If you’re looking for something new for a room in your home, a decorator will tell you that one of the biggest things that makes rooms is curtains. But you have to choose them correctly. When you’re looking for window treatments, you have to think about fabric and color, lining and length, and custom or off-the-shelf. With a lot of decisions to be made you could feel overwhelmed. So here are some tips that you can use to help you with finding the curtains that are right for you.
Color & Fabric
Fabric is one of the essential parts when you are choosing curtains, because the curtain’s material is going to dictate the way that your curtains are functioning and holding up as time passes. If the curtains are overly heavy, it’s possible they’re not going to crisply fold when they’re drawn. If they’re really light, you may discover they’re not falling well.
It’s a good idea to hold different fabrics up to windows even when you’re at the store. Pleat the fabric accordion-like at its top and allow it to drape. If it begins flaring like crinoline, it won’t fall nicely on your window. The sample you work with should be a minimum of two yards since smaller pieces might not display the true drape of the fabric.
Keep in mind, too, that the fabric is going to be faded by the sun as time passes. If you’re putting the curtains in a room where there is a lot of light, don’t buy something with a bright color. It’s likely to fade much faster. The only exception to this is if you’re someone who likes to change your room often, since it won’t fade as much. Neutral colors are a great choice, since they don’t fade as quickly and they’ll blend in with your room’s décor more easily.
When you are considering material, linen, faux silk, velvet, and silk are all great options when you’re looking for curtains since they will usually hang best. Faux silk is very durable and it won’t deteriorate as quickly as natural silk.
There are some fabrics that can help with keeping out cold. A lot of hotels use velvet, tapestry, tweed or suede since the fabric’s weight helps with blocking light and keeping the heat in. But if you have a material that you like and you want to use it, you can interline it with something called a bump. This material helps with lining the curtain and it’s thick and insulating. Interlining the curtains, which means putting fabric in between the curtain’s face fabric and lining, can also help with prolonging the curtain’s life. If you use silk and you don’t line it, the silk will rot. Interlining and lining is what will give your curtains fullness and body.
Length & Lining
Before taking out your tape measure, determine the height above your window you want your curtains to start. When you hang your panels higher than your window, it’s going to give your room some feeling of height. A designer will often hang the curtain approximately half a foot above