It’s great when an old friend gets in touch – the icing on the cake is when a curtain conundrum has given them an excuse to pick up the phone! So a short trip down the M5 to beautiful Cheltenham revealed the problem.
The old roman blinds in the Sitting Room bay windows of their Victorian house needed replacing. Curtains were the preferred solution, but client couldn’t work out how to do this, as the bay windows continue all the way up to the cornicing – a problem which I understand is fairly typical of the design of Victorian properties in Cheltenham.
This called for a pretty bespoke solution. I would often recommend a lath and fascia in this situation, because it is not only an aesthetically pleasing solution, but also a very practical one, and the practical problem outlined above made the case for this sort of system particularly compelling. In this case, a lath and fascia was ideal as it could be shaped around the peculiarities of the bay (the architraves), could be fixed very close to the cornice, and would provide a very secure structure from which to hand the curtains.
So on my next trip down to Cheltenham I came armed with lengths of timber to template the bay. Templating ensures that the finished lath and fascia fits perfectly into the bay, and the most accurate way to do this is with the actual timbers that comprise the lath.
The two corner pieces of the laths had to be scribed around (cut to the shape of) the vertical architraves), so that the lath and fascia would fit snugly into the shape of the bay.
Lath and fascias can be fabric covered or painted. Our client chose the painted variety. These tend to be a little more reasonably priced than fabric covered versions, and once in place, they become part of the architecture of the room, whereas the fabric covered versions will always be seen as a part of the curtains.
The lath and fascia is fixed with two large brackets at the extremities (see above) and hidden brackets above the side and centre window, providing an incredibly firm structure that will take even the heaviest lined and interlined curtains. The track – hidden behind the front of the fascia – is a contract corded track, again designed for durability and to take heavy curtains.
The other advantage of lath and fascias is that their projection out from the window can be adjusted to allow for any protuberances (here the radiator), and/or for the inclusion of sheer blinds or curtains to for privacy.