Having beautiful high ceilings is lovely, especially when the windows are huge. They can be the focal point of the room. However, the unfortunate downside is: mo’ window, mo’ money’ – those curtains are going to need to be long, wide and bold enough to frame your already fairly dramatic windows.
In a Victorian house, the designer that springs to mind when you think of textiles is usually William Morris. And, while you can buy WM curtains at auction, it’s pot luck whether or not they’re going to be the right measurements for your windows. Many will have been made bespoke – something that comes at a hefty price tag.
To give you an idea, when I went into John Lewis with David (better half) and sat down with a nice lady to get a quote, the number that came back was around the thousand pound mark! To be fair, someone hadn’t taken the correct measurements and we could probably have asked for less fabric, but it would still have been a fair whack (and I’ll be damned if I’m spending more on curtains than I might spend on a two week holiday).
At this point, I was in agony from my “muscle tear” (turned out – later that day when we went to A&E – to be a kidney infection) and was disproportionately and irrationally grumpy with David (who probably had actually measured the curtains correctly and I was just being delusional). The news of the price tag did not go down well.
A bit later on, when we had re-measured and I was out of hospital, we hung the William Morris curtains we’d ordered online (not bespoke, but ready-made, in the maximum size they had in the print they offer) with curtain hooks from B&M (on a curtain pole from IKEA – check in soon when I write about pelmet boxes) for under £200 (cheaper if your windows are smaller). I realise that you can get curtains much more cheaply, but if you’re after a brand like Sanderson/William Morris, this is the best value you can get.
I am absolutely chuffed to bits with how these new curtains look and, given that I intend to hang onto these – probably forever – I think they’re great value. They frame the windows so well and go beautifully with the deep blue feature wall (we re-painted recently). Decorating a new house takes time. This is one thing I’ve learnt on this journey so far. My advice for someone in a similar position would be to practice patience. Enjoy the beautiful space you have and take time to appreciate how lucky you are. You can bring your ideas to life one step at a time.