curtain poles Archive

There are few things more satisfying in our business than finding talented interior designers who understand what we do and how and why we do it. Knowing that our products are gracing interior spaces all over the world gives us a warm glow of satisfaction. Professional respect in a mutually beneficial relationship makes everyone feel good. Both Nicolas of Boxx Creative (Nicola Keenan and Nicola Lindsell) understood Made by the Forge’s spirit immediately. Our work and commitment to both excellence and the environment complemented their own design philosophy to a tee. One look at Boxx Creative’s project page (https://www.boxx.design/projects-index) tells you all you need to know about the company’s skill, creative flair and fine taste. We are thrilled to be in collaboration with them.

We were delighted to provide café rods, bespoke brackets and a crescent door pole for a most dramatic tartan curtain that greets you as you enter The Hunter’s Moon pub and restaurant in South Kensington. Its interiors look really stylish and inviting.


Photography: Annabel Moeller. Design: Boxx Creative.

Café rods or café poles are now becoming quite the ‘in-thing’ in restaurants, pubs and homes across the land. They attach halfway down either side of a window allowing light in but maintaining privacy from the drawn half-curtains. The poles are very slim with a diameter of 12mm and look very sleek once installed. We offer two different styles of brackets; the first is on a flat wall plate which can be discreetly attached to the recess of your window. The pole then sits inside the cup. The second is a small round bracket which is attached to the outside of the window frame (we call it face fix) and the pole fits neatly through it. To keep it simple, there is the option of no finials or one very small button end. We now have a new dedicated page offering these café poles so it is easy to order them from our website. Take a look: https://www.madebytheforge.co.uk/curtains/cafe-rod.html

Nicola Lindsell commented on our collaboration. In her own words…

‘At Boxx Creative, we’re driven to find suppliers who align with our ethos of ‘consciously creating’ and who’s products complement our interior design schemes. Having been referred to Made by the Forge by another interior designer, and after further investigation into their set up and background, we knew we wanted to collaborate with them on our project.  Their passion for their craft, personal service, and friendly team delivered a high quality product, on time and to budget. 

Our design for The Hunter’s Moon, the British country pub in the heart of South Kensington, champions comfort and cosy get togethers. As part of the scheme we installed a large double sided woollen  entrance curtain that hangs from a semi-circular wrought iron curtain pole.  Made by the Forge crafted the fixing to look elegant whilst sturdy enough to withstand the job in hand – no mean feat.  Cafe curtains in the front window added to the intimate setting and created a soft barrier between the busy Fulham Road and cosy pub within.  Again, a subtle fixing method that was both practical and refined in design was lovingly created and installed.

Made by the Forge are trustworthy and reliable suppliers who create sustainable and artisanal products.  We’re proud to install and commission their products in our projects and look forward to the next time we will work together.’’

If measuring up your standard window for a curtain pole was easy, measuring up a bay window involves a few more steps and measurements to take. Bays can be curved or have a number of bends based on the number of windows contained in the bay. The more bends, the more measurements are needed. To take a typical example, let’s go through measuring up a four-bend bay.

First of all, rustle up someone to help with the measuring, as bays are usually too large for one pair of outstretched arms to manage. The most important thing to bear in mind when measuring is that true symmetry rarely exists in the real world. Never assume one measurement is the same as another because they look symmetrical. Measure each line to the nearest millimetre. And if you have to bend the tape to get a measurement, start the tape at that end. If the tape has to be bent, the reading cannot be trusted. Use a pencil to mark where you are measuring to and from for accuracy.

As the diagram shows, a four-bend bay has six points, A to F. Measurements are needed for the following:

A to F, the width of the window.

A to B (including finials), B to C, C to D, D to E and E to F (including finials).

In order for Made by the Forge to produce a single accurate bay window curtain pole, we also need the diagonals measured:

A to D, A to E. C to E, C to F. B to D, B to E, B to F.

Have a look at the top left and right of the diagram. The ends of the pole that wrap around to re-join the wall line are called returns. If you want returns, we need two more measurements:

1 to A and F to 2.

If you visit our bay page here, you will see many types of bay. Click on the one that you have and the measurement boxes are all ready for your figures and the online calculator will show you the price.

As ever, any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call on +44 (0)1473 487118 or contact us via email.

 

In the second part of our blog on Interior designer Jane McIntyre, Jane tells us how she works with Made by the Forge’s curtain poles.

