Super Sashes, Blinds and Wooden Windows:
When I first saw my current home, a year and a half ago, one of the things that I fell in love with was the windows. To the front of the house, I have traditional sash windows, wooden throughout. The back of the house is slightly different and while upstairs there’s an original sash window, downstairs has been extended and I have a bespoke curved bay window which runs across two storeys. It’s dramatic and stunning both in the basement and on the raised ground floor.
All the windows needed a little TLC and when I originally contacted local suppliers more than one suggested replacing the worst of the wooden sashes with uPVC. The best thing about wood windows is that they can be repaired, so I’m working through the house one room at a time having the sashes overhauled and the wood fixed where necessary. If I did have to replace a window I’d definitely look for a supplier who could match my existing windows as closely as possible and provide something that will last for another hundred years or so. I’ve been so focused on the restoration of my windows over the last year that all I’ve done to dress them is install fitted roman blinds.
To the front of the house, though, things are a bit different. The house fronts onto a road and although there’s not a lot of traffic, it is still overlooked. My roman blinds provide privacy, but, I have every intention of adding something a little more dramatic in the living room, where I have a traditional style sofa, some antique chairs and a fireplace.
Here are my top five tips for making the most of wood windows.
- If you are not overlooked and the room isn’t one you sleep in, consider leaving the window naked (!). Dress it simply by having a few pretty ornaments on the window-sill or some eye-catching pictures to frame it. Or if you look out over beautiful countryside, a park or garden, just make the most of the view. In my house, I have no intention of dressing the window to the rear extension. The windows are sealed, wooden double glazed units and they are not in the least bit draughty. They look out across my garden, through the park and then to the Shard. I’m not overlooked – I’ve checked by standing in the park and trying to see in – so if you’ve seen what looks like a mad woman wandering across the park in Walworth peering over walls from a thousand different spots – that’s me!
- Roman blinds are a neat way to have some privacy and, with a blackout lining, they cut out light from outside so work well in a bedroom. Simple and stylish, you can buy them online for a fraction of the price that you’d pay in a high street shop. You can have them made up with your own fabric too, for that perfect co-ordinated look. I’ve been so focused on the restoration of my wooden windows that all I’ve done with my sash windows to dress them is install fitted roman blinds in grey and cream.
- Floor length curtains look dramatic and help to make a room feel cosy. When I redecorate my living room, I’m planning on adding floor to ceiling curtains at the front of the house.
- Don’t discount nets completely. Using a light cotton muslin net rather than polyester voile gives a contemporary feel to the window. They are easy to install with special net tension rods that just fit inside a window frame without any screws or nails.
- Wooden shutters can look striking and provide great privacy with the added benefit of a little additional security. An expensive option but one that will last for life.
I’ve written this post in conjunction with Wood Window Alliance. When I moved here, although my wooden windows needed renovation I didn’t have to replace them. I love my traditional sash windows and I also love the bespoke wooden window to the rear of my house. I’m delighted to have learnt about the Wood Window Alliance (WWA) and now know where to go if my windows DO need replacing.