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Calling all you Interiors Gurus: solve my curtain crisis!

(28 Posts)
scampadoodle Mon 17-Sep-12 17:04:09

I am ordering new curtains for our living room. They will cost a bloody fortune so need to get it right. I am hopeless though so need your help.
This is what you need to know:
* Square bay window (4m track!)
* Draughty (drafty?) window with radiator underneath.
* Previous curtains spent winter evenings tucked up over & behind radiator, otherwise warmth disappeared through windows.

So: do I get curtains made with 2m drop to sit below sill but above radiator (which I think could look naff) OR
get them with 2.66m drop to floor & continue to tuck them behind the rad on cold nights? (which will also look rubbish but it's not all the time or even all year.)

I know I can rely on you....

FiveOrangeFlowers Mon 17-Sep-12 17:13:17

What about a combination of blinds to pull down/close when it's dark and floor length curtains to tie back or have hanging at the sides to frame the window?

scampadoodle Mon 17-Sep-12 17:15:52

A lovely idea (can see it in my head & it looks good) but we need to block those pesky draughts from the windows...

fresh Mon 17-Sep-12 17:24:39

I hate to be dull but why not address the draughtiness? This can be cheap (a roll of better draught excluder tape) or more expensive (joiner spends time sorting out windows) but either way it would be a better investment than either (a) short curtains - just please don't do that - or (b) scrunching expensive curtains up behind the rad!

Blinds/curtain combination is the way to go I think.

FiveOrangeFlowers Mon 17-Sep-12 17:28:15

Any possibility of moving the radiator? A bit drastic I know, but floor length curtains would look best imho.

I have a similar window in my bedroom (with radiator underneath) and those curtains are windowsill length. I think that length works in bedrooms but not so much in living rooms.

Pannacotta Mon 17-Sep-12 17:29:58

I would also fix the draughts and then go for Roman blinds, one for each window, and floor length dress curtains, perhaps with a plain fabric pelmet to hide the track.
The other option is to have plantation shutters but these are quite pricey,

scampadoodle Mon 17-Sep-12 17:30:42

Fresh: yes we do need to sort out the windows & we will do (although being in London it's really difficult to find someone to do it), but for now we desperately need curtains, not just for warmth but from an aesthetic point of view as the room looks very bare. Thank you for "short curtains - just please don't do that" as it expresses what I feel deep down. I think long curtains with a view to getting the windows sorted out asap (they are beyond draught excluder tape sad ) is the way to go.

You see? You have helped me make the decision! Cheers

scampadoodle Mon 17-Sep-12 17:33:52

But (indecision having set in again already) if I were to go along the blinds & curtains route, what sort of blinds? It's about 2.5m across the front of the bay, with 4 casement windows. 2 blinds here with a blind over each side of the bay? Or 3 blinds?

scampadoodle Mon 17-Sep-12 17:39:01

Sorry, I missed a lot of those replies...
5orange: No, can't move rad. Only available wall would then create sofa positioning problems.
Pannacotta: No to shutters as I don't think they are cosy enough (important factor for me). And may I refer you to my previous post re number of blinds? 6 individual roman blinds would be a bit finicky would they not? What are dress curtains - ones that don't close?

We are probably getting the curtains made by John Lewis - would they help us re blind/curtain combo advice do you know?

(You wouldn't know from this that I am actually a designer, but interiors are not my forte... Means I am really fussy but haven't a clue)

fresh Mon 17-Sep-12 18:04:25

If you have more than one blind across the middle window, you'll have a gap..which will let draughts through! 2.5m blind is perfectly doable. You'll need a fairly hefty headrail (the mechanism which raises and lowers the blind - ask John Lewis).

Then your dilemma is: patterned blinds and plain curtains, or vice versa..?<<wicked emoticon>>

EdMcDunnough Mon 17-Sep-12 18:12:17

Well, we have this in one room, the rest have rads elsewhere...but where the rad is under the window, I intended to fit a thermal blind very close to the glass - within the recess - and then I have long curtains in front of that.

They are thin curtains but I have thick linings (two, in fact!) inside them, as far down as the radiator, and then just the curtains themselves in front of the radiator, so they let the heat through into the room.

This happened by mistake and isn't probably going to look great (works for us as there's also a sofa in front of it!) but you could definitely do the blind thing, then long curtains in front.

That way the heat is kept from going out the window, and you still get the nice length of curtainage.

EdMcDunnough Mon 17-Sep-12 18:13:32

We have a sash window and just the one blind (which I have never got round to fitting, ahem)

it is a plain, cream coloured, thermal backed roller blind. Very unobtrusive and disappears during the day. In theory grin

Virgil Mon 17-Sep-12 18:19:07

Definitely roman blinds and long curtains. We have this in most rooms since our radiators are all in front if the windows (which actually makes it warmer). It's a good blend of style warmth and cosiness

noddyholder Mon 17-Sep-12 18:52:19

I agree roman blinds with thermal linings and dress curtains

scampadoodle Mon 17-Sep-12 20:15:06

Roman blinds with thermal lining! Who knew?! How fabulous. Have just sent request for in-store appointment at JL to discuss window-dressing.

Am thinking...If I have the dress curtains presumably they could draw to cover the sides of the bay so I would only need to 'blind' the long bit at the front.

Thank you so much everyone - it's really helped, honestly smile

EdMcDunnough Mon 17-Sep-12 20:20:59

I would have blinds fitted to all of it for uniformity. It will look much better from outside if so.

fresh Mon 17-Sep-12 20:31:06

And...sorry but I think dress curtains always look a bit mean...but I can see that for a 4m track full width curtains are £££££. Make sure they're generous dress curtains, i.e. that they look as if they could be pulled across. And yes, blinds on all the windows!

Virgil Mon 17-Sep-12 20:32:24

Definitely blinds at all the windows otherwise it will look odd when the curtains are open.

noddyholder Mon 17-Sep-12 21:24:46


orangina Mon 17-Sep-12 22:28:18

Roman blinds w thermal interlining to all windows. Not sure what the point is to dress curtains to sides.

Can look great, will be cheaper too (less material to use).

orangina Mon 17-Sep-12 22:30:53

Plus, will be neater at the head, without all that angled/curved track and pelmet requirement (urgh).

Pannacotta Mon 17-Sep-12 22:33:19

I suggested shutters Noddy and OP said no, not cosy enough, though I think combined with generous dress curtains they would be good as they are a greart way of reducing draughts day and night (we have them on our single glazed sash windows).

But yes dress curtains need to look full and as if they close properly.

Another option is to combine blinds/shutters with proper curtains and close the shutters/blinds at dusk and then curtains only after the heating is off, to avoid heat loss.

But this would be expensive - ie lots of fabric needed for wide bay and full length curtains.

minipie Tue 18-Sep-12 15:20:04

I'd do shutters plus generous dress curtains for cosiness. You could just have half height shutters - saves money whilst still giving privacy and blocking drafts along the bottom of the windows. I prefer half height shutters personally as they let more light in.

Do get the windows sorted though. Easier said than done in London I know <currently waiting for roofer to call back, sigh>

scampadoodle Tue 18-Sep-12 16:18:34

Oh I sympathise, minipie. I get so fed up with my mother (who lives up north) telling me how the lovely lad from across the way popped over and built her a double-storey extension for the price of a cup of tea and an eccles cake...

amazonianwoman Tue 18-Sep-12 20:41:25

I'm up north scampadoodle so please can you get your mum to ask the lad across the way to call me to arrange some building work in my house. Just changing a few windows, some electrics, plumbing, plastering, that sort of thing. I'll make him a cake myself. Thanks grin

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