Choosing Curtains

Breakfast Nook with custom curtains

When it comes to choosing curtains, there’s no end to the different treatments and finishing touches on offer, in an exciting range of styles and fabrics. With so many options available, here’s a checklist to help you choose the perfect curtains for your home.

Consider the style, size and shape of the window, and what you want the curtain for. Do they serve a purpose or will they just be decorative? Is it too bright in that room and you need shade? Do you need privacy? Do you want to keep out drafts? If privacy and insulation aren’t important, perhaps you can dress your windows by draping fabric over a pole, a simple and effective treatment if you don’t need to draw the curtains.

Think about the room, its proportions and what it is used for, and the other soft furnishes. Do you want the curtains to be a focal point, or convey an understated elegance? Though lined curtains drape well and provide better insulation than unlined, easily laundered unlined curtains may be more practical in a playroom or kitchen.

When choosing curtains it is a good idea to clarify your thoughts by separating off some of the different elements involved. Here is a checklist of questions to ask yourself, look through them, then read on for possible solutions and a fuller description of any particular effects you want to create:

  • What length?
  • Hung from a pole or a track?
  • Which heading?
  • With or without a valance, pelmet or swags and tails?
  • Lined or unlined?
  • Combined with sheers or blinds?

Then, it’s time to choose the curtain accessories. Gleaming metal and softly draped fabrics are a magical combination in a window dressing. In a traditional style, hanging the curtains from a brass pole or on metallic rings, or holding them away from the window with shiny brass knobs or brackets, called holdbacks, looks luxurious. For the latest in simple yet exciting window treatments, contrast the richness of softness of curtain fabrics against the ruggedness of iron rods. Draping delicate sheers over a matt black iron bar is very dramatic, and well suited to a modern decorating scheme.

Once you have sorted out your initial thoughts, work through this checklist to help you with choosing curtains that suit your needs. The right choice will not only enhance the windows but turn an ordinary room into a luxurious one.