This post is in collaboration with Couture Living. The curtains featured were gifted. All views our own.
My relationship with our living room curved bay windows has always been a love/hate one. That’s why finally, after 3 years living in this house, I’m thrilled to finally have the living room bay window curtains of my dreams from Couture Living.
Let me give anyone new here a bit of a bay window back story…
Owning a 1930s house has many benefits. They’re well-built houses with just enough period features in them to bring character, and they’re normally pretty spacious as city homes go. They also typically have these stunning curved bay windows, commonly referred to as “sunshine bays” that are designed to bring sunshine into the room no matter what angle it’s sitting in the sky.
Curved bay windows are lovely. But my God, bay window curtains are a bugger to get right.
Almost every retailer stock curtain rods for angled bays, never curved bays, which limits what curtain styles you can have
Wanting extra long curtains with an exact drop of 237cm are non-existent ready-made (believe me, I’ve searched)
We have a very deep window sill, so any lighter fabric curtains wouldn’t sit flush and straight when drawn
With all the specifics in mind, finding curtains to fit is one thing, finding curtains that fit, AND we like the look of is a whole other ball game
Over the years we’ve had our fair share of drab curtains. From the short, pink ones we inherited from the previous homeowner (which ended up with plaster thrown all over them during our living room renovation) to some poorly sewn but, ‘they’ll do’ grey curtains from IKEA which lacked any kind of shape or style.
It was long on my list of jobs to do to get replacement curtains for this bay window as getting the right window dressing really frames and completes a room.
Quality, made to measure curtains handmade in the UK
We were thrilled to work with Couture Living to makeover our living room bay window. Couture Living provide luxury made to measure curtains and blinds, handmade right here in the UK.
With over 30 years experience making the perfect window dressing for homes, Couture Living’s treasure trove of high quality, designer fabrics make finding the right design for your room a breeze – especially if, as I did, you have a clear idea of the sort fabric or design you’re looking for (William Morris, all the way!)
Measure yourself, order online
If you’ve ever ordered bespoke made curtains before, it can be a little daunting. The process of having to book an appointment, take time off work, have a sales person come and measure up and give you a quote, I find to be quite pressured. I can’t make good design decisions without getting a series of samples sent and sleeping on the ideas first.
While Couture Living do offer a full-service measure, design, fit, we opted to measure ourselves using their straight forward measuring guides and place the order over on their website. It meant we didn’t have to rush, I could order lots of samples which instantly gives an idea on cost if you’re working to a budget.
The finest material, in a print I’ve only ever dreamed about owning
We chose a Morris & Co print, the Strawberry Thief in Dove which is 100% linen. The softer, neutral colours in the sample pared well with the Skimming Stone and Wimborne White colour scheme in our living room, plus the print itself isn’t too busy as some curtains can be.
The specific details of our order were:
Header type: Pencil (Deep)
Curtain Type: Classic
Lining: Interlined - Sateen
Curtain Dimensions: Width – 330cm Drop – 237cm
When ordering curtains, Couture Living give you the option of several different curtain headers from double and triple pinch pleat, to goblet and eyelet. We chose a deep pencil pleat which is a little more affordable than the pinch formation and allows for wiggle room if measurements come up a little too short.
A note on the lining – we opted for interlined sateen, and in hindsight, I don’t think we needed this. The quality of the outside lining (the Morris fabric) is so high that the standard Sateen lining would have been enough.
Linings add extra weight to curtains you’re ordering, so I would recommend considering this carefully against the fabric sample you get and depending on the room/lighting needs you have. A blackout lining for example is perfect for the bedroom.
2-3 weeks later, beautiful curtains/blinds arrive
Packaged up to perfection (it’s the little things) Couture Living deliver your order aiming for a 2-3 week turnaround which is very fast when you take into account all orders are hand made.
Our delivery took a little longer as the fabric I chose was out of stock but I was happy to wait a few weeks to get exactly what I knew would work beautifully in the room.
Hanging and fitting the curtains
You can immediately appreciate the quality of these curtains when you lift them. They are heavy and luxurious. With this, I’d definitely say it’s a two-person job to hang this style of curtain on a bay window our size.
Before we hung them, I gave the curtains an iron adhering to the instructions and care guidelines Couture Living put inside your order. Then, a little tip from Neil’s Mum who has ordered many bespoke curtains in her time – hang the freshly pressed curtains on your curtain rail or track, then position the pleats exactly how you want them to hang. Tie them together with a ribbon or tie-backs for 3 days and they will hold their pleats for years to come.
Accessories for the curtains
To maximise light entering the room when curtains are open, a good trick is to drill in curtain hooks in a location that will comfortably pull the curtains back with curtain ties. Not only does this allow more light into the room, I think it gives that finishing touch and brings shape and elegance to a window. These are just some simple hooks we picked up and curtain ties we had in the loft from our previous home.
I am so pleased with our new William Morris curtains in this room. The whole process has proven to me how important it is to dress windows well to complete the overall design of a room and a home. While we worked with Couture Living as a collaboration for this and the curtains were gifted to us, I am now turning my attention more and more to bespoke curtains as a window dressing solution for other rooms in our home. Investing in bespoke curtains is something that should be considered particularly if you have a large or tricky-to-dress window such as ours. It will save you time, money, and you’re guaranteed a look that will bring you happiness.
A big thank you to Couture Living for gifting us my dream curtains, and we highly recommend taking a look at their website if you’re on the hunt for curtains or blinds for any rooms in your home.
Visit the Couture Living website: www.coutureliving.com
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If you have any questions please do DM me on Instagram and I’ll be happy to answer :)
Thanks for reading,
Fifi (& Neil, my co-stylist, handy man and photographer!) xoxo