Home Straight?


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You’d expect that, having got to the stage of thinking about soft furnishings, things would be looking up. Right?

Yes and no.


Study 037 Wm[1]


There have been lovely comments on previous posts about how much you like the window in the study. I do too. At least, I love the amount of light it gives and the proportions in relation to the wall. Cottages can be dark. The overhang of the roof doesn’t help. The size of this window makes the most of the south facing aspect.

But there’s a problem.


Study 044 Wm[1]


Study 045 Wm[1]


I believe the rationale behind this design is that both sides of the window can be cleaned from inside. But in my tiny study that’s the only benefit surely? Why else would you want to open it when half the available space in the room is now occupied by plastic and glass?


Study 046 Wm[1]


The pictures also show how little space there is to fix any kind of window covering.

No room at the top for a roman blind, which would have been my preferred option.

No room at the sides for shutters or portières.

I had a similar issue elsewhere (here). The window in the dining room I’ve left bare (for now) but that’s not an option I want to consider here. The desk is right up against this window in the study. It has a lovely view over the garden by day, but on cold dark winter evenings I sit next to a big black hole. It doesn’t feel very cosy.

There is JUST enough space for a very thin curtain rail between the ceiling and the top of the window, so perhaps that is the solution?

It could be. Except..


Study 043 Wm[1]


In cob cottages the walls are tapered, wider at the bottom than the top.

Using a spirit level cunningly taped to a long bit of wood we calculate that the deviance from vertical is a cool 18cm. Where can you find curtain pole brackets that extend that far? Nowhere. The best I can achieve is 13cms. Round wooden blocks will have to make up the remainder of the distance.




The good news is I should be relocated back into the study by the weekend.


Minus a door. And a curtain. And a radiator.

Just as well it’s getting warmer huh?


2017-10-24T19:32:48+00:00March 11th, 2015|Tags: |


  1. Em March 11, 2015 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    You may have to consider going naked….x

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      Not until the radiator arrives… 🙂

  2. Linda from Each Little World March 11, 2015 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Can you attach the rod to the top of the window frame so it swings with the window? Or lean a big poster against the window in the winter. Or stretch fabric on a frame that fits the space that you lift out. Or drape fabric from one corner and bring it up to the other corner to close using a grommet or loop etc. love this room. We went without curtains until it just got too cold psychologically.

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      Storage for a lift out solution would be the problem, this place is tiny. The bare look would be my preference during the day, but at night I have to have cosy. I feel the cold so much. Shutting it out does feel so much better doesn’t it, even if it only lifts the temperature a degree.

  3. Mark and Gaz March 11, 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Good things it’s getting warmer and not having a door and radiator won’t be much of a bother for the time being. Tricky thing to solve but have to say the room looks great already!

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      Having said it’s getting warmer… I just looked at weather forecast. Yikes..

  4. Sue Garrett March 11, 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    We had a similar problem somewhere and solved it by fixing a curtain pole with the fixings in the ceiling as that the rings in which to slide the pole pointed down.

    What a pity the window wasn’t two smaller sections that opened shutter style,

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      If we stay in the place long enough, and have enough money, I’d get the windows switched back to traditional ones. Not all of the previous ‘improvements’ to this house have been sympathetic.

  5. frayed at the edge March 11, 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica
    I just checked my comment on the previous post – I sent you photos of the cafe curtain in our kitchen – which is fixed to the window frame. I can’t take more photos just now as we are in Berwick. Malcolm has suggested a blind that pulls up from the bottom – prehaps a firm that maked blinds for conservatory roofs could help?
    Anne x

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      I remember Anne. We’ve been thinking about the idea of a bottom fixed blind too. Investigating..

  6. Anne Wheaton March 11, 2015 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Pull up blind from the bottom? I’d spend at least a year considering the options and then never get around to doing anything but I suspect you’ll be far more pro-active.

