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Category: Blinds & Draperies

What Exactly is a Bay WIndow?

Bay window is a common term for a protruding window construction. Most of the time they are polygon shapes or square in design, but they also may curved. In its most basic form, a bay window consists of two protruding windows. A bay window can add depth and architectural elements to your home, and provide a wonderful opportunity to stretch your decorating muscles. A bay window can be a cozy place to sip your coffee, or it can provide a frame for a picturesque view.

 

The best part of the bay window is usually the view. Don’t take away from this natural asset by overpowering your window with clutter. Consider the room you’re window is in. If it is adjacent to a busy dining area or kitchen, it’s probably best to minimize the decorations. However, if it bookends a grand library or formal dining room, color, texture and pattern would be the ideal enhancement.

 

If you have a bay window, you really must have a window seat. There isn’t anything nicer then curling up with a good book in the afternoon sun. If your window did not come with a seat, put wall cabinets in under your window and top with bright cushions. If that will not work, place a comfy chair or some floor cushions next to it. Just be sure to give yourself the chance to linger comfortably and enjoy the view.

 
Another tip is to frame your window with color: add some potted and hanging plants and flowers that thrive in sunlight. They will enhance the view of your yard and bring some nature into the room if yours is a city view.  There are also so many choices when it comes to window treatments for your bay window. A classic Roman shade or blind is versatile and will help avoid over-decorating the space. Shutters, either wooden or sleek metal, are perfect for creating a private, cozy nook.

 
Draperies and curtains will add bright color and texture to your window. If you want to extend the appearance of width use curtains or drapes to cover the walls framing the area. This technique will let in the sunlight while keeping the charm and color of curtains. Sheer curtains are also an option to keep your window private without blocking the light. Sheers will add texture to the room and can be dressed up with bright curtain panels or valances.

 

A bay window can even be a child’s special place to dream and play. It’s easy to find kid-themed decorations that can be anything from stars to dance to transportation or sports. Base your decorating theme on your child’s interests. Don’t worry if his interests change; most window cling decorations can be designed to be temporary and will not hurt window glass, walls or window seat if they need to be removed.

 

We’ll look some more at this topic next time. In the meanwhile, start that template we discussed the other day and order your hardware so we can get started!

Your Bay Window

 

Bay windows are fashionable features in many homes. Their  unusual angled shape is striking in itself, and they  let in plenty of natural light and provide panoramic views However, when it comes to hanging  curtains and curtain hardware, many homeowners are often perplexed as to  how to handle the window’s unusual shape. Often these windows have a window seat as well. Don’t let the challenge of curtain or drapery hardware frighten you away from  drawing attention to this lovely spot in your home. There are some creative options for bay window hardware that are fairly easy to install.

Bay window curtain rods are designed in several pieces but work together as one rod. They are specially designed so  that each of the three rod sections is individually adjustable in length. This allows you to tailor each rod section to your specific bay window for a custom fit. Graber makes custom bay and bow window traverse curtain rods that are heavy duty and designed to carry about 1 1/2 pound per foot. Great if you are planning on hanging lush draperies. Graber’s rods are custom made traverse rods that are made to your exact measurements. They suggest that you make a template to help eliminate any possible mistakes due to inconsistent window shapes as well as take precise measurements. As a matter of fact, call them, and they will gladly walk you through the process.

 

Once you receive your hardware, what do you do next?

 

*Have someone on hand to help if you choose to hang curtains on one bay window rod. A bay curtain rod is basically  an adjustable track that can be bent to conform to the contour of the windows allowing the draperies to hang along one rod instead of three separate rods. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for hanging the bay curtain rod. Use the included hardware and drill holes to firmly secure it in the woodwork.

*Slide the curtains onto the rods before mounting them. Adjust the curtains to make them hang evenly along the rods.

*Add tie backs for a decorative touch. Put
the tie-backs at the approximate level of where there would be a window seat.
There are so many options with a bay window and so many ways to dress it, and to utilize it. Check back later as we discover how to live with a bay window.

Jewelry for Your Windows

 

Drapery rods and rings are the jewelry of your windows. They add shimmer to enhance metallic finishes in the room, or if they are bamboo, iron or rich woods, they add a hint of sophistication and the finishing touch to the dressing of the window. If you decide to use finials, the little sculptures of wood, iron or bamboo on the end of the rods, it’s as if you’ve added a tiara to a head full of curls.

 

Like any dress fitting, the hardware for your windows needs to fit properly. When measuring a window for decorative hardware, follow these simple steps:

 

*Measure the width of your window treatments, noting whether or not taking you want to mount hardware on the wall or directly on the window trim.
*Allow 1 1/2″ – 3″ on each side of the window for when the drapes are open all the way.
*Consider any extra wall space needed for decorative finials: the rod dimensions do not include additional width added by each finial.
*If you want to make the windows appear larger, mount the curtain rod 6″ above the trim and allow the rod width to extend 3″ beyond the window’s actual width.

