Hi all, Elsie here.
So a bit back I touched on bay windows but this time I would like to dive a bit further into this lovely little architectural oddity that you don’t see very often. Looks good I know but it can cause some difficulties when you want to dress it.
The Bay Window sat behind an arch.
Some people get quite excited when they sees these lovely windows. They often come with additional plaster detail, sometimes sash windows and occasionally stained glass. On first inspection they appear lovely but then we have to get practical. Warmth, privacy, functionality and oh you don’t want to hide any of the bits you like about the window.
More often than not one or more compromises have to be made for a dressing to work in these beauties for one reason or another. I have never seen two the same, each one is individual and has its own little quirks so each one has to be attacked differently. However I can go through some of the common issues that may arise to help you along the way.
This shows clearly a couple of issues that this style of window come with.
- Sill extending further than bay recess.
- Window frame up to back edge of arch.
- Deep sill.
- Picture rail within recess.
- Arched fascia wall onto ceiling.
First lets tackle the sill shall we ?
The sill (especially in the image above) coupled with the arched section of wall onto ceiling makes it infeasible to have a full length curtain within the bay. This is not always the case, in some situations there is a very narrow sill or none at all. A face fixed pelmet enables under-slung tracking so that pinch pleats can be used to stack as far back as possible. This however may not be preferable if a pelmet ends up covering stained glass that you want to remain on view (depth permitting).
If a pelmet is undesirable then a plastic tracking system can be used (Sologlyde) I find is the best (my preferred option).
The downside is only pencil pleat can really be used with this rail, giving a more “casual” look and bulky when open. This heading will encroach further onto the glass at the sides than pinch. Sologlyde is best I feel for pencil due to the style of hook. This hook keeps the heading as neat as can be and stops it tipping forward due to it being on the fascia of the rail and not under-slung.
In this type of bay pelmet returns may also be tricky depending on window frame positioning etc. The most narrow style of pelmet is a “Lath” where the pinch is on view under the pelmet and is traditionally put onto a Silvo metal rail. Pre bent made to measure rails can also be used but are a more costly option over Silvo. Silent Gliss and Evans are great companies to look at for made to measure rails.
Pelmets can help you clear protruding window frames.
It is also possible to attach tracking systems to some window frames (style depending).
All things like picture rails and cove can effect positioning of any fittings so therefore must be taken into account.
“Gapping” can occur with curtains and blinds. Curtains can sometimes be hooked onto the wall on a return (depending on space) but this is not the case with blinds. If there is not a return wall to block it, there will be gaps on the outside edges of the extreme right and left blinds. This is due to the projection of the blind rails coupled with the acute angel of the arch coming across. This may cause you to be able to see out the window even when blind is down.
You can combat “gapping” or at least reduce it by having dress or functional curtains across the front of the arch. These can be on poles, rails, under pelmets depending on space allowance and / or individual preference.
It may be that dressing the front (across the arch) and staying out of the recess completely is a preferred course of action. Poles are sometimes possible, Silent Gliss Metroploes are great in limited space and can allow for wave as well as Pinch pleat headings. You can also shape a pelmet to follow the arch, therefore retaining the shape even when the curtains are closed. This can make a lovely feature. You do lose the bay when the curtains are closed however.
There are even possibilities for a curtain treatment to close across the bay but to sit directly behind the arch, which looks wonderful if there is an architectural feature on the arch itself.
There are so many variations on this style window. They must all be approached from a technical aspect first due to their many varying complexities. Only then can a designer begin to dress them in stylish and sympathetic way.
I hope this has been a helpful guide to starting you on your way to dressing what is a lovely architectural feature. I would recommend that if you have one of these windows that you seek guidance that is specific to your window. You can go to http://www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint for help or message me here?
As time goes by I may add more examples of this wonderful window dressed. Keep your eyes peeled ?
Thank you for reading .