“Often a whole room is schemed around a curtain fabric so what you hang then on them is very important. There was a time when large, grand windows demanded huge wooden poles or ornate pelmets, but I have hung three metre high curtains on Made by the Forge’s poles in a Manor house and the effect was stunning. Equally, I am about to order some for a teeny cottage with even teenier windows and I will be putting the self same poles up there and know they will be perfect. I’ve also used the French poles once and am contemplating those for another project that requires an absolutely simple treatment.

“One of my most challenging jobs for the poles was in a 16th Century timber framed house in Winchester where the downstairs windows went to within an inch of the very crooked ceilings, leaving no room at all for poles. Persuading the client – who favoured fat wooden poles or pelmets – that the forged poles would work perfectly was a work in itself, then the builder fired off his own directive about the insubstantial lath and plaster walls being unable to hold the weight of curtains, let alone solid metal poles. As the curtains were heavy textured velvet with thick interlining – those houses are draughty however much heating goes in – this was a challenge!

“Not to be beaten, we put a baton all the way along the top of the window and 30cms either side, taking the line from the lowest point of the ceiling – this we fixed with many screws and a lot of Gripfill*. We put the top of the bracket as high as we could on this baton and packed out the base of the bracket to level it. The idea of this exercise was to spread the load across the wall rather than just in the places were the brackets would – or wouldn’t – fix to the wall. Applying my trademark “boofy” headings, or in rather more technical terms a 10cm heading above the tape, which flops away from the pole in a random fashion and in this case crushed in parts against the ceiling, all in all disguising the crooked space. Given enough width in a curtain can create a very dramatic and opulent feel. Four years later the curtains still stand and with the success of that window we went on to do the whole house with Richard’s poles.”

Call Jane: 02380 812239
Email: jane@janemcintyredesign.com Website: https://janemcintyredesign.com

*Other adhesives are available.

Measuring A Window For A Curtain Pole

It’s extraordinary how much gets done around the house when you are actively discouraged to leave it. What about that window you’ve been meaning to spruce up for ages? How difficult can measuring up for a Made by the Forge curtain pole be? Answer? Not at all… Just three simple steps… W. W. W. – Where, Width, Work out…

  1. Where is the pole going to go? Stand back, look at the window and check there are no beams, light switches or fittings in the way of a straight mount above the window. Ideally the pole should be mounted 15cm above the top of the window. If you have a low ceiling, it should be mounted halfway between the ceiling and the top of the window.
  2. Width of the window to be measured.
  3. Work Out 10% of the width of the window for each side’s drawback (the area the curtain hangs in when not drawn). Remember to allow for the thickness of your curtains and add one of two centimetres if necessary.

Also remember to take into consideration the length of the decorative finial at both ends, the size of your choice can be found on the finial’s product page online. We suggest adding one curtain ring for every 10cm of pole. Be sure to order an even number for symmetry.

For a video of Richard showing you these points, please click here. As ever, any questions, give us a call on +44 (0)1473 487118.

Prior to the industrial revolution, the humble blacksmith was installed at his forge in every country village throughout the land. His bread and butter trade was practical ironwork producing horse tack, farm tools and ploughs and in the less enlightened ages, swords and armour.

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People soon started to employ the local smithy to make decorative objects that would adorn any home, objects that would be passed down the generations. And where does a blacksmith derive his inspiration for such objects? Out of the window.

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Mother Nature features a near infinite range of shapes and forms but the most pleasing to the eye become the classics whose design weathers the years just like the iron they are made of. One such classic is the Ram’s Horn.

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The pleasing curves leading to the sharpened tip is one of Made by the Forge’s signature pieces and can be found as a curtain pole finial (above shown in beeswax), a curtain hold back (below shown in matt black finish).

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It is also the decorative centre to Chris Eckersley’s Standard Floor Lamp. It is extraordinary how a still powerful and classic design can be forged to compliment contemporary lighting and as a fusion of both past and present, it creates its own unique identity.

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Some of our clients send in images of their new ironwork and the image below is from a customer who wanted brackets for a wooden shelf he wanted to mount on the wall. His idea was simple and stylish and the handmade brackets bring a touch of individuality to his home with the added benefit of supporting us British Blacksmiths and helping keep our craft alive.

 

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The testimonials below are from two satisfied customers and an image showing how artisanal touches can add to any room making it feel and look special:

Dear Richard
Many thanks for the curtain pole. All safely received and “aesthetically’ mounted on the living room wall. Really nicely made and looks great.
Loved the clear instruction leaflet..
Regards
Mark

September 2016

customer64

Morning Richard
Just to let you know that our order arrived yesterday, I am delighted with the curtain poles and ties backs.
The chap will fit them next week, and then the curtains soon after that.
Your company has been a pleasure to deal with, very approachable, reasonably priced, excellent service, and made in Great Britain which I am very passionate about.
I will have no hesitation in recommending you.
Many thanks and kind regards
Katrina

August 2016

There is something wonderfully decadent about silk. It is so beautiful to touch and always a delight to see framing a window or a cushion. It is a timeless, natural fabric which works well in soft furnishings for both contemporary and country home interiors.

