Installing a Fake Window for Basement: Is it Really Worth It?

Installing A Fake Window For Basement: Is It Really Worth It?

We all know that windows are important in any room. They let the fresh air and natural light come into the room. Plus, windows can also let you enjoy the outside view. On top of that, windows can enhance the visual appeal of your room.

There are many kinds of windows out there. All you have to do is just choose the right ones that match your interior style and preference.

However, we all know that installing windows is not for everyone. Sometimes, it is not an option.

In a basement, for instance, it is a bit difficult to have windows since most basements are underground. Yet, we also know that a room without windows will look stuffy and feel airless, making us claustrophobic. Hence, the fake window.

1. What Is a Fake Window for The Basement?

what is a fake window for the basement
what is a fake window for the basement. image ©

There are several types of basements. The question is, can a basement have no windows?

Well, in fact, it depends on the type of basement. For walkout basements, most of them usually have windows or at least glass panel doors to let the natural light come in.

For underground basements, as stated before, windows are almost impossible to install. Therefore, the fake windows are helpful for this type of basement.

A fake window, like its name, is an artificial window. It looks like an actual window and comes in several forms.

In fake windows, you can use a facsimile, a real window frame, or even a mural on the wall to create an illusion of an outdoor view.

Some people also use decorative mirrors to imitate windows in an underground basement to bring reflected light into the basement. For a budget-friendly option, you can even use a scenic poster for a visual appeal.

If you want to create a more realistic window, you can install an actual frame surrounding the fake window. The frame should match the basement’s style and be integrated with lighting to simulate sunshine.

There are pre-made window units with custom photographs or standard scenic backgrounds that you can use too. The fake window frame is inset into the wall to create a more authentic feel. You can even decorate the frame with tiebacks, rods, curtains, or drapes. Some units are included with sound effects and a video loop.

A painted window is also known as trompe l’oeil, which means eye trick. It is a two-dimensional way to make the fake window blend seamlessly with a decorating scheme. For basements with limited openings, you need to hire an artist to incorporate a single real window into a mural. You can have a similar window painted on the wall to balance it too.

When it comes to decorative mirrors as a fake window, give your mirror a frame to add a power of reflectivity. Lamps, candles, or lights can be enhanced by mirrors. If your basement has a low ceiling, mirrors can also increase the ambient light.

Add shutters to frame your decorative mirror instead of curtains because curtains can interfere with the mirror’s light-gathering properties.

The simplest and easy to apply fake windows is a poster with an outdoor scene. As an alternative, you can use a simple bulletin board as a scenic poster. You can add a few strips of wood above a cork bulletin board that can be floated on a wall and decorated nicely. Or, you can buy a picture light and hang it over the poster scene to enhance the look.

2. Why Should You Use a Fake Window for the Basement?

why should you use a fake window for the basement
why should you use a fake window for the basement? image ©

When you install a fake basement in your underground basement, you can create a feeling of being outdoor. It is because image panels can be easily slid behind the window frame. You can change the slide as often as you like. You can even change the slide based on the current season to mimic the view outside.

Even though this fake window cannot give you the natural airflow and the real open feeling, at least it can help those who have claustrophobia. Moreover, a room without windows seems incomplete. In order to avoid such feelings, a fake window is required.

3. Other Than the Basement, Where Should You Install a Fake Window?

Basically, fake windows are particularly beneficial for areas that have no external windows or natural light. An underground basement is an ideal example of a closed space without windows. However, there are even bedrooms that have no windows. Thus, a fake window is needed.

Other than that, bathrooms are the second most common area that usually has no window. If your bathroom features enough room to install windows, you can have a fake window in it, too, to enhance the appearance and to make it look bigger than it actually is.

Laundry rooms, enclosed mudrooms, powder rooms are other rooms that usually have no windows in them. Therefore, fake windows can be helpful. Despite the room, make sure you install artificial windows that match the style and color scheme of the room.

