19th century Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery used the following words to describe the beauty of the night sky, “Twilight drops her curtain down, and pins it with a star.” Though no home can boast of such a precious drape, beautiful curtains are essential for creating an elegant room.
Have you noticed how easily you can inject a fresh vibe into a room just by changing the curtains? Harness this power consciously and start using drapes as a major design element in your home. Whenever you are decorating your rooms for a festive or seasonal flavour, do not forget to change the curtains and create a stylish look. You certainly do not need to discard your old ones, just clean and press them before storing them away for a suitable time in near future. That's why today, we will share some tips for selecting the right curtains for your home.
Will you be jazzing up a sunny room or a dark one? Are the windows facing east or south? You may need to make special arrangements for rooms placed in eastern or western directions to shield off the light and prevent any damages due to long exposure to sunlight, and you also want to make sure that your choices are not going to create a gloomy atmosphere in an already dark room.
Next, consider the theme of the space. Are you decorating a contemporary living room or a rustic bedroom? Take care when you decide, because a hasty choice could result in distaster—for example, an opulent brocade curtain may look overly theatrical in a minimally decorated room. Take into consideration the type of windows and doors you are about to treat. When possible, design an entire set for each room. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to coordinate with the existing colour scheme and style later on.
Remember to bear in mind the colour scheme of your room when choosing your new curtains. Depending on your tastes you can choose to match, complement or contrast with the shades already present. However, ensure that your choices are harmonious with the overall style and shades of the surrounding.
A neutral colour palette dominated by shades of grey may warm up in the presence of lively shades like lime yellow, amber or apricot. But a room already soaked in a healthy dose of colour may prefer something more subtle. You can take inspirations from the prevailing time of the year, such as burnt orange and gold tones for autumn or light and airy pastel colours for spring.
Choosing the right material for curtains can be a tricky business. Expect to be at least a little overwhelmed by the availability of choices! This in itself is a blessing if you know how to prioritise your requirements. Cotton is organic, allergen free, easily washable and luxurious. For a bright and cheerful interior you can choose cotton-based chintz. Canvas is sturdy and capable of withstanding exposure to sunlight and rain. It is a preferred fabric for outdoor terraces and sundecks. For a more subtle look you can select calico. Linen is tougher than cotton, but is less pliable and wrinkles easily.
Dotted Swiss, lace and organza can be used in combination with heavier curtains or alone. Country homes can be decorated with toile curtains. Gracefully designed interiors would love the presence of Damask cotton, dupioni or velvet curtains. Tapestry and jacquard fabric looks gorgeous in any setting. These are also appropriate for festive occasions.
Curtain lengths can have a greater impact on the ambience of a room than you may have imagined. Pooling curtains are considered utterly romantic. These are types where at least four inches of the fabric pool the floor.
If you are using a luxe fabric like satin, taffeta silk or velvet then this is the style that you should aim for. However, you may need to arrange the drape everytime you open and close a door. If that feels inconveniencing choose curtains with floating length. They float slightly above the floor and in high footfall areas remain out of the way. For an informal setting, breaking length is considered more appropriate. Curtains at breaking length hover above the floor, yet still manage to look chic.
Curtains for kitchens have special requirements. They should be able to withstand smoke, dust, and suspended oil in air and moisture. Choosing a fabric that is reasonably low maintenance is highly advisable. Chequered gingham and striped ticking are traditional favourites for kitchen curtains. Though not considered an eco friendly option, synthetic polyester is easy to maintain and affordable.
When it comes to shower curtains, vinyl is not the only option. For a stylish bathroom, you can choose from an array of options including cotton, linen, denim, hemp, burlap and percale. Toile is also considered a good choice for bathroom curtains. You can rub beeswax on your fabric curtain to make them water resistant.
Blinds, shades and shutters offer some feasible alternatives to curtains. In some cases, they are also used with traditional curtains. With blinds, shutters or shades in place you can choose the right amount of natural light and privacy for your room. Compared to heavy curtains they are more suitable for keeping the sun out. Consequently they are favoured for east facing windows, covered balconies, terraces and conservatories. This bedroom uses shutters made by Appeal Home Shading.
Blinds are also useful for skylights where traditional drapes fail to work. For a sophisticated look, window shadings can be layered under curtains. For operational ease you can choose remote controlled shades or shutters. This is particularly needed for modern homes with large French windows or glass walls.
As you can see, the options for new curtains are are mind-blowingly vast. The most important thing is to have fun choosing your new drapes, and to view it as a creative exercise rather than a chore. Good luck!
Do not forget to check out our Ideabook about the various nightstands you can have in your bedroom!