 

Most drapery hardware accessories are designed to provide stylish accents to complete the look of your window treatments. Tiebacks can be used to hold draperies off to the sides of a window and can be as simple fabric strips or can be more elaborate bows. Holdbacks will offer the same functionality as tiebacks, but they consist of rigid, decorative materials that are secured to a wall providing a holder for keeping drapes and curtains in an open position. Rings, clips, hooks and pulls are what connect drapes and curtains to the rod and may be either hidden or decoratively visible. Styles range from simple, unadorned wrought iron rings to clips with decorative leaves or stars. Drapery jewelry can take a number of different forms, such as covered buttons.

 

If what you are looking for is a completely different look, install a hinged rod. This type of rod allows you to swing curtains back and forth, covering the window when you want it covered and keeping the curtain in another spot when you don’t. Do be sure that it is installed in an area where the curtain provides some decorative value when not covering the window!

Drapery Hardware V Annoying Walls

 

The curtain rod has become a fundamental part of window treatments. You can find them in  different designs, different finishes and with interchangeable finials that add character to the rod.  They are hard to pass up! As a matter of fact, ONA Wrought Iron Drapery Hardware has some very pretty and very unique curtain rods and finials. Their rods are custom made for each  client using only premium heavy gauge steel, wrought iron, and crystals.High quality materials are also used to manufacture their wide range of drapery hardware accessories, finials, brackets, holdbacks and rings.

 

Do not let a hollow plaster wall deter you from hanging your choice of curtain rod, as hollow wall screw anchors are available to hang even the heaviest items. Hanging drapery hardware in plaster can be tricky because of the composition of plaster walls. Plaster is a hard surface with a configuration similar to concrete or plaster of Paris. The top finish is applied over a system of wood or metal lathing. Plaster in an older home may be brittle and will often crumble. Before purchasing anchors consider the weight of the draperies you plan to hang to determine the type of anchor or fastener used.

 

If you are plannning to hang light weight curtain, pre-drill a hole into the plaster that is slightly smaller in diameter than the mounting screws you will be using. Use a hand screwdriver rather than a motorized drill driver to insert the screw into the plaster. Over tightening the screw may pull it out of the wall. If the screw pulls does come out because you’re overzealous, a plastic anchor installed in the screw hole will solve the problem.

 

Medium weight drapery rods will need  assistance from plastic anchors for installation. Mark the wall and then pre-drill the holes slightly smaller than the plastic anchor you will use. Gently tap the anchor into the hole and use the screws that came with the anchors to install the bracket. Again, over tightening the anchor may end up in it pulling out of the wall. Tighten just enough for the anchor to expand and snuggly fit in to the plaster wall.

 

If you’ve decided to go with heavy weight drapery rods, toggle bolts are going to be needed to hold it in place. Check the package for the drill bit size recommended to drill pre-marked holes in the plaster wall. Insert the bolts through the drapery rod bracket, then screw on the winged nut .Gently screw the nut up the shaft of the bolt. The winged nut will open on the behind the wall increasing the amount of area to support the weight of the drapery rod. If the winged nuts fall out, they will drop down into the wall necessitating a new winged nut to be installed.

Victorian Elegance

Although Queen Victoria died in 1901, her influence in the design world was still felt well into the 20th century. Victorian style is known for being detailed, high-spirited and busy with ornamentation. However, in the kitchen, a more subdued and practical approach needs to be taken to window treatments in order to keep the room as a functional space. It is possible to create custom-looking, Victorian-style window treatments for your kitchen and still maintain modern practicality.

The valance is the standard Victorian window treatment. Typically they are box shaped, with variations in embellishment, edging style and accessories. A valance is a scarf for the window top, mooring it to the room. Victorian valances were known to integrate various clothing styles of the day: the festoon and the cascade. The festoon detail was comprised of a ribbon of fabric, draped or scooped to create a folded, teardrop affect. A Victorian kitchen curtain may have two or more festoons across the front to give fullness to the valance and show off rich fabric. The cascade, a panel placed on the sides of the valance, was a tapered, gathered piece that went down the sides of the window. It’s particularly good for the kitchen because it is up out of the way, and lets in natural light while adding color and texture to the décor. The valance will also hide the curtain rod or top of the blinds .A valance can be detailed with fringe, tassels or beading for an even more ornate Victorian flair.