4. What Are the Benefits of Having a Fake Window for the Basement?

There are many upsides to having a fake window in your underground basement. Some of them are:

  • It brings a feeling of the outside in. This way, you don’t have to be really outside, or at least see the outside view from your window. The scenic poster or image panels can be much of a help.
  • It gives an illusion of a window even though there isn’t any. Some people are uncomfortable when they enter a room, especially a small and crammed one without windows. Faux windows can minimize the effect.
  • It is suitable for underground basements with no external windows or natural light. Even though the room is not illuminated by natural lights, you can create an artificial light that can be enhanced by the window. For instance, you can add string lights or wall sconces around the decorative mirrors as a fake window.
  • It doesn’t give you issues like real windows do. You don’t have to worry about the bugs creeping through the windows.
  • You don’t need to maintain it every now and then like you do to the real windows. Most of the time, fake windows don’t need regular cleaning. If you have decorative mirrors as a fake window, you just have to wipe them clean after a while with a wipe cloth.
  • Did you know that fake windows can help people with dementia too? Fake windows with a board or image slide depicting the current season can help them mark the passing of time.

5. Is a Fake Window for the Basement a DIY Project?

Actually, fake windows can be purchased or made on your own. If you want to purchase fake windows, one of the recommended products is from Prosky Panels. The Edgewin window has several options: single, double, trio, and custom. It has a thin structure, which is only 2.5 cm. It means you can directly use it without any preparation on the wall surface. Edgewin windows can be paired with metal or wood frames to complete the look.

However, if you want a cheaper option, you can make a fake homemade window. Yes, fake windows can be included in your next DIY project. There are several advantages of creating your own fake windows. Some of them are, it is cheaper, and you can unleash your creativity. The possibilities are endless. This way, you can create a fake window based on your personal preference, the one that can fit perfectly to the surrounding, matching the style and color scheme.

6. How to Create a Fake Window for the Basement with Electroluminescent Sheets?

how to create a fake window for the basement with electroluminescent sheets?
how to create a fake window for the basement with electroluminescent sheets? image ©

Electroluminescent sheets can give a sunny glow to a basement with very little natural light. With only a little work, you can make electroluminescent sheets look like a window. Here are the things you should do:

  1. measure the dimensions of your fake window, determine the measurement. Roughly, a recommended height for a small window is the same height you usually use for hanging artwork at eye level.
  2. The measurement of the electroluminescent should be transferred squarely. Plumb to the wall using a measuring tape, pencil, and straight edge.
  3. Cut two lengths of loop tape and prepare a self-adhesive hook. Stick a hook strip within the lower and upper lines on the wall. Install two loop strips evenly to the bottom and top of the sheet’s backside.
  4. Mount that sheet to the wall.
  5. Determine the perimeter of the sheet for the window trim. Buy the measured amount of window trim matching your home’s other moldings, so your fake windows can blend seamlessly.
  6. Using a miter saw, cut the window trim to fit around the sheet.
  7. Paint the window trim to match other moldings in your house.
  8. Using caulking or construction adhesive, stick the trim in place around that faux window. Make sure the glue doesn’t get on the adapter cord. Don’t forget to check that the wire should hang down from one lower corner of the window trim.
  9. Attach a curtain rod above the fake window. It is recommended to attach the curtain rod almost to the ceiling to visually stretch the room. Hang the rod around one foot out on the side of the molding. So that, when the curtains are open, the electroluminescent light can be maximized.
  10. Hang light-filtering drapery on the curtain rod. It is recommended to use long drapes, floor-length to make your basement look taller.
  11. Plug the inverter of the sheet into the included adapter and plug the adapter into the wall outlet.
  12. You can open the semi-transparent curtains to allow more light in.

7. How to Create a More Realistic Fake Window for a Basement?

If you want a more realistic fake window, here are the things you should do:

  1. Purchase a window (or door) with glass panels.
  2. Measure a clear frosted shower curtain, make sure it is in the same dimension as your window. Cut and staple the curtain to the back of the window.
  3. Measure the LED light’s length and cut a similar length of 1,5 wood board.
  4. Screw board the window’s mid-top back and attach the LED light bar to the side toward the curtain you stapled before.
  5. Affix another 1,5 wood boards to the window’s top and mount hooks to the board so they can be mounted to the wall. Make sure you have found a stud to hang the window, for it will be super heavy.
  6. Use LED light string in cool white light and affixed it to the outer part of the window’s back all around.
  7. You can paint the area where the window will be mounted in white color. This way, the natural lighting effect can be enhanced.
  8. You can also add an electrical timer so that the light can imitate the time of sunset and sunrise outside.
  9. Last, add curtains like a usual window to complete the whole look.

8. Before After Pictures of a Basement Remodeling with Fake Windows in a Stone Wall

before after pictures of a basement remodeling with fake windows in a stone wall
before after pictures of a basement remodeling with fake windows in a stone wall. image ©

This basement has been remodeled into a more comfortable and cozier spot.

Before, we can see that this basement used to be a messy area. It was an underground laundry room and no window there.

Imagine how stale the air in that basement was! The washed clothes were hung to air dry, but there was no airflow whatsoever. No wonder there were molds on the wall.

After being remodeled, the basement looks brighter and more sociable, even though there is still no window there. It is impossible to add windows in a basement like this.

Alternatively, the designers added a pair of glass panels recessed on the wall. Below, they installed what they call a “sill apron”. That aprons were custom-built, made of stained birch plywood on wood blocking. This way, those aprons can float from the wall.

This is an example of a minimalist underground basement with white walls and two fake windows. The sill apron can also be used as a display rack, where the homeowners put some decorative items on them. This way, the “fake windows” can be concealed a bit, so the guests won’t even know that the windows are basically artificial.

9. Glass Panel Fake Windows for a Home Gym Basement

glass panel fake windows for a home gym basement
glass panel fake windows for a home gym basement. image ©

This basement was turned into a home gym, which is actually an excellent idea if you want to have your own personal gym.

Building a home gym in the basement is an excellent idea. This way, you don’t have to worry about your exercise or workout activities bothering others.

In this modern basement, the sidewall and the floor were made of maple wood. They look lovely combined with the crisp white wall. On the white wall, the designer also installed glass panels as fake windows.

The huge glass panel “windows” is even completed with a white frame that blends seamlessly with the white wall around.

Glass panel like this is a good idea as a fake window if you want to enhance the trendy look and the modern design in your basement. You can install recessed LED lights on the back of the glass panel to light up the whole “window”.

10. Fake Windows with a View in an Industrial Basement

fake windows with a view in an industrial basement
fake windows with a view in an industrial basement. image © terri weinstein design, inc

This industrial basement looks lovely with its two fake windows.

The designers managed to create functional spaces in an underground basement, including a music room, office space, game space, TV space, and a bar. They also used the subway as a motif for the whole basement project. No wonder the entire area of this basement will remind you of a subway.

This is basically a large basement with a touch of urban style. That is why the fake windows here seem to be made of poster scene. It also appears that the windows are actually painted windows. Regardless of the materials used for these artificial windows, the designers were able to make the windows mix harmoniously with the surrounding.

They even framed the fake windows like the regular windows. And since the subway is the main theme of this basement, the poster used on the fake windows depicts the situation of a subway train.

So when the homeowners spend their time in the basement, they can look at the “windows” and see the passengers of a subway train.

11. Stained Glass as a Fake Window in a Basement Pub

stained glass as a fake window in a basement pub
stained glass as a fake window in a basement pub. image ©

This is another idea to remodel your basement, create your own bar out of it. This basement pub is completed with a fake window surrounded by dark cabinets. The “window” is made of stained glass reclaimed from Demolition Depot.

The stained glass enhances the classic and vintage look of this basement.

There are backlights in the back of the glass to illuminate the whole “window”. The backlights are actually incandescent tube bulbs that were mounted to the recess’ sides. The incandescent bulbs were used so the owner could dim the lights whenever they liked, especially for the occasion. The designers also use a mix of fluorescent diffuser panels. This way, the bulbs are not visible through the fake window.

12. Fake Window Made of Alcove and Walls in a Contemporary Basement

fake window made of alcove and walls in a contemporary basement
fake window made of alcove and walls in a contemporary basement. image ©

This contemporary basement looks calm, grounded, and inviting. No wonder because the designers used earth tones to decorate this entire area. The unique part of this basement is the fake windows. Instead of using a glass panel, scenery poster, and framed mirror, the designers used an alcove.

The top of the alcove was finished with four lighter layers of plaster. This way, each of them allows the shades to bleed through the weathered walls. The texture also mixes harmoniously with the stone. The tiles on the alcove wall are highlighted with embossed leaves. Those add a horizontal rhythm and a subtle natural texture to this area.

This “fake window” is clearly the focal point in this basement. Over the alcove, a custom upholstered daybed was added to create a subtle vertical effect for the alcove wall. Colorful throws give a pop of color to the alcove’s muted color.


So, what do you think about the fake windows you have seen above? Which one do you like the most? Fake windows are worth it if you want to remodel your old damp basement into something more functional. Even though the basement is located underground, that doesn’t mean you can add a “window” to it.