Curtains & blinds for odd windows

Part 2: A row of windows, extra tall & tiny windows

In the second part of my series on curtains & blinds for odd windows, we will have a look at windows that are unusually large or small. Whether you’re looking for window treatments for unusually sized windows in your period or modern home, read on to find out what solutions I have created for my clients in the past.

Lots of windows in a Fife garden room

We need light in our lives, especially in Scotland where the weather has a particular knack for being grey and gloomy. This is apparently what the architects for my clients’ home thought as well and why they designed a garden room with lots of windows. 

And by that, I mean 10 windows in total, set into 3 sides of the room. It makes for a beautiful, light-filled room, looking out over the Fife countryside. But it also makes it hard to find window treatments that don’t make the room look cluttered or busy.  

My client previously had curtains with valances for these windows, but was now looking for something more up-to-date and, ideally, for some light shading to protect her new furniture from sun damage and to give some privacy from passers-by.

First of all, I suggested adding semi-sheer roller blinds to each of the windows for light control and privacy. Additionally, we agreed on extra-wide Roman blinds to cover two windows at once, to give a contemporary, streamlined look. And to round it off, I made some scatter cushions for the new sofas in toning fabrics.

What the client says (Mrs R, Cupar, Fife)

“I cannot tell you how delighted I am – thank you. The quality of the blinds is absolutely superb. That extra detail that you put in sewing them by hand is … well … just brilliant.”

Extra tall windows in a period Fife property

Period properties are par for the course here in Scotland, but this project definitely stood out. My client’s home was a traditional stone-built property near St Andrews with the ceiling heights to match. 

The single-glazed sash windows were some of the tallest windows I’ve seen and came with deep recesses, working shutters and beautiful moulding on the window architraves.

My client was looking for a timeless design that would work for both their drawing and dining room which are situated across the entrance hall from each other. Both have double windows with the drawing room also having a set of French doors leading out to the garden.

To create a consistent look, we settled on a traditional, yet dramatic treatment of swags and tails over curtains to show off the proportions of the tall windows. A look that was perfect for the stunning silk damask fabric from Gainsborough Silk Weaving Co. my client had chosen.

We wanted to catch the light and highlight the shapes of the swags, so we edged them with a drop-bead trimming from Houles in France. And the curtains at the French doors are held back from the windows with opulent tiebacks from the same range.

In order to keep the rooms warm in winter, the curtains are interlined with heavy bump interlining which also gives an extra-luxurious look to the drape of the curtains.

What the client says (Ms J, Fife)

“Everything is just perfect and is exactly as we had hoped for. Your workmanship is beautiful. These are our forever curtains!”

Tiny window in a Fife kitchen

When it comes to curtains & blinds for odd windows, there are extra-large windows – and then there are tiny windows. Like in this case, where my client was looking for a solution for a teeny tiny kitchen window.

This was set into a very deep recess in their traditional Fife country property and they wanted a roman blind to shut out the black outside on dark winter evenings. The main question with unusual windows like these is whether to install the blind inside the recess or outside. 

With such a small window, installing the blind inside the recess inevitably cuts out some daylight (even though a curtainmaker can adjust the depth of the folds on a bespoke blind to minimise light loss). However, installing it outside the recess means that the blind will be fitted to the wall, leaving a large gap between the blind and the glass when it’s lowered. This can upset the “look” and proportions and, in this case, increase the risk of water splashes, as the window was right next to the sink.

After careful consideration, my client decided on having the blind inside the recess and she chose a cheerful print fabric for it to complement her existing décor.

What the client says (Mrs T, Fife)

“The blind is exactly what we wanted to shut out the dark winter nights and it was so beautifully made. I was delighted Catherine would consider such a small job.”

Tiny window in a period Perthshire living room

I encountered a similar challenge with this project in a period property in Perthshire. The small sash window was set into the very thick outside stone wall and hence had a very deep recess as well.

The solution for the small sitting room window had to complement the existing curtains, a set of full-length, double-pleat curtains for the French doors at the other end of the room I had designed for her previously.

Again, we were looking to avoid losing any light coming through the window and the window faces east, so it is particularly cold in winter. So we decided on interlined curtains in the same fabric and heading style as the French windows. I also suggested double-pleat heading so that the curtains hang well, but aren’t too bulky. 

These are hung on a simple track from Silent Gliss which was custom-bent to follow the shape of the window recess exactly. This way, when open, the curtains sit on the sides of the recesses to maximise the amount of daylight in the room.

Curious? Find out more about curtains & blinds for odd windows in part 1 of the series!