Wide Short Bow Window Treatment Project

by Pauline

Bow window above a radiator

Bow window above a radiator

Please note: The photo does not show clearly the depth of the window due to the dark wood window sill.

My dining-room bow window is 2.5 meters wide but only 1.31m high and has a radiator directly underneath it. This window has real leadlights and is single glazed, so it can be cold and draughty.

Our assumption has always been that it was not most efficient energy wise to cover the radiators with full length curtains in winter. Consequently for some years we've had short curtains down to the top of the radiator.

This year I particularly wanted full length curtains to fit with the new look in my dining room.

This is what I did:

I fixed a flexible plastic rail around the top of the wooden window frame to hang the short black curtains. When open they fit rather neatly against the window reveal behind the full-length curtains. Although they can be seen from some angles of the room, they still allow the full light in through the window.

The full-length curtains are also full-width so can still be pulled to create a different look on those days the radiator is not in use.

A handy hint: Initially the curtains stuck a little on the bendy plastic track. I ran a candle along the top and lower edges of the track to now provide a really smooth glide.

Although this solution cost more due to two sets of curtains, I really like my new look and hope you do too.

AND now my curtains also pull behind the photos
I usually like to display on my bow-windowsill.

One small problem remains.

...with which I hope you or your readers may be able to help.

I usually make my own curtains, but bought these, though I have adjusted the length from the top of the curtain by removing the heading tape and restitching at the desired height. However I find that the curtain hooks are hanging very loosely in their appropriate slots in the heading tape. So loose in fact that they fall out if I slide the curtain off the rail.

So despite my careful measurement, this is causing the curtains to hang lower than they should.
It is most obvious at the center point (the focal point) and also shows the white of the rail, which I would prefer not to hide more effectively.

Do you have any ideas or is it more a question of the quality of the curtains and their tape?


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Nov 30, 2009
Pauline, great project!
by: Alina

Great project and nice photo!
I think you probably should change the tape for a sturdier one. The curtains are too heavy for it. Another solution is to use spring tension curtain rod - it's quite sturdy and you can use it inside a window.
Thanks for sharing your project!

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