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      It could well go that way. Difficult decisions often do.

  7. paxton3 March 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    I agree with Anne. Faff about considering all the options, and then still not make up your mind after nearly fourteen years. That’s what I did. Worked a treat!
    Leanne xx

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      It’s never a good idea to rush at things..

  8. bumbleandme March 11, 2015 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    I was going to suggest the same as Linda From Each Little Word – could you hang the curtain from the the window frame itself? We are also having curtain issues in the kitchen. Cottages are such fun to live in, but pose many issues that require some ingenious resolutions! Good luck! X

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      So true. Life was a lot simpler back then! Not sure about fixing to the window, it would mean drilling into plastic. I’m not keen on modern windows it has to be said.

  9. Angie March 11, 2015 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Personally, I’d opt for using the ceiling to fix the brackets. Taking into account the difference between the top and bottom, it would comfortably allow you to open that window as per picture 5 and it would not affect the hang of the curtains.
    Another option would be made to measure French door blinds. If you google image roman blinds for french doors, there are many examples where the blind if fitted to the window rather than the surround. A friend had similar fitted to their french door but I could easily see how it could be scaled to fit a single window. I considered it myself for my kitchen window.

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      We’ve thought about the ceiling too. It’s not obvious from the pictures, but it too slopes. We’d need to get bespoke brackets made, each one a slightly different length.

  10. Jennifer March 11, 2015 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I might suggest the blinds that can be pulled up from the bottom. I have them on some of my windows. The only drawback is that you’ll have strings running vertically down the window when they’re pulled down, but it’s a convenient solution for a few reasons. My windows are regular casement type but they can be tilted inward for cleaning. I’ve never actually done it; I always just go outside with a squeegee and a bucket of water. But I’d like to try it sometime, it might be nice to do it from indoors instead.

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      Your windows sound a much better option. I wish our predecessors had done that. I’d give anything for traditional casement windows here.

  11. CJ March 11, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    I don’t have any sage advice or clever suggestions, but no doubt you will find a beautiful solution, you seem quite ingenius at it now! The view from your window is wonderful by the way. No wonder you see so many birds, with all of those trees right outside. CJ xx

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      I do like the view, but the trees are a bit too close. May do some thinning later in the year, when the birds have finished nesting.

  12. downbytheseadorset.blogspot,co,uk March 11, 2015 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    The first picture and words made me smile before even seeing anything else! It looks such a strange window to have in your cottage. I expect you will enjoy be backing in the study again – life would be dull if everything was perfect! Sarah x

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      It’s not an ideal window for an old cottage is it. The house is not listed, which is a shame. If it was they’d never have been allowed to do it.

  13. Denise March 11, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Squirrel fur and pheasant feathers – that’s what I reckon. With maybe a mousetail tie back.

    • Jessica March 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      I’m on the case with the tie back.. 🙂

  14. Rosemary March 11, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Perhaps you could have some French style shutters with moveable louvres fixed on the outside, and fold them right back during the good months, and close them up for the winter months but open the louvres during the day time. Either way I am sure you will come up with a satisfactory solution, and it looks as if you have got the work done just in time so that you are free to spend time in your garden.

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      I love those French shutters. On our previous thatched house there was an ancient external shutter, solid oak with original butterfly hinges. I can’t wait to get back out in the garden, I’m so behind with all the work. Next week I hope!

  15. Sarah Shoesmith March 11, 2015 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    If it’s just the black hole of the window at night bothering you, why not put some solar powered lights to twinkle outside or pop a row of plants on the sill and forget the curtain?

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      It would work on all but the coldest nights. Then I need the comfort of a cocoon. It’s a cold and draughty house.

  16. Beth @ PlantPostings March 11, 2015 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Interesting issues. I was about to say how perfect it looked. At my house, however, we need screens on every window to keep out the mosquitoes and flying birds. 😉

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      I do wonder if birds will come in here. They often perch (upside down) on the underside of the thatch.

