How to Dress Awkward Windows
From curtains to blinds and shutters there are a myriad of different window treatments out there but when you add an unusual shaped window to the mix it can be difficult to know where to begin. We’ve taken some of the confusion out of it by rounding up the best solutions for each window type so you can choose the best option for your home with confidence.
Tilt & Turn Windows
Tilt & Turn windows are becoming increasingly popular and architects seem to love them but when your windows open into the room it can make it difficult to choose the right window treatment.
If your window frames are uPVC, perfect fit blinds may the best option for you. These blinds have their own frame and simply fit between the glass of your window and the frame itself. This creates a modern, clean line look so can often suit a contemporary home but they are also very versatile in that there are roller blind, pleated blind and venetian blind options.
Another great option for tilt & turn windows is to place your blind outside the window recess. Roman blinds look particularly good when fitted this way and really dress the room by making your windows more of focal point.
Bay windows might be easier to dress than you would think and can make a lovely feature in a room. However, to really make the most of them you will have to invest in the right window treatment.
In a spacious living room, floor length curtains can look beautiful and elegant in a bay window. Choose a bent track or pole to compliment the curtain fabric selected and coordinate your scatter cushions for a pulled together living room scheme.
In a smaller space a window treatment that is raised off the floor might be a better solution. Dressing your bay window with three separate blinds can also look fantastic and make a statement. Choose from roman blinds for an elegant look, roller blinds for a modern look and plantation shutters for privacy and flexibility.
Maximising privacy in a room without significantly reducing the light available can be somewhat of a balancing act.
Venetian blinds are the classic way to dress overlooked windows for a reason. The ability to angle the louvres for light control and privacy makes them suitable for all overlooked situations. However, you do need to choose wisely so as not to block your light. The best rule of thumb for this is to choose the biggest slat possible for the size of your window. For smaller windows under 1 metre (3 feet approx.) a slat size between 35mm and 40mm (around 1.5”) usually looks best. For larger windows, choose a slat size between 50mm and 63mm (2 – 2.5”). Choosing a light colour such as white can also help the light bounce back in to the space and help maximise the available light.
If you love the look of roller blinds but also require privacy, ‘zebra’ blinds may just be what you are after. These unique roller blinds consist of two separate layers with opaque and sheer stripes. Maximise your light during the day by ensuring the sheer stripes are visible and then adjust them for the evening to block out more light and create a cosy atmosphere.
Floor to Ceiling Windows
For those with large panes of glass or sliding doors you may need to soften the look of the glass in the evening and require sun control during the day. Sheer voiles are often the perfect solution as they create a soft look that is not imposing. As these are lightweight curtains they can be hung from small, neat tracks that are easy on the eye and do not take away from the windows or the views beyond.
Vertical blinds are also a very practical option for floor to ceiling windows. They are available in hundreds of colours and patterns as well as blackout options for bedrooms. The fabric louvres on these blinds can be angled in different directions for sun control and closed for the evening but can also be pulled out of the way during the day for those who prefer to see out.
Shaped windows such as triangular and apex windows can be a lovely and unique feature in a home but they will take some careful planning and consideration when it comes to dressing them. As these are more unique window shapes be prepared to invest in bespoke window treatments but the right blind will be a fantastic addition to the space and make the window a true focal point.
Plantation shutters can be made for almost any shape window so these are an excellent place to start. Think of shutters like a piece of furniture made just for your window so they have a beautiful handcrafted quality. They will also last for the lifetime of your home so once installed you can sit back and enjoy them forever. Any and all colours are available for painted shutters so you could also think about painting your unique window treatment an unusual colour to match your space and personality.
Curtains can also be an excellent solution if you have an apex window. They can be custom-made and tailored by a curtain maker just for your window so you know they will drape beautifully. During the evening, the fabric will create a soft, luxurious atmosphere and when pulled back during the day, they can work well to soften the shape of your window.
Conservatories require unique windows solutions due to the sheer amount of windows in one space. They often cause problems with heat build up during the summer and heat loss during the winter. Conservatory roofs often have unusual triangular windows which, can create their own challenges. Pleated blinds are designed for all these situations and therefore are the perfect solution.
Pleated blinds can also be called thermal blinds as they have a reflective coating on the back of them. This helps regulate the internal air temperature. You can also get pleated blinds with a honeycomb structure which, traps the air inside and gives the blind excellent thermal qualities. When not in use pleated blinds fold up or down like an accordian and are actually very neat, meaning the views to your garden will not be obstructed.
Pleated blinds can also be designed for roof windows but instead of hanging freely, run along tensioned cords which keeps the blind in place. If your roof windows are out of reach, your blinds can be manual operated using a telescopic wand or they can be motorised for easy use.
Ask an Expert
Dressing awkward windows can actually be relatively straightforward, provided you select the correct blind type. If you are still unsure however, your interior designer or local window blind company will also be able to offer you guidance and advice. Simply show them a picture or ask for a survey and they will make it as easy as possible for you to get the look you want.