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Need a genius idea for this impossible bay window!

(19 Posts)
RestorationInsanity Tue 05-Nov-19 10:34:05

We moved in to our house earlier this year and I absolutely adore the bay window in the lounge but after taking down the hideous old net and threadbare curtains and replacing with some cheap temporary (sill length) ones until we redecorate, I've realised I've absolutely no idea how to 'dress' this window! I think Roman blinds will cover the stained glass as there's not much space to hang them and curtains will be either sill length, or cover the radiator. If they were full length would they look odd as there will be so much curtain? Shutters won't be right as they'll cover the stained glass and look strange from the outside because of the arched central window. The sofa is no longer in the bay, and the furniture in the bay will be two antique armchairs and a table between them if that helps.

First image shows the bay etc better, second picture shows the stained glass better as we've recently had it repaired.

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Wildwood6 Tue 05-Nov-19 14:18:27

Have you looked at Silentgliss wave tracks? The tracks have a very discreet profile, and in the case of your bay window they could be fitted to either the top of the window or to the ceiling. They are also suitable for bay windows. I think a Silentgliss double wave track with a floor length curtain on the first track and then a sheer voile on the second track would look lovely smile

RestorationInsanity Tue 05-Nov-19 16:03:05

I haven't heard of those but they do sound great and I like ether idea of a (sill length?) voile and then 'proper' curtains in front. Is there any chance it will just look like a wall of fabric? The window is about 2.4 m wide with about 80 cm of wall either side of the bay.

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RestorationInsanity Tue 05-Nov-19 16:04:40

Sorry, I meant with the main curtains closed, not with them open and the voile behind.

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SavoyCabbage Tue 05-Nov-19 16:10:04

I’ve got a swish curtain track on my bay window will full length curtains.

I don’t know what you mean by ‘so much curtain’. When they are closed?

SavoyCabbage Tue 05-Nov-19 16:11:59

https://www.dunelm.com/product/swish-supreme-glide-aluminium-track-1000051585?defaultSkuId=30102138

You can bend them and you can join them together or cut them down.

RestorationInsanity Tue 05-Nov-19 16:16:53

Sorry yes I meant with the curtains closed. I'm worried the curtains might dominate the room, although I suppose with two chairs and a little table in front that will break it up.

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Wildwood6 Tue 05-Nov-19 16:19:25

@RestorationInsanity, no the 'wave' is still visible when they're closed, the pictures here give you a good idea:

www.silentgliss.co.uk/engb/fabrics/fabric-specialties/wave/

HollowTalk Tue 05-Nov-19 16:22:05

I have a similar window and am the only person in the street not to have net/voile curtains. Are you worried about privacy there? That middle window would be impossible to dress with anything like that - the whole point of the window is the stained glass!

I would go for floor length curtains. I have a curtain track that bends.

Alternatively, could you have a window seat built in, then have a curtain pole going across the whole space in a straight line?

OhBladdyHell Tue 05-Nov-19 16:53:09

How about half shutters so that the stained glass is always visible but you have privacy from people walking past?

7to25 Tue 05-Nov-19 16:56:12

A square bay is the hardest window to dress.
I would batten out above the current frame at the top of the window, as high as possible below the cornice and then put Roman blinds as high as I could on the batten so that they cover the batten and the frame when they are pulled up. They would have to be specifically made to do this.
Floor length curtains would look fine. They would cover the side windows when pulled open.
For these curtains, I would install a pelmet board above the frame, top fix the track to that so that the track stands away from the window and the curtains fall down avoiding the cill.
I would then have a very narrow stiffened pelmet (not a gathered valance) to cover the track.
Bendable poles don't really work with this shape of window.

OhBladdyHell Tue 05-Nov-19 16:59:22

Some ideas - the window seat that a previous poster described is also a good idea with curtains in the outside.

I'm sure you could possibly have the central shutters made in with a curved top to echo the arch in the stained glass too...

OhBladdyHell Tue 05-Nov-19 17:00:50

Obviously those examples aren't a square bay but i think it would still work really well

EvaHarknessRose Tue 05-Nov-19 17:09:21

It DOES significantly reduce the heat from the radiator if you go for the floor length. But short ones don't look as good. I've always wanted to do two tracks - a short middle curtain or blind with long curtains in front/either side, then you have the drama of long curtains but don't need to pull them across. But I think I am probably an idiot in the field of home decoration.

afternoonspray Tue 05-Nov-19 17:10:10

You can get 'cafe style' shutters which are shutters that go up to the stained glass panels and stop, so you can see the coloured glass. I'd have those, with a build in window seat underneath. If you want, for warmth, you could add lined curtains as well.

BeckyButters Tue 05-Nov-19 17:41:29

I have a bay but fortunately no radiator there do have floor length curtains. I wouldn't do this with a radiator though you'll lose too much heat.

Not keen on shutters.

If I were you I'd go for thermal pleated blinds. They fold up into hardly anything so shouldn't interfere with stained glass windows. Very popular in Scandinavian countries.

Jux Tue 05-Nov-19 18:55:29

I would have shutters on the lower part of the window all along, and leave the stained glass and the curve of the arch free. I don't think it would look strange from outside (and I don't care what passers-be think of it anyway.

Jux Tue 05-Nov-19 18:56:29

"passers-by "

RestorationInsanity Wed 06-Nov-19 09:03:42

Thanks so much everyone, so many excellent ideas, plenty I hadn't thought of/didn't know about and some with a different twist on things I'd considered.

@HollowTalk no not hugely worried about privacy, the front garden is quite deep and only occasional passersby, we have some planting and plan to increase this along the front boundary which will also obscure the front of the house a bit from the pavement. Would it be too much to ask for a pic of your window (in a DM if you don't want to share publicly!)

We could move the radiators potentially, but as the window is all single glazing it might make that part of the room very cold/lead to damp/mould on any curtains.

Shutters are a consideration, especially if they could be made with an arch in the middle. I only worry that we'd never open them and we'd lose a lot of light.

So many things to think about. I'm hoping one of these ideas will stand out as the more appropriate choice once the rest of the room is renovated.

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