 
Another practical kitchen window design element is the wooden or bamboo window blind. In the late 1800s a variety of window coverings made from coated hardwood or bamboo made for sturdy, functional shades to darken a room. In the kitchen, blinds are practical and lend a modern link between traditional Victorian decor and contemporary design. Pair your blinds with a stenciled curtain or tasseled valance and your kitchen window treatment will look authentically Victorian.

Another window “treatment” that was extremely popular during the Victorian period was stained glass. The late Victorian era was influenced by Tiffany’s fluid, organic designs. Purchasing and installing a stained glass window can be prohibitive. Etch Art Stained Glass design has an easy way to transform any window into beautiful stained glass that will look like it cost hundreds of dollars. The privacy design obscures visibility through the glass during the day and night. The film adheres to smooth glass using static electricity instead of glue or adhesives and is completely reusable. In fact, Etch Art window films incorporate real glass for an authentic sparkle and shimmer and filters 95 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Add a lace valance and your kitchen is on its way to Victorian elegance.

Staging your Windows

 

Low lit rooms may seem cozy to you, but if you are in the process of selling your home, brighten it up! Dimly lit spaces look small and dingy especially during the day. Most people are drawn to natural light. Natural light elevates your mood, illuminates a room and can even add a dramatic effect as the sun casts rays in different corners of the room. Take a walk through your house and reassess your windows and their treatments.

 

Installing window treatments us really quite easy depending on the type of hardware you are installing. The most important tip I can share with you is to measure, then measure again. The easiest installation is the drapery rod, which requires a few screws in select locations. Do be sure to have proper tools – screwdrivers, a drill, level, pencil, measuring tape, (see The Right Tool for the Right Job). Sure, you can do this on your own, but it’s much easier to do it with a friend helping. Of course, If you’re uncomfortable doing the job yourself, call in a professional.

 

Window treatments are the best way to introduce color and style to a room. Use accessories to make a room to pop with color rather than the paint on the walls. Balance the color and texture choices carefully, drawing the attention of buyers to the windows, yet don’t overwhelm them with curtains and draperies. Window treatments are not usually permanent and you can take them with you when you sell your home, but many buyers may ask for the treatments to be included with the sale of the house when they put in an offer. Keep the price of the treatments in mind so that you can part with them, or that you don’t lose the sale because you didn’t want to let them go.

 

When you showing your home, don’t forget to maximize the natural light in every room. Open the blinds and shades up and push the curtains or drapes to the side. For drapery you could use tiebacks, but the best way to show off your windows is with the installation of the drapery rods. Install the rod six inches or so outside the edge of the window and two or three inches above the frame. This will make your window appear larger than it actually is and will also maximize the amount of light coming through. By installing the rods outside the frame, you will get a lot more light and a better view of the wood trim that might bear showing off.

For Sale.

 

When potential homeowners are looking for a new house, one of the most important things on their ‘must have’ list is how much natural light comes into the various rooms. Whether or not your home is lacking a great deal of windows or if your home is flooded with light, window treatments will draw the right kind of attention to your windows if you do it correctly.

 

Where do you start? What’s in and what’s out in today’s décor? Vertical blinds – out. Take them done right away or risk giving your home a stifling 80’s feel. You’re better off with no window treatments at all. Get rid of those old plastic roll-down shades too.

 

Look at the windows throughout your house and determine a couple of things. Will the room or the particular window in question look better without any window treatments or are there issues of privacy in the evening hours if you don’t have window treatments up?  There are lots of choices to help you get started, and they all provide different features and benefits.

 

Blinds

We threw away the plastic ones, but  wood or bamboo blinds are fine. Put them in the bedrooms or home office. Bamboo blinds are a good choice because they provide some color and texture.

 

Roman Shades

Just like the blinds, Roman shades are installed inside the frame of the window and they tuck up upon themselves as they are raised. They are perfect for smaller windows or in kitchens or baths.

 
Valances & Cornice Boxes

A valance runs along the top of a window giving it a finished look. It may be used alone, or with another window treatment. A cornice box is similar, but it is typically used as decoration and to hide the drapery rod.

Drapery/Curtains

Draperies can be sheer, allowing light in but still maintain privacy, or they can be the blackout variety to keep the light and heat from penetrating the room. The type of fabric you choose will help determine how rich and lavish a room feels. Even the type of drapery rods and hardware will significantly add to the overall look of the window. Draperies can be puddled at the bottom, knotted at the middle, or tied at the sides for any number of different looks.
Tired? Change your mind yet about putting your home up for sale? Don’t despair. We’ll stop here for now and let you take a breath. Have a cup of tea and rest up because tomorrow we will install the window treatments!

