Juliet balconies are a wonderful addition to loft conversions, as they’re a great way of borrowing a little extra valuable space from the eaves. They bring a huge amount of light into the room, and the french doors featured in the picture below make the room feel light, airy and expansive when open, eliminating any claustrophobic feelings you might otherwise have had.
However that light you were so desperate to maximise during the day can become a source of huge irriation on summer mornings when you’re rudely awoken in your loft bedroom at 5.30am – and these recessed spaces can be very tricky to curtain. The recess gives you minimal space to attach any curtain tracks, let alone poles, and careful consideration has to be given to ensuring that the curtains don’t get in the way of the french doors. There may not be sufficient clearance above the doors for a roller blind – which let’s face it, on its own is hardly the cosiest solution for a bedroom. You could go for made to measure roman blinds, but again, given the minimal space above the doors, your only option will be to have a roman blind attached to each door – which will look rather cumbersome, obscure valuable window space during the day and will not be very effective at blacking out your bedroom at night. Aaaahhhhgggg! What on earth do you do??
Dormer rods are a great solution in this situation. They take up minimal space on the wall and hinge open and closed, allowing you to fully operate your french doors whilst still being able to close your curtains properly at night.
There are a few things you need to consider:
Slot headings work best: simple slot headings work best. These are two parallel lines of stitching through the fabric at the top of the curtain which make a sleeve or slot for the dormer rod to be pushed through. In the example below the parallel lines were stitched 4cms apart to accommodate a 12mm diameter brass dormer rod.
Choose light weight curtains: Your curtain will need to be fairly light weight so that it can be slotted onto the dormer rod. The curtains pictured above have been fabricated with a tanjore silk face fabric, light weight interlining and blackout lining.
Fabric widths should be limited: The curtain should be approximately 1.5 times the finished width of the dormer rod.
Measure your drop carefully: You also need to add about twice the circumference of the pole to the drop of the curtain to allow for the slot.
The end result is a wonderfully practical solution to a tricky problem. When closed, the slot heading creates a pretty, gathered heading effect for your curtains. When hinged back the curtains sit neatly against the recess. Where, as in this example the recess tapers away down to the floor (see top photo above), the curtains can be made to neatly follow the taper with appropriately positioned holdbacks.