When imagining what ‘the perfect home’ looks like, we tend to dream up everything from the colour of the carpet to the type of countertops in the kitchen. And although those elements are important, way too often we overlook other equally crucial factors, like curtains.
Why do we make this mistake so regularly? Part of it lies in the fact that many homeowners are turning to other window coverings to get the job done, like blinds or shutters. Then there is the factor of ‘budget limitations’, which means that curtains are usually one of the first interior touches that are cut from the list.
But don’t forget that curtains can definitely go a long way in enhancing a home’s (and room’s) interior presence. That’s why they should definitely not be an afterthought or an impulse purchase – put just as much stock and planning into them as you would for living room sofas, a dining room table, and your bedroom’s headboard.
Of course we here at homify have a bunch of tips ready and waiting to help you choose the perfect curtains for your home, so let’s get right to it!
When it comes to speed and convenience, ready-made curtains are perfect. But take the following into account before dashing off to the curtain store:
• They are much more affordable than tailor-made options.
• You can buy them directly off the shelf and take them home.
• They are often washable, meaning they are very easy to keep clean.
• A decent range of colours and patterns are available, regardless of your interior style.
• Generally we are restricted to standard lengths (usually 136cm, 182cm, and 228cm) and set widths (from 130cm to 228cm).
• The finish is sometimes of lower quality than with made-to-measure options.
Always make sure you see what that curtains looks like unwrapped before you purchase it.
Are your home’s windows unusually proportioned? Then you may have to get curtains specially made to fit them.
• Tailor-made curtains can be made to an exact length and width to fit your windows perfectly.
• You can select any fabric, as long as the weight for the curtains is suitable.
• You have more freedom choosing how the curtain is attached to the pole or track (called the ‘heading’) to suit the room’s style.
• Quality lining will improve the way your curtains hang and their insulation.
• Complementing décor (like cushions) can be made to match your curtains.
• Tailor-made curtains are the more costly alternative (and you may need to factor in the cost of dry-cleaning).
• These curtains are not easily reassigned to a different window.
• Double-check those measurements, as mistakes will be costly.
How much light do you want to filter in or out of that room? If you’re picking curtains for a common area, like the living room, opt for sheer curtains that allow more light into the space. If privacy is more of a concern and/or you require less light for the room (like a bedroom or home cinema), go with a heavier fabric.
homify hint: For spaces that get a lot of natural sunlight, opt for curtains in a natural hue. Sunlight tends to fade bright-coloured curtains faster.
Don’t underestimate the importance of correct measurements to enhance the look of the room. Choose your curtains/drapes based on the following:
• Measure the height from rod to floor before hanging curtains. Remember to account for the height of the rings or hanging hardware and how much space you want between the curtains and the floor.
• When measuring the width of your window, consider how full you want your curtain to be. For a draped look, the curtain should be 3 times as wide as the window. For a tailored look, a good standard is curtain panels 5cm wider than the window.
homify hint: Hanging curtains or drapes closer to the ceiling can add height to your room.
When searching for the perfect curtains for your home, keep in mind that fabric choice is a vital factor. That’s why you need to determine how those curtains will function in the room before selecting the fabric.
Want a sunnier vibe? Consider a lightweight fabric like linen or cotton, which also adds a casual and airy feel to the space. For a more dramatic look, heavier fabrics like suede and velvet could be ideal. Remember that, in addition to blocking out natural light, heavier fabrics also ensure a more formal look for the room.
Finally, you can decide on the type of style you want your curtains/drapes to flaunt. Some ideas include:
• Pulling in a hue from the room’s colour palette with a solid or patterned window treatment.
• Going bold and making a statement with colourful and patterned curtains that grab attention.
• Enjoying a much more subtle style with neutral-hued and less-patterned curtains.
Lastly, when choosing curtains for your home, consider the heading and how it will affect the look of the room. The different options are:
• Eyelet: metal rings punched along the top of the curtain, which are threaded onto a pole. This style suits medium weight, unlined fabrics.
• Pencil pleat: a regular, pleated effect which is ideal for a formal style. Good for long drapes and light-to-medium-weight fabrics.
• Goblet pleat: elegant, large pleats form a cylinder at the top of the curtain. This type looks great on tall windows in heavyweight fabrics.
• Pinch pleat: three folds of fabric are pinched into a pleat at regular intervals, forming a regular, gathered effect. Suitable for medium-weight fabrics. The uniform gathering also makes it suitable for larger patterns.
It’s not just about dressing them up prettily! See our Window cleaning advice that really works.