Finding Your Perfect Curtains
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As part of your interior design, curtains make fantastic window treatments. They add glamour and character to a room. The use of curtains in living rooms and bedrooms provide a cosy, warm and homely feeling.
However, there is such a wide choice of the styles and fabrics available for use in your curtains, that it can be hard to choose 'which curtains are right for my home?'
It can be overwhelming to decorate with window treatments. But once you have got the right size, design and fabric, your ideal curtains or drapes can transform a room.
Using curtains correctly can filter light, create privacy and add colour. Try to consider how functional your choice is to help you decide which curtain is right for you.
Read our guide below to help you get some ideas and inspiration for finding your perfect curtain.
Choosing curtains for your window treatments
Curtains are the best way of introducing a splash of colour into your home. Along with the impact of the colour and pattern, curtains also offer practical advantages.
Curtains provide privacy when you need it as well as offering a layer of insulation for your window.
Insulating your curtains with backing can keep your home warmer during the winter and cooler over summer. This helps you reduce heating bills by keeping the heat from escaping through the windows.
Whether your space is large or small, there are many ideas to consider which are only limited by your imagination.
By using lined panels, you can control the amount of light that is let into the room through the window. You can also opt for a cotton lining which produces a subtle glow through the curtains.
There are so many great ideas available when it comes to window treatments. An experienced interior designer can offer a solution to fit your room perfectly. Consider the pole, rod and additional products to create a stylish finish.
If you choose ready-made curtains you can create an instant update to your window treatment for a low cost. However, shop made curtains offer limited sizes and may not always fit your windows adequately.
The linings used in ready-made curtains are also often lower quality than custom made options.
Made to measure curtains
Bespoke curtains allow you to tailor design the colour, patters, material and style of your curtain. You will enjoy much more freedom of expression and also be assured of a perfect fit for your window treatment.
Made to measure curtains are especially beneficial for homes with windows of unusual window sizes such as a period or traditional building.
You will be offered a much wider selection of fabrics and additional features which can be custom designed to fit your space.
Do your curtains match your room design?
Adding curtains to a window offers a complimentary colour to your room. When deciding on your perfect curtain design, you need to think of how they will work with the existing interior design and colour scheme.
The choice of colour used in your curtains can have a significant impact on the visual appeal of your room. So it is important to request a fabric swatch before making your final decision.
Hold your swatch up against the existing furniture and make sure it complements the pillows, sofas and walls.
Sometimes, taping the swatch up to a wall and letting it hand for a period of time can help you make up your mind. Living with the colour for a few days can help you realise if it is the right colour for your home.
Remember also that colours will fade over time if exposed to extreme sunlight. If your window gets a lot of light shining onto it, avoid brighter colours which will fade quicker.
You should seek out a curtain-making service which has been recommended as an expert. They will have a trained designer that can measure your window and provide useful advice.
As each window is different, you can get information from a curtain designer as to the best features that would benefit your home.
Choose a colour that will last
Keep in mind that the curtain colour and style that you choose needs to last the test of time. For most people, investing in a new set of curtains is a costly purchase so you need to get it right.
Try living with a sample hanging up for a week or two. The light from your room may transform it completely to how it looked in the showroom. You may also get tired of the colour after living with it for a while.
Take your time to decide on the right colours and fabric. Once you have made the decision, you will not be able to change your mind.
Think about how your curtain will fit with the room in years to come. You may grow tired of a style or colour and want to update the room decor. How will your curtains look if the furniture or carpet is updated?
Speak with your curtain designer about the look that you want. It can be easy to think a piece of fabric is right for you, but then once you have it fitted, it does not fall right or look streamlined enough.
How to select curtain patterns
It is important to consider that the pattern that you choose for your curtains is suitable for your room.
There are many options available for patterns to pick from. So it can be helpful to limit your colour scheme. To choose a pattern for your curtain, select a hue from your decor. Use this as the foundation to choose the pattern for your window treatment.
The pattern that you choose will reflect your personality.
You can make a bold statement by choosing colourful patterned curtains. Alternatively, you can produce a more subdued effect with a neutral pattern that can work with a wider variety of room decor.
Patterns can transform the look of a room, making it look bigger or smaller than it actually is. Prints which are too big can have the effect of overpowering a small room. While if you go for a smaller print, it can often get lost and create a fussy look.
If your room design used coordinating patterns, try to match the background colour to that of your curtains. This will give a more complete aesthetic to the overall look.
What is the right curtain length and width?
The length of the curtains depends on the look you want to achieve from your window treatment. Curtains can be the length of the window or can reach the floor.
You can also decide to hang your curtains from higher above the window. By hanging panels higher above the window, you can create a dramatic look and the room appears taller.
With custom made curtains you will be able to get that tailor-made look. The fabrics will be cut according to your requirements to fit your window design perfectly.
For curtain panels that you buy ready-made, it is advisable to buy them longer than required and have them hemmed.
If you want short curtains, they should be long enough to brush the window sill.
A long luxurious curtain that pools up on the floor can look elegant and opulent. However, a curtain that just skims the floor can look stylish and streamlined.
The width of a curtain should be at least double that of the window. This is true even if you intend the curtains to be drawn for the majority of the time.
Which curtain fabric should I choose?
If a fabric is too heavy, the appearance when drawn will not be as crisp. However lighter curtains do not generally fall well.
To check the look of the fabric when pleated take a sample of at least 2 yards. Do this in the showroom before committing to a type of fabric.
Hold your curtain sample up to a window and fold it like an accordion. Look at how well the fabric hangs against the window. If the fabric flares out, it will not fall well in your home either.
The fabrics which hang the best tend to be velvet, silk, faux silk and linen.
Silk faded quickly in a sunny room, so a more durable fabric is faux silk which will not deteriorate as quickly. Silk also needs to be lined if you want to avoid it from rotting.
Velvet, tapestry, suede and tweed offer heavyweight to your curtains. These help keep light out and heat in.
Although luxurious, velvet may be too heavy for some spaces.
The use of wool provides heavy curtains which are strong enough to hold tassel and fringe embellishments.
You can use sheer curtains for a graceful look but they offer little in the way of privacy.
Tips for choosing the right curtains
Buying custom made curtains is an exciting way to upgrade your home interior. Below are some tips to consider as you decide which window treatment to opt for.
Add more light
Adding light to shared areas, such as a sunroom or living room is usually the preferred option. Choose sheer curtains for rooms which require more light. For rooms which have a lot of natural light, it is often advisable to choose a natural hue since they fade less in sunlight than brighter colours.
For bedrooms, hotel rooms and theatres, privacy and less natural light are usually preferred. Choose a heavier fabric to keep more control over the light and be used as blackout curtains for the bedroom.
When you measure your curtain height, take the distance from the rod to floor. Calculate the additional hight of the hanging rings or hardware. Also, be aware of how high you want the curtain to hang above the floor.
You can make your room look higher if you hang your curtains or drapes closer to the ceiling.
Lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen provide a more airy sunnier vibe.
For a more formal look, choose heavy fabrics such as velvet or suede. These will block out the light and add drama to the room.
Ask our soft furnishings expert
If you are ready to transform a room in you home, we can help. Our soft furnishing expert hand makes curtains, cushions, loose covers and Roman blinds in our onsite workroom.