For three and a half years we have been ‘making do’ in our living room with our previous owner’s too short but delightfully Christmas themed red and gold ‘Winter Curtains‘, and their equally too short white and green pattered ‘Summer Curtains‘. (I think you’ve probably really ‘made it’ when you have both summer and winter curtains… see the ones our previous owner’s kindly left us here).
I have endured countless (friendly) sarcastic comments from my dearest friends, about the state of our curtains, so when the opportunity came to get a trade discount on some fabric, I decided it was time to address the matter head on.
But first a bit of the back story about why it has taken so long…
In the first few years of living here, I wavered back and forth on the idea of solid shutters. (I’m sure I have mentioned how much I loved the built-in Georgian shutters in my old flat). However, after much research and finally some firm consultation with the shutter professionals at the amazingly named ‘Shutterly Fabulous‘ when we got our guest room shutters installed – I came to accept that retrofitted solid shutters just don’t really work in a bay window. The issue is that unlike louvered plantation style shutters that stay closed all the time – you need to open and close solid shutters on a daily basis. (Regular daylight is generally quite a nice thing after all). Retrofitted shutters alas typically have no where to stack, and so although shutters for the two side windows can fold back neatly onto the adjacent wall (if there is enough space, in our case there wasn’t) – the central window pane shutters would need to stick out perpendicular to the wall when open – not exactly the look we were after.
The only other alternative that I have seen to overcome this frustrating issue is demonstrated in the cafe of the South London Gallery nearby. Instead of fixed hinged shutters, they have a series of solid panels that every day one manually slides onto little ‘shelves’ in front of each window. (They are stopped from falling from the top by a timber angle fixed to the top of the windows). When I ran the idea by Alex he just laughed. (I rely on him to bring me back to the practicality of daily living when I get these hair-brained ideas!) In fairness, the idea of in essence boarding up a window with 6 panels of wood every evening is ok if you are paying a waitress to do it at the end of her shift, but not ideal if its your own house. That would get boring pretty quickly!
So, I parked the shutter idea, and kept my eyes open for curtains and bay window treatments wherever I went, keeping the problem rolling around in my subconscious.
Well, I was at a friend’s home (with a bay window) for our book club dinner last December and lo and behold – a solution presented itself. My friend had fantastic dark grey felt curtains that looked not only warm and cosy, but also very contemporary and stylish. My bay window problem was solved.
But I was supposed to be in the middle of our master bedroom refurbishment! So I put the curtain solution on hold… for a little while.
In January, the opportunity arose to get a trade discount on some lovely grey wool felt from Kvadrat. I needed to act. In a somewhat spontaneous decision, I ordered the same light grey fabric I got my Hay About a Lounge Chair upholstered in. Generally I don’t like to be so matchy-matchy – but once I got the idea of light grey wool curtains into my head, nothing else seemed right. The light grey isn’t so overbearing, looks good with the dark blue walls, and if I ever change colour scheme, light grey goes with pretty much anything.
The fabric was ordered… but that is just the beginning of the story…