  17. Amy March 11, 2015 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    I’ll be watching with interest, Jessica – especially as I need ideas for my bedroom windows… 😉

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      I hope they are not as difficult!!

  18. CherryPie March 12, 2015 at 1:03 am - Reply

    There are Venetian blinds that fit into the recess of double glazed window. We have them in similarly awkward window spaces. I will ask Mr C what they are called so you can look them up and see if they are any good for you.

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      There’s such a small space at the top, that’s the trouble. About 5cm. It would need to be a very slimline unit indeed.

      • CherryPie March 13, 2015 at 8:25 pm - Reply

        They don’t need any space at all the fit in the window recess. They are called Perfect Fit. We got ours from a small local firm. Here is a link the explains them and shows what they look like:


        I think there are other options than Venetian. Ours our plane white, so when the are open they blend into the window frame.

        • Jessica March 14, 2015 at 10:41 pm - Reply

          In the study I was looking for something that covered the whole window, including the frame. But I know just where one of these would go.. in the en-suite that adjoins the room. Thank you for the link Cherie, I will investigate!

  19. Kris P March 12, 2015 at 1:06 am - Reply

    How frustrating to run into another issue at this stage! It’s such a beautiful space and the daylight there is wonderful. Is it impossible to switch out the windows for the casement variety? Alternatively, I wonder if you could create some kind of movable screen (like a fireplace screen but out of fabric).

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      I’d truly love to change the windows, they are totally inappropriate for the style of house. But it would mean doing them all really, or it would look a bit odd. It was what I’d planned to do when we moved here, but now I wonder if we’ll be here long enough to justify the cost. Which would be huge.

  20. Charlie@Seattle Trekker March 12, 2015 at 5:13 am - Reply

    It is really starting to come together beautifully…I’m anxious to see how you solve the window issue. I would be grateful if you would post your solution with the same excellent pictures.

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      There may be a bit of trial and error. Such is the challenge of an old building.

  21. Sigrun March 12, 2015 at 5:19 am - Reply

    Yessica, why do you not make a curtain at the window? There are someome with lsats (hope that is the correct word) which you can pull up and down. Ore is that not the style for your cobcottage?


    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      It is a curtain that I’m thinking about at the moment, fixed on the outside of the recess. If I can find brackets long enough to overcome the slope of the wall.

  22. mattb325 March 12, 2015 at 7:39 am - Reply

    It is such a lovely outlook and study, but it would be a tricky space to furnish with that window. I stayed in a similarly shaped hotel room once and their solution to the problem was Velcro stuck to the window frame (the Velcro strip matched the colour of the frame so as not to be conspicuous) and then two pieces of detachable fabric; it worked quite a treat for blocking out the light of the city and it could be removed during the day….I imagine with some creative stitching, you could make such a piece of fabric look like a roman blind.

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      Now that’s an interesting solution. Something to ponder..

  23. Amy at love made my home March 12, 2015 at 8:29 am - Reply

    It is such a shame that we are not nearer by as I am sure that I could have hubby make you some longer brackets! I hope that you can find something that works as I understand the desire not to have a back hole. What about little curtain poles that would swing back from either side of the window out of the way when you want to open the window? xx

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      There is not enough space inside the recess, but we thought about portières mounted on the wall. Unfortunately there’s not enough room to accommodate it folded back and still cover the width of the window. When the house was built they probably didn’t need to think about curtains.. sadly!

  24. Anny March 12, 2015 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Call me a weirdo – you wouldn’t be the first – but I prefer naked windows. At Christmas, I string fairy lights across them and when it’s dark they make their own magic. No help here I’m sure, but a cheap option…

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      If I lived in a country where it was permanently warm I’d absolutely agree!

