So last week we looked at how curtains on dormer rods can, with a bit of careful planning create the perfect dormer window treatment. However what was interesting about this Bath case study was that our client had four sets of identical dormer windows on the top floor of their house, and whilst they chose dormer rod curtains in the guest room, in the other two childrens’ bedrooms and the bathroom they opted for roman blinds.
The best solution for your dormer window
Our job in these situations is to point out what works best in the space, and work out whether this fits in with what the client has in mind. In this case, our clients had a working example to help. They had inherited a few sets of curtains on dormer rods from the people they had recently bought the house from, and they weren’t too impressed with the way they worked – primarily because the dormer rods were badly hung and the curtains weren’t long enough. We demonstrated in our last blog how these issues can be tackled with a little careful planning – with the result that they opted for curtains on dormer rods in the guest room.
However the remaining dormer windows in the childrens’ rooms and bathroom called for a crisper more functional solution. In short, curtains were a little too twee for these spaces.
So we agreed upon roman blinds for the remaining dormer window rooms.
Dormer window roman blinds – getting it right
Minimise stack: There are just a few things to be aware of when thinking about putting roman blinds in dormer windows. Firstly, you need to liaise closely with your designer and the person making the blinds to ensure the stack (ie the folds when the blind is fully raised) are sufficiently tight that the blind doesn’t take up too much space and therefore diminish light coming into the room – as light tends to be so critical in rooms with dormer windows. The blind stack is determined by the number of roman blind rods/rod pockets that are positioned down the back of the blind. The greater the number, the tighter the stack.
Make the blind as wide as you dare! Secondly, if you’re after a blackout solution (so often the case in childrens’ rooms) but also with winter approaching, for thermal reasons, you want to make the blind as tight inside the window as possible. This is a tricky calculation for your designer to make, as typically we all like to leave at least 5mm gap between the edge of the blind and the wall to ensure it’s movement up and down the window is unimpeded.
Interlining for thermal and blackout: Thirdly, for blackout roman blinds, consider a fairly thick interlining, as this will help to minimise the pin pricks of light that you often see when the blind is lowered during the day time (an inevitable and difficult to avoid consequence of the stab stitches, which attach the face of the blind to the rod pockets at the back). Blackout lining is a great solution though, and one we tend to recommend as a default for bedrooms, particularly because the acrylic coating that gives the fabric its blackout properties doubles up as a thermal barrier to draught in the winter, and heat in the summer – thereby helping to regulate the temperature of the room all year round.
Choice of roman blind mechanism: The two options here are the traditional cord, cord weight and cleat and the more contemporary chain operated headrail system. What’s the difference? Well clearly, the traditional mechanism will favour a period property where the window treatments and their hardware would look out of place if they were too contemporary.
However the chain driven system works on a gearing ratio, which means the blind is raised and lowered more slowly than it would be under traditional rope power. This actually helps you to maintain the folds of the blind, and will prolong the life of the blind. And the most obvious point – you don’t have to cleat the blind off every time you raise and lower it.
But wherever you’ve got toddlers or little ones, always install a child safety device. These devices come in a variety of styles and specifications, but the basic point of them is to keep the chain out of harms way. Note the device and it’s positioning in the above photograph.