Curved Bay Window Pelmet & Curtains

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Curtains | No Comments

We seem to have tackled quite a few curved bay windows recently – templating them for everything from poles through to lath and fascias. In this case, some friends approached us to make curtains for a large (6 metre wide), compound curved bay window in their bedroom.

curved bay window

A bay of this size needs to be templated because it is the only accurate way of recording the shape of the curve, and several trips are often required – to ensure the templating, curtain measurements (and in this case, shape of pelmet) are all taken care of.

So, armed with a roll of wall lining paper, a sheet of 12mm mdf and a full tool kit, we set off to the property to carry out the initial templating of the pelmet board.

templated sections for curved bay window curtains
Moghul Director Charlie White poses for a selfie, with the curved sections that will shortly be cut into the mdf

Armed with a hefty multi-purpose ladder – required to scale the considerable drop of the bay (3.5 metres from top of the window to floor) we carefully pressed lining paper against the wall above the window boxing to create the curved shape. The picture above shows the completed paper sections being laid out on the sheet of mdf.

Each section was then carefully stenciled onto the mdf and then cut out. The cut out sections of mdf were then offered back up to the window, and planed down as required to perfectly fit the curve of the bay.

curved bay window pelmet board under construction
The curved pelmet board is temporarily fixed in place to enable curtain drops to be taken

Once each section had been cut out, we temporarily fixed them into place around the bay, so that we could take an accurate drop around the bay for the curtains. Consideration then moved onto what sort of pelmet would look best. We had discussed various options – from a series of flat, hard board stiffened, upholstered sections interlinked to make up the curve, through to a more traditional soft pelmet.

Our client eventually settled on a shaped, pleated, soft pelmet, using as inspiration something she had seen in a magazine (pictured below).

arched soft pelmet with double pinch pleats

So we made another trip to the property, to construct a paper version of the pelmet for client’s approval. This proved to be a really useful exercise, because it’s one thing agreeing the shape, but quite another actually being able to imagine the proportions of the pelmet without actually seeing it in position on the window.

The mock up was invaluable, because our client loved the shape, but we all agreed the proportions (pictured below) needed to be reduced so as not to overly dominate the window.

arched pelmet paper template mock up
We produced a paper mock up of the pelmet so that our client knew exactly what the pelmet would look like!

So that was all the preparation completed. All that remained was the relatively straight forward task of fabricating the curtains and arched soft pelmet in our London work room.

On the day of installation the first task was to fix in place all supporting brackets. This was no mean feat as it turned out, as with properties of this age, obtaining a secure fixing is not something you can take for granted and we ended up having to use 6 inch frame fixings in places to properly secure the brackets.

biscuit joint sections of mdf pelmet

Each of the three sections of the pelmet board were glued and biscuit jointed together, and fixed in place with “L” shaped brackets at each end, and screwed down to the window boxing  around the bay.

The end result is an incredibly strong structure – reassuring when you consider the 9 widths of lined and interlined, blackout curtains that the pelmet board would need to support.

Heavy duty, contract corded curtain tracks would effortlessly glide the curtains around the bay.

curved bay window curtains and pelmet

With the pelmet board and curtain tracks in place, all that remained was to hang the curtains, and carefully attach the pelmet to the pelmet board.

By returning the pelmet board past the curve into the straight sections of the room we were able to create enough stacking space to enable the curtains to completely clear the windows when fully open, which will help to protect the fabric from the sun’s glare in the long term.