New Year’s Reboot

 

As New Year’s Eve approaches we start to think about how to reorganize our lives, how to ‘do better’, to ‘eat right’, etc. An easy step toward starting the New Year right is to put your home in order. Simplify. Start by taking down heavy window coverings and replace them with simple shades. Natural light in the kitchen is essential; you spend a lot of time there. Shades offer a privacy treatment and still allow plenty of light. One example of an attractive pleated shade are the Lewis Hyman Sun Solar Shades. They are energy efficient, and reduce cooling costs and block the sun while still letting in air and light.

 

Too much direct sunlight is also an issue in kitchens, making them hot and unpleasant to work in. Simple wood blinds or woven wood shades, like the Bamboo shades from Lewis Hyman are of the highest quality and will add a touch of the tropics to your decor. They come in several colors and styles to choose from, If you need to add more privacy, just add a roman shade privacy liner to keep our prying eyes and light.
The kitchen typically has lots of straight lines- the cabinets, the appliances, the counters – try adding a window treatment with soft curves to open the space up, especially in a small kitchen. Arching a valance is a good option, especially over the sink where we spend too much of our time. Curved curtain rods can not only be hard to find they can be a challenge to have custom made. Since most windows are not the same it requires a company that knows what they are doing to get things made right. Continental Window Fashions specializes in custom bending and curving of curtain rods. Traverse rods for bay windows are functional and serve their purpose but putting up a decorative curved rod changes the look from ordinary to amazing.
Next time our New Year’s reboot will change up the windows in one of the harder rooms in the house – the powder room! Get your tape measure ready, there’s a lot to do.

Holiday Prep Starts Right Now

There’s no need to redo your home for the holidays. A few simple touches will make your space warm and inviting. By adding red and soft green tones a living room and adjoining dining room will become cozy and intimate for the for the holiday season. By adding just the right decorations in just the right colors, these two rooms are suffused with a fresh and exciting holiday spirit.

 

Here’s how to create a joyful atmosphere in any room:

 
1. Use area rugs to lend warmth and create a nice foundation for holiday decorations. The high quality decorative rugs from MOMENI, Milliken and rug pads by JADE come in hundreds of accent rug styles, shapes and colors to fit any decor. Whether your home is in need of contemporary rugs, traditional rugs, children’s rugs or anything else in between, you will find a decorative rug that will fit in perfectly.

2. Layer window treatments to make a room cozier. Umbra Serif Double Curtain Rod Systems are a complete telescoping double drapery rod system in one package. Each set includes 2 rods, 3 brackets and mounting hardware, allowing sumptuous drapes to encase your windows.

3. Add winter themed shades or a garland of juniper branches embellished with greenery and sugared berries on a chandelier.

4. Dress up an existing corner plant with a few strings of small lights.

5. Show off your fireplace with a collection of brass candlesticks and ivory candles with juniper around the bases.

6. Exchange framed art above a fireplace for a holiday wreath of juniper, sugared berries and glass ornaments.

7. Repeat some of the elements to pull the room together. By spreading an accent color around the room and choose holiday decorations that go well together you will have a cohesive look that will welcome your guests. Try to use the same greens and accents throughout a space such as sugared berries and glass ornaments on garlands, wreaths and in bowls.

A-Z Window treatments and Curtain Hardware. QUIZ

 

You’ve made all the way through the A-Z Window Treatment lessons! Ready for a Quiz?
1. Narrow tubular pleats, used on stationery panels
2. Sheer under curtains that hang next to the window
3. A flat paneled fabric shade that folds up into accordion pleats
4. A drapery header with a series of large cylindrically shaped pleats
5. Decorative fabric sashes that hold drapery panels open
6. A fabric shade that pulls up into soft swags
7. A very full fabric shade often sewn with inverted pleats between each swag
8. Sewn to form a reverse box pleat
9. An milky looking layer sewn inside a drapery to block light
10. A shallow decorative box designed to conceal drapery hardware
11. Decorative embellishment attached to each end of a curtain rod
12. A large cornice piece that entirely frames a window
13. A fabric window topper typically 12 to 18 inches long
14. A channel sewn to the top or bottom of a curtain
15. A window treatment of fabric swathed over the top of a window
16. Short curtains hanging from a curtain rod
17. The place on each side of a window where a drapery folds back when fully opened
18. Length from the front of a drapery rod back to the wall
19. A cascade of fabric hanging down the sides of a window

 

A. Pencil pleats
B. Goblet pleats
C. Roman Shade
D. Glass curtains
E. Inverted pleats
F. Blackout lining
G. Tiebacks
H. Roman shade
I. Balloon shade
J. Austrian shade
K. Finial
L. Jabot
M. Lambrequin
N. Return
O. Stackback
P. Swag
Q. Café curtains
R. Rod pocket
S. Cornice
T. Valance

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