Take time to choose the best curtain treatment for your home. The right choice will not only enhance the windows but turn an ordinary room into a really special place.
When it comes to choosing curtains, there’s not end to the different treatments and finishing touches on offer, in an exciting range of styles and fabrics. With so many options available, the key to success is to approach the task methodically.
Consider the style, size and shape of the window, and what you want the curtain for. Are they simply decorative, or must they also keep out drafts? Should they be pulled back off the windows to let in light and frame a view, or is the scene outside better hidden?
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 too, its proportions and what it is used for, and the other soft furnishes. Do you want thecurtains to be a focal point, or convey an understated elegance? Though lined curtains drape well and provide better insulation that unlined, easily laundered unlined curtains may be more practical in a playroom or kitchen.
Once you have sorted out your initial thoughts, work through this checklist to help you choose a curtain style that suits your needs.
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:
Hung from a pole or a track?
With or without a valance, pelmet or swags and tails?
Lined or unlined?
Combined with sheers or blind?
Sill-length curtains work well in cottage style rooms with recessed windows, or with horizontal windows in modern homes. Curtains should barely touch the sill. Below sill length can look untidy when drawn back. Use a tieback or curtain hold back to drape them attractively. If you have a radiator under the window the curtains should be finished just above it.
Then, 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.