Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hey, Connie, How Did You Hang the Drapes in Your Bay Window?

The bay window in our Family Room presented a challenge when it came to hanging drapes.

I wanted stationary gathered panels at the corners of the bay, to coordinate with the way the drapes hang on the other window in the room ... traditional fabric and construction, and a more modern way to use them.  What kind of rod and hardware would accomplish this, tho?

When I was at Ikea buying my drapery rods, I found this handy little accessory.

It's rubbery with some sort of armature inside of it, it's threaded to screw onto the Hugad drapery rods, and it's made to bend around corners!

I combined the black rod with these white brackets.  I wanted the hardware to virtually disappear ... the bracket itself stayed white to match the window framework and trim, and I used black spray paint on the hook that holds the rod.

The side brackets are mounted to the face of the window frame, as far toward the wall as I could get them ...

Took this photo before I added the second screw that holds the bracket.

... and I installed one bracket in the center of the bay to hold the curved part of the rod assembly.

The bracket kit comes with a little slide-on thingie that covers the screws and helps make the bracket that much more subtle.

The rod bridges the space between the bracket and the side wall, so the drapes can be all the way against the wall into the corner of the bay.

I came up with a rather unconventional solution to the challenge of exactly how to get the drapery panels pushed all the way into the corner.  They are rod pocket drapes, and the bracket hook would act as a stop and would keep the drapes from sliding all the way into the corner.  To overcome this, I measured the distance from the hook to the wall, gathered the drapes onto a rod and marked this distance onto the gathered drapes with a pin, and cut an access hole into the back of the rod pocket.

When I put the drapes onto the rod, and the rod onto the bracket hook, I clipped the rod to the hook through this hole and the drapes hang perfectly.  If I hadn't told you what I did, you would never know that this is how I made this work.

I have another fantastic trick to show you, one that I learned in THIS post from Design du Monde ... use a zip tie, the same color as the rod, to hold stationary panels back and keep them from ungathering.  You absolutely can't see the zip tie unless you're craning your neck to see behind the drapes, and the drapes stay exactly where they're supposed to.

(Step-by-step photo tutorial to show you how I made the drapes is HERE.)

With this project complete, I can now move onto other things.  Spring is sending signals that I hope I interpret to mean that it will be here soon.  It seems like it's been a longer-than-normal winter, and I'm really ready to get outside and get my hands dirty.  I have roses to prune, mulch to lay, gardens to plan ... and I can't wait to get to it!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kerry! I have you to thank, with your zip tie trick. Genius!

  2. I had bay windows in our last house. I thought they were so wonderful until I changed window treatments from the custom, dated valance the previous owner left to new panels. Add up six panels, three rods, two swivel joints for the angles, and two finials for the ends and it was an expensive project! I love your zip tie tip. I will have to remember that one.

    1. Hi, Heather! These bay windows had me stumped for a long time. They are deep and and unusually shaped. I figured that I would have to do what you did, with expensive hardware for the drapes, and I was really surprised to see that Ikea had such a simple, cheap solution to the problem. I want to shout to the world about this bendy connector thing! (I guess I kinda did, since I published it on the 'Net for all to see.) The zip tie trick is from the imagination of Kerry Steele (Design du Monde) and her husband.

  3. Wow! And I thought making the curtains was the hard work! But the rooms does look lovely so it was worth it.

    1. None of this was really hard to do ... just time consuming. The Ikea hardware made the job of actually hanging the curtains so much easier. I had no idea that they made that bendy connector thing! It is perfect for this!!

  4. That curtain rod is very clever. The window looks like a nice cosy space with the curtains.

    1. The bay windows in our living room and in the family room are a very distinctive feature of our house. I tried other curtIns and furniture in there, but nothing seemed right. The chairs were an auction bargain two years ago and they fit the space perfectly. The curtains . . . You already know about those. :)

  5. How cool! I need to make note of this! And the zip tie...genius! I love the curtains!

  6. How clever of you. Thanks for taking the time to take close-ups for us. Very clear, and helpful. You're right, I'd never known how you had stabilized the curtains without showing us. Very nice.

    1. The most clever part of this was the brain-child of the Ikea designers, for devising that little bendy part of the drapery rod system. Once I found that, the whole rest of the project fell into line and was SO simple. That zip tie trick is all because of a blog post that I read last year on Design du Monde. It is genius and I want to shout it to the whole world!


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