Natalie Canning, a curtain and blind expert, generously shares her views on Dupion silk and the silk worm with us;

“Dupion silk is one of the most popular silk materials as it is easy to sew, drapes beautifully and is wrinkle resistant. It is created by two different silk worms spinning their cocoons closely together and their fibres tangling.

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The thread created is rougher than other silk materials and the finished fabric contains bumps and irregularities called slubs which are part of its unique charm.

The humble silkworm is blissfully unaware of its importance to the natural fabric industry. It is said that a Chinese Empress discovered a silk worm’s white cocoon after it fell into her tea cup. The Empress was a keen weaver and after noticing a strand coming away from the fuzzy object she began to study it more closely. She unwound the cocoon into one long filament and the rest is history. The amazing silkworm caterpillar feeds on mulberry trees until it is ready to pupate and then uses huge silk producing glands to spin a cocoon. The clever caterpillar adds a protective gummy protein to the thread which makes the silk cocoon rigid.

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The Chinese Empress had accidentally discovered a way to remove this hard coating and release the fine silk thread….immersion in hot water! Or in her case a cup of tea! The Chinese kept the source of this beautiful, natural silk thread secret for well over one thousand years. There were many speculations and theories but the penalty for sharing the secret was death!”

We love the contrast between dupion silk and our solid iron poles so if you would like some help combining the two we would love to hear from you.

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If you are thinking of restyling a room and your window needs a curtain pole we can offer some poles immediately. For that desperate rush when one needs to get a pole fast we can now offer you a variety of express pole kits.
Express poles
You can now order the same handcrafted quality in a pre-defined size, shipped to you to arrive within 48 hours if you are in the UK. This is ideal if you decide to do a quick make over for those short notice visitors!
hot cannonball
The packs feature our popular Cannon Ball or Button finials in 1.2 metre, 1.5 metre or 1.8 metre lengths complete with all brackets, rings, fixings and a pictorial guide to help you put the pole up.

Please note that if you order at the weekend or on a Friday then your poles would be despatched on Monday to arrive with you on Tuesday.

Below is the Button finial curtain pole.
Button beeswax

We have been looking into how we can show off our classic wrought iron curtain poles to their best advantage. There are so many ways to dress a window space we have decided to go for a contemporary, subtle material to achieve a distinctive, luxurious look.

If big bold patterns are not your thing and you are looking for a cool understated look in your interior then you can’t go wrong with a good quality fabric with an interesting texture or pattern. For simplicity I love the Ishida collection from Designers Guild which has a large colour palette and a variety of textures, from a tweedy chenille weave to one with a lustrous sheen.
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For something with a bit of fun there is a playful dotted design from Harlequin fabrics – Artisan Embroideries collection – Bobbin. Shown below in Toast/Linen and Eggshell but is also available in bright raspberry/lime and turquoise if you want to be bold, it would look great with strong paint colours! The artisan quality would go perfectly with our handmade iron curtain poles and a Cannon Ball or Button finial.
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Layering your window fabrics can work well, we can make special brackets and poles to hold a light sheer curtain behind your main curtains. Harlequin fabrics has a range called Momentum Sheers and Structures II – Noa in graphite is particularly striking.
https://www.harlequin.uk.com/shop/fabric/momentum-sheers-and-structures-ii/noa/?code=HMOH131503
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We are always pleased to see any photos of the fabrics you have used or are considering using. So please do share your images and thoughts.

At Made by the Forge we pride ourselves in offering a proper, old fashioned customer service. We have many products available in a standard size and we also offer a custom made service if you need it.

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For example with our curtain poles we are able to make brackets at any projection to suit your needs. This is particularly helpful in old houses when the walls are not straight!

This is what one of our customers thought of our service:

“Made by the Forge makes a terrific handmade ironwork product and provides impeccable service. Richard is always available to provide advice and is very responsive to particular requirements. We were doing a major refurbishment project in Central London where each window needed poles and fittings adapted to particular tight fits and cornice situations, as so often happens in old converted buildings. Richard responded by making special fittings and finials; always quickly, efficiently, and at very reasonable prices. Plus this ironwork looks great with sophisticated fabrics. It would be a pleasure to use Made by the Forge again.” A.C. Chelsea, London

Hot bracket

We are thrilled that AC is thrilled and look forward to seeing some photos.