, and shutters.
However, to make a realistic false window, you will need to have some bit of experience with carpentry work. There will be designing, measuring, cutting and sewing, assembling, nailing, attaching, drilling, and screwing, among others, involved in this project.
Another option is to buy a finished pair of window frames or cabinet doors from a construction supply store, add acrylic or glass as a windowpane, paint according to your interior aesthetics or your preferred colors, and mount it on the wall using nails, screws, glue, or adhesive.
You can then add a curtain or use the window sill as a shelf and put on some decorative items or some photo frames.
The Benefits of Putting Up a False Window in a Room
Many would find putting an artificial window in a room a ridiculous idea. After all, nothing will ever be as good as the real thing. However, there are instances when a false window would be your only option or when having one is better than nothing.
For example, you may consider having a faux window if you stay in a dark, gloomy, and dingy basement and would like to add more brightness and cheerfulness to space. You may also need one if you often feel claustrophobic or closed in when you are in certain parts of the house where there are not enough windows.
And if you are only renting and not allowed to make permanent changes to the house, like breaking down a part of the wall and making a hole, then a false window is your only option. Additionally, a false window would sound good enough if you don’t have a budget for structural changes to your wall.
Here are the benefits of putting up a false window:
- It’s more cost-effective. Putting up a false window is a lot less costly than hiring a contractor to make an opening on your wall and building a real window. It would also be a lot more time-consuming to do this.
- A false window provides a sense of being in the outdoors. Using a wall decal of a window with a beautiful view will make you feel as if the beach or the mountains are right outside your door. Being able to see scenic pictures and having the illusion that you are in the midst of a splendid natural scenery could have a positive effect on your mindset, your productivity, and your mood.
- A false window creates an illusion of a non-existent window. It can help your interiors look a whole lot better and less crowded.
- Relax. A false window with views of nature or relaxing scenes helps those who suffer from stress and anxiety.
- Say goodbye to gloomy environments. A false window with lighting can add brightness to a room where natural sunlight isn’t enough.
- Plant-friendly. A false window that uses plant grow lights can make even rooms that lack windows a suitable place to grow some air-purifying plants.
- Eye-catching. A false window can add a more visual appeal to a room.