  25. Jo March 12, 2015 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I’m afraid I don’t have any clever suggestions, curtains are the worst part of decorating for me, and that’s with normal curtains and poles. It’s a shame the window opens as it does, it would be ok if it wasn’t so low down, but you can’t put a desk or any other furniture underneath it as it’s so low, you do lose a lot of space in the room.

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      I was thinking of making it into a window seat. There is just enough room between the sill and the window for a cushion. Although it would need to an odd shaped one.. the window sill is wedge shaped!

  26. Eleanor March 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    How about tab top curtains with very short tabs hung from a pole attached to the ceiling? Or a cafe style wire with a curtain on clips also suspended from the ceiling. Could a blind be attached to the ceiling? Hope you find a solution you are happy with. xxx

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      We’ve considered the ceiling too. It’s not clear from the picture, but it also slopes, so a normal pole isn’t practical unless we suspend it from brackets that are all of slightly different length. Not impossible if we could get them bespoke made..

  27. woolythymes March 12, 2015 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    ahh, but look at the depth of that windowsill!!! (swoon!!!) you’ve got to make concessions somewhere!!!

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      There are too many concessions!!

  28. countrysidetales March 12, 2015 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    It is a lovely room Jess, the walls are beautiful. Making your own curtains….? :o)

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      That’s the next job, curtains or whatever. It never ends.

  29. Rosie March 12, 2015 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    We have a window that opens in just the same way in the back bedroom it is supposed to be for a quick exit in case of fire – no chance of blinds of any kind so it has to be curtains. I hope you make your weekend deadline of getting back into your study even if minus doors and radiators:)

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      This window does have one practical use. It was the only way to get the table into the room. It will have to go out the same way one day, if it is to leave in one piece anyway!

  30. Chloris March 12, 2015 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    What a lovely room you have created. Lovely that you will be able to use it soon, even without curtains. You are so ingenious and inventive; I am sure you will soon come up with a solution.

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      We’ve been knocked back a day, but hopefully still into it this weekend. Then perhaps I will be able to catch up in the garden!

  31. Alain March 12, 2015 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Despite everything, it is a beautiful room. How pleasant it will be to use it!

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      After four months, I can’t wait!

  32. sustainablemum March 12, 2015 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Are you going to buy curtains or a blind or make them yourself? I made one for a room with a very similar dilemma. It has a Roman blind on it now. It is attached to a strip of wood which has Velcro glued to it and the blind velcroes to the strip of wood if that makes sense? The blind is hanging off the wood which you cannot see.

    • Jessica March 12, 2015 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      I have two sets of curtains from the previous house which I’m hoping to use, or the fabric from them. Your solution does make sense. The problem here is where the blind would sit when the window was open, unless it was removable?

  33. Cathy March 13, 2015 at 10:25 am - Reply

    I haven’t read through all the comments Jessica, but I do remember that you can buy a curtain thingy specifically for opening lights, particularly doors, which I put in a previous house – was it a portiere rod or something like that? It had a bracket attached to the wall and the curtain was attached to the opening structure. Probably used more for where the curtain was always closed, but with a tie back it might work for yours….?

    • Jessica March 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      The window also tips open at the top, which is how I use it most, might that pose a problem? It really is quite a knotty one this window. The first one I’ve tackled but the others are all the same.

  34. welshhillsagain March 13, 2015 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    We have a house of much the same age as yours (although ours is listed so the windows are the originals). I started off thinking I would be bound to come up with some ideas as we have all sorts of problems like this but I admit to being well and truly stumped. Every time I thought I had an idea I went back to your pictures and saw why it wouldn’t work! The ceiling idea seems like the only one which would work and even that looks tricky! Good luck!

    • Jessica March 14, 2015 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      I’ve had much the same experience over the months that I’ve been pondering it. I really wish this cottage had been listed. Give me an old fashioned casement window any day!

