Sash windows are still commonly found in many different types of properties, but most commonly they are found in period properties. Their popularity has increased in recent years because secondary glazing is so readily available, removing the common sash window issue of draughts and noise pollution.
When sash windows are left as they are, they can look a little bare and unwelcoming. However, it can be a bit of a nightmare trying to dress them up in a way that doesn’t do them a disservice. With this in mind, homeowners are left in a bit of a quandary as to how to give their sash windows a makeover that looks gorgeous, is practical and fits in with the decor and with the period and style of the home.
What Is A Sash Window?
So how do you give your sash window the gorgeous window treatment? First and foremost let’s be clear on exactly what a sash window is.
Known commonly as either a hung sash window or sash window, the feature has at least one moveable panel which are the sashes. These form the pane structure that holds the glass which is often separated by muntins which are simple, thin lines of wood.
Any window with this structure is known as a sash window and technically this is true, but, a true sash window is exclusively determined as one which has glazed panels of window which slide open horizontally or vertically. Sash windows have been around for a long time since the 1600s in fact and they can most commonly be found in Victorian and Georgian houses featuring a classic 6 x 6 panel window.
How Do I Dress My Sash Window?
Now you’re sure you have a sash window, it’s a really great idea to think about dressing it up because the chances are you’ve got one or kept one because it is so stunningly beautiful. It deserves some love and attention!
Whatever you do to dress up your sash window, it is worth considering secondary glazing before you plan your design. Secondary glazing keeps in the heat, keeps out the noise, provides additional security and most importantly, doesn’t change the aesthetics or function of your original sash window at all. So having this done provides a broader range of design opportunities, because you don’t have to worry about condensation on close proximity blinds or curtains, and you don’t have to layer up your materials in order to keep any draughts out.
Make sure you spend lots of time checking out Pinterest and period property design sites to gain inspiration. You might well be surprised at what other people are doing with their sash windows – there’s a lot more choice out there than you probably realise.
There is no reason your sash window can’t look stunning as it is. If the decor and design of the room calls for a bare sash window, then embrace that look and don’t feel you have to adorn the feature with curtains and other decorations. The only thing you do need to ensure is that the window itself is beautifully kept, with no peeling paint or smudgy windows which can immediately lower the aesthetic appeal of the room.
Pelmets come in lots of different materials and styles – carved, painted, covered in fabric – you won’t be limited on choice. Take care to ensure the pelmet isn’t encroaching on the window itself, but do make it longer down each window side in order to create a short piece of drapery. If you add blinds to the feature, make sure the blinds go behind the pelmet for a polished look.
Sash windows can handle a lot of different blinds styles, particularly roller blinds and shutters. They are a good idea if you want to protect your furniture from sunlight and have easy control over the light that gets into the room. They are also extremely cheap, so unlike bespoke curtains or an antique pelmet, you can easily swap and change your blinds to suit any change in room design. Look at natural and neutral materials like wood and linen for textures and tones to work with any room design.
By far the trickiest option, curtains can transform a sash window from a beautiful house feature to a dramatic, breathtaking focal point of a room.
When choosing curtains think carefully about the style of your sash window: how it opens, how wide it is, how tall it is. You should also think about the shape and size of the walls that surround the window so you are aware of where your curtains will go and if there is room for them. The gap between the ceiling and the top of the window should also be measured to check your ability to have pelmets or a pole system.
When you’ve got a rough idea of the style of windows you will need to think about the material they are made from and the pattern or style of the curtain material. Natural fabrics are a great idea and shouldn’t crease if they are combined with the right textiles. With the pattern, the safest option is a simple neutral tone. If this leaves you feeling devoid of opulence consider using more luxurious or textured materials, or creating a drape on the floor.
Seek Professional Advice Or Services
If you have a particularly unique sash window design, or you have a very specific design in mind when it comes to dressing your sash window, consider seeking professional advice or services. This might be from a designer, from a seamstress, or even from a company that makes curtains specifically for period properties.