When renovating the home, there are many aspects to consider, from colour schemes to furnishings. But one element that should not be ignored is your curtains.
Whether you’re renovating the entire house, or just dressing the living room for autumn, curtains are one of the crucial pieces of decor that can set the tone for the room. From light and breezy to substantial and ornamental, from solid colours to prints, from sheer fabrics to heavy opaque textiles – the possibilities are endless.
With the huge range of options for tracks, fabrics, and accessories, making the right choice can be daunting. We have a look at a few tips to help you choose the right curtains:
1. Difference between curtains and drapes
The first step is to determine what your room needs. Often, homeowners choose curtains, drapes, blinds, and shades without really knowing the difference between them. This means you could be unintentionally interfering with the amount of natural light that the room gets.
Curtains are fabric panels made of light materials and hang from curtain rods. They are mostly used for privacy purposes, making them perfect for living rooms. Whereas, drapes are made of thicker materials that are made to block out sunlight, making them ideal for bedrooms.
2. Pick out the right fabric
The material of the curtains will play a crucial role in the look of the curtains and consequently the overall look and feel of the room. From sheer lace to lightweight cotton, medium weight brocades to heavy velvet, there are so many options to pick from.
Consider these two factors when choosing your curtain fabric:
• The amount of sunlight you want streaming in
• The mood and décor of your room. For example, heavier fabrics suit more traditional rooms while sheer fabrics work best in more minimalistic rooms
Keep in mind that each fabric falls differently from an elevation and therefore will look different when pleated and drawn back.
3. The choice of colour can make or break the look
The colours of your window treatments should be in sync with the rest of the furnishings in the room. You may want drapes that match the decor, or perhaps you may prefer them to contrast with the room.
If you want the curtains to be the focal point of the room, pick a colour that contrasts with the furniture, decor, and walls/
4. Choosing between prints and solids
If the furnishings in the room are solid colours, then patterned curtains can be a popular choice. This also holds for the opposite - patterned furnishings and solid colour curtains.
Remember that prints add visual weight to any elements. One way to work with patterned curtains is to pair them with solid colour furniture that has been accessorised with patterned cushions, rugs, and other pieces of decor. Quirky prints and geometric patterns work well in contemporary spaces, while florals are better matched to modern classic and traditional decor.
5. Selecting the ideal length
The current trend is for curtains that fall exactly to floor level. You can create a sense of drama with curtains that allow a couple of inches to puddle on the floor. Family houses with children might be better off with curtains that are a couple of inches short of reaching the floor.
For smaller windows, it may be a solution to end them at the windowsill, but full-length drapes can still work very well.
6. Measuring the width
The ideal width of your curtains depends on the width of the moulding of your windowpane or door. One way to arrive at the ideal width is to measure the frame and multiply it by a factor of 2/2.5. The extra fabric helps accomplish the gathered look on the sides when the curtains are drawn back.
7. Trims and accessories
From pull-backs and valances to ornamental curtain tracks fixed on the wall above the window, there are many trims and accessories available. They can be very cleverly accompanied with light drapes that add richness and grandeur.
A valance is an excellent way to add embellishment to your room, while simple pull-backs and a lack of decorative trims can make fabrics such as velvet or satin appear chic and sleek.
8. Picking between lined and unlined curtains
If your curtains are hanging on a window that receives direct sunlight, then a protective lining can help prevent the fabric from fading as quickly, and help make the curtains last longer, as well as help control the light that floods the room, as well as privacy levels. However, adding a lining will make the drapes heavier, so choose carefully!
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