Curtains are no doubt an essential part of the home. The design and pattern of curtains change the outlook of the home instantly; they can add to the beauty of the home or detract from it depending on how they are used.
New curtains have no substitute; they give the home a fresh outlook and create warmth on cold nights. Good curtains tend to be a bit expensive, so you need to make enquiries before making a final decision.
Ready-made or tailor-made
The first thing to decide is whether to buy ready-made curtains or one made to your specifications. Ready- made curtains have the advantage of being quick, easy and readily available. However,having curtains made to your order and specification gives you room for flexibility and choice to pick and combine colours and fabrics to your taste.
Remember to always be generous with the fabric if you are making your own curtains. Make sure to confirm the measurements before final cuts are made.
Linings are as important as the curtain fabric itself, have your curtains lined. They make the room darker, creating more privacy. You can line the curtain in a bold glamorous satin, this creates an eye-catching finish when they are tied back.
A quality lining will give budget materials a longer lease of life. Choose thermal lining to keep out the chill in a draughty room, or interlining that provides an extra layer of padding to make curtains super-thick and cosy. For children’s bedrooms, blackout linings are perfect as they help to keep the light out; thus ensuring a good night’s sleep.
Get good quality, heavyweight fabrics like linen blends or woven jacquards. Over time, cheap material may go shiny. Transform a lacklustre bedroom by hanging beautiful silk or chiffon curtains, then complement with a soft fluffy colourful rug.
Flow with current trends. Eyelet styles look more elegant than traditional pencil pleat curtains and there are no hooks or clips to contend with. Pelmets are also back in fashion. A flat pelmet covered in silk looks surprisingly contemporary, the perfect choice for a formal dining room.
Swap traditional nets for voile
Voile is the modern alternative to dingy net curtains. Using panels of delicate patterned white voile help to make your windows always look good rather than having grubby net curtains. The current way to hang voile is in a crossover style.
Long and short curtains
Choosing long or short curtains depends on your preference, though floor length curtains look more stylish. Short drapes are good for bathrooms and kitchens.
Plain or patterned curtains
It is good to think about the kind of design or pattern of your curtains. Too many different designs can create a busy, distracting effect. To create a serene atmosphere, go for patterned curtains with plain walls, or vice versa. You can always dress up plain curtains with beautiful beaded tiebacks or coloured glass poles.
You can create a two tone-effect by combining two fabrics. The patterns do not have to match, but let the colours align. This helps to create a modern, layered outlook.
Tie curtains back from windows
Mounted on the wall, tie-backs allow maximum natural light into your room as well as being a decorative feature. Look out for beaded, glass or rope designs to add texture to plain curtains.
Choose similar shades to link rooms
The patterns or colours from a beautiful door curtain can be picked up in a rug in the next room to create a feeling of unity throughout a home.
Match curtain fabric to wallpaper
In a large room, choose a busy pattern for curtains and walls to make the space more welcoming. Subtle floral prints are ideal for bedrooms, however big, bold graphics in vibrant colours will simply overpower a small room.
Divide a room with a curtain panel
If you need to partition a large open room for a playroom or makeshift home office, you can use sliding curtain panels. They are cheaper than constructing brick walls and solid doors and they add style and beauty to the house.
- When buying a curtain pole, allow it to extend beyond the window on either side by 10-20 cm so that the curtains can be drawn right back.
- For a modern look, combine curtains with a roller blind that either contrasts or coordinates with the curtain fabric.
- Vertical striped curtains make low ceilings appear taller, choose them to elongate walls in low-ceilinged and small rooms.