Made to Measure Curtains and Blinds for Apartment Windows

This is the first blog in our series investigating the best way to dress the windows of your city style apartment. In this blog we’re going to tackle the living space/ sitting room area by reference to a recent customer case study, and in subsequent blogs we’ll move onto the sleeping areas – because each raise their own individual challenges.

curtains and roman blinds for apartments, canary wharf, made to measure
An apartment in Pan Peninsula Square, Canary Wharf: the ultimate blank canvas for window dressings

The brief: as you can see from the photo above, our customer’s Canary Wharf apartment has floor to ceiling windows spanning three walls of his sitting room. He wanted made to measure curtains and blinds to match his existing soft furnishings, that gave him privacy – particularly along the side windows where his sitting room was most overlooked – whilst not overly encroaching on the stunning views over the O2 Arena and beyond. With state of the art double glazing, thermal treatments were off the agenda, as was the need for blackout.

The solution: we decided dress curtains would be a great way of tackling the intrusion to his privacy from the side windows. Roller blinds were the most appropriate solution for the main windows running the length of the room – particularly given the lack of space above the windows, and for a seamless unfussy finishing touch consistent with the clean lines and minimalism of the room we’d hide the curtain tracks and roller blind mechanisms behind a low profile hardboard stiffened pelmet board running the entire length of the room.

The installation: the apartment ceilings at Pan Peninsula (as with so many new build developments) are plasterboard with no easily locatable studwork above to secure the tracks and blinds to – so we prepared a series of pelmet boards to run the length of the room and glued these to the ceiling, as well as attaching them with fischer PD8 board fixings (described in detail in our recent panel glide system blog). Velcro is attached to the front edge to fix the pelmet to, and note the location of the dress curtains track (above).

pelmet boards, tracks, apartment windows, canary wharf
The pelmet board is anchor fixed and glued to the ceiling – to provide a secure fixing point for the curtain track, roller blinds and pelmet

Velcro is attached to the front edge to fix the pelmet to, and note the location of the dress curtains track (above).

Apartment curtains and roller blinds with pelmet
With the roller blinds, curtains and pelmets in place, the room instantly has a softer appearance – put simply, the curtains and blinds finish the room.

The curtains and roller blinds are fabricated from matching fabrics. An accent colour is added to the curtains with the addition of a brown velvet border, which is also used to cover the hardboard stiffened flat pelmet.

Made to measure curtains and roller blinds with pelmet in Canary Wharf Apartment

The curtains can be drawn back to maximise the view, or drawn across the side windows for privacy. The roller blinds can be raised or lowered to the desired height as required.

Tip Summary:

Where space above your window is limited: consider using roller blinds, which typically only hang proud of the ceiling by 6-8 cms

Pelmets: are a great way of tying together your window dressings, and hiding your curtain tracks and roller blind mechanisms. Pelmets tend to be thought of as a traditional window treatment, but a flat, hardboard stiffened pelmet like the one featured in this blog gives a very contemporary look – particularly when covered in a contemporary fabric.

For medium to heavy weight curtains: remember, your track must be securely attached to the ceiling, and pelmet boards are a great way to safeguard this. Why? because the pelmet board can be glued to the ceiling (we recommend Gripfill) which spreads the load exerted by the curtain track over a wider area than would be the case if you were simply to screw the track to the ceiling. The board should also be screwed to the ceiling, and we recommend board fixings (such as the fischer PD8). This helps to keep the board in place whilst the glue is drying, and gives you peace of mind that your curtains and blinds are totally secure.

Dress curtains: are a great way to cover tricky window spaces and to provide privacy where you are overlooked. They don’t have to be fixed in a set position – (ie they can be made to draw back and forth), and they don’t dominate the room in the way that full width curtains might.