  35. Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams March 14, 2015 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    I had the same problem in a couple of rooms in my old cottage and went for the portiere rods so that the window treatment could move back with the window when it was opened. I also had tie backs so that the sun could stream through when the window wasn’t opened. However with the light that you have coming through your window during the day, you might not want to block any of that gorgeous sunshine. There are so many obstacles to overcome in properties such as yours, but that’s what makes them so unique and fun to restore. I certainly had fun when I restored my old cottage. I wish you well xx

    • Jessica March 14, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      You’re right, I do want to maximise the light. So something that pulls away from the window completely is the goal. It’s certainly a challenge isn’t it. The other problem of course is that nothing is square, the recess, the ceiling, the floor. I can’t have a floor to ceiling drape because of all the restrictive angles!

  36. Anne Wilson March 14, 2015 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    I’ve had the same problem, I solved it by a wooden batten on the ceiling painted to match the décor and made my own Roman blinds to fit and attached the tops to the batten with Velcro, it was a bit trial and error because of the slope but it worked.

    • Jessica March 14, 2015 at 11:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Anne and welcome to rusty duck.
      Not only does this ceiling have a slope, it also has a step in it, making it tricky to fit a batten. I will give it more thought though, a roman blind would look perfect here, as long as I can pull it up high enough so as not to obstruct the light and still be able to open the window!

  37. Anne Wilson March 15, 2015 at 1:17 am - Reply

    You would probably have to make the folds and rings closer together so it pulls up higher Jessica.

    • Jessica March 15, 2015 at 8:28 am - Reply

      There’s so little clearance that’s the problem, only about 5cms between the ceiling and the top of the window. A bit more possibly if I hang it at the front of the recess. Thanks Anne.

  38. snowbird March 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    It does look lovely! I know the window makes things awkward, but it is rather quirky so I like it! I hope you have it all sorted now!xxx

    • Jessica March 16, 2015 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      It’s certainly quirky! I have one or two ideas that I want to try out, we’ll get there in the end I’m sure.

  39. Laura March 17, 2015 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    No window coverings here! In the winter, I love looking out at the stars and the moon, and the lights of the planes flying overhead. Because we’re in the city, there is always so much light at night, I’d forgotten the “black hole” of a country night! Best of luck on your quest!

    • Jessica March 18, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      It’s a very big black hole, with such a large window. Being an old house it’s quite cold and draughty, I need the comfort of thick window coverings at night. If it weren’t for that I’d prefer the bare look too.

  40. Natalie March 21, 2015 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Beautiful window, yes, but how bizarre the way it opens! But the renos look fabulous.

    • Jessica March 21, 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      It is bizarre. It literally takes up half the floor space and totally dominates the room. Oh for a traditional outward opening casement!

  41. Linda P March 24, 2015 at 7:59 am - Reply

    A tricky problem. We had one of those windows in a previous house which can be opened two ways as a fire exit. I had to use curtains and a curtain pole fixed to the wall outside the window space, but the thickness of the wall was the same from top to bottom, of course, unlike yours The windows in our Italian house all open inwards (good for cleaning) and we have roller blinds fixed outside of them, but the rooms are big and the walls very thick for fixing the blinds.

    • Jessica March 24, 2015 at 11:01 pm - Reply

      It’s very tricky. We are trying a curtain pole on the outside of the recess, with bracket extenders to overcome the slope on the wall. But it is a clumsy solution and I don’t like it, not a bit.

  42. Maggot June 1, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Could you try a tension rod, from which you hang a suitable piece of fabric (doubled over) each evening? I can see that weight might be an issue here. Alternatively, some sort of removable panel? Although I think you said that storage would be an issue. In my dreams, I am rag hooking such a one for one of my own tricky windows… I haven’t tried tension rods either!

    • Jessica June 1, 2015 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Hi Maggot and welcome to rusty duck.
      I’ve investigated tension rods and you’re right, they are only designed to support the very lightest of fabrics, voile or a net curtain. I think I may have found a solution though and am working it up for the next (hopefully) post… watch this space!

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