Replace your curtain rods with swing arm rods to open up the room and allow more light in. Windows appear to be bigger than they are, too. Love swing arm curtain rods, I have been on the hunt for old ones for a long time.
a great idea for outdoor curtains to keep them fixed. Might try a retractable clothes line for the bottom so you don't trip. Love this idea!** Maybe instead of all the way across paint cement blocks and run thru curtain and then back thru blocks?