A Guide To Buying Curtains

17th May 2022
A Guide To Buying Curtains

Homeowners who want to update their house can make a big difference by simply changing the curtains. Before you begin looking for styles and designs for your home, here are some things to think of first.

1)   Type of curtain tops

Give some thought about what type of curtain you want – most commonly, pencil pleat, tab top or eyelet? Pencil pleats are great for light fabrics as they gather a lot at the header for a casual look. They require lots of curtain hooks though, so be prepared to replace these when they fall off.

Tab tops fit on to the curtain pole themselves, letting more light into the room, as there is a gap between the top of the curtain and the rod. This is great for an informal look, and means homeowners can do away with curtain hooks or rings.

Alternatively, you might like eyelets that can also be hung directly on to the rod, but look smarter and more contemporary than tab tops. These also create wide regular pleats.

2)   Blackout or not?

Whether you choose a lined curtain that has a blackout effect will depend on what room you are fitting them. It is a good idea to have blackout curtains in bedrooms, for instance, as these shut out as much light as possible. However, you might want a lighter curtain in your lounge or hallway.

3)   Right measurement

Before you purchase your new curtains, it is essential you look for the right size. House Beautiful states the trick is to measure the length of the pole and make sure each curtain matches this number. This ensures you have enough material to create a gathered, pleated look when they are open.

The majority of curtains are available in 117cm, 168cm or 228cm. However, if your window frame is wider or narrower than these, you might require made-to-measure drapes instead.

It is also essential you get the right drop, as a curtain that is too short or too long looks completely out of place in a room that is otherwise well-designed. Do this by measuring the drop from the curtain pole to just below the sill or 1cm above the floor. The rod should be 15cm above the window, with typical ready-made curtains available with drops of 137cm, 182cm and 228cm.

Windows with radiators below should have a curtain that finishes between two and three cm above the radiator so it does not block the heat coming into the room.

4)      What kind of pattern?

Choosing the style of curtain can involve a lot of thought. It could bring a room to life, or you might want the rest of the room to do the talking and leave the curtains simple.

Livspace recommends looking at the rest of the décor for inspiration, saying: “If all the other soft furnishings in the room are a solid colour, going with printed curtains can be a popular choice. The opposite holds true as well.”

Don’t overpower the room with too many contrasting prints, but it also important not to keep the area too plain either.

Take a look at our selection of ready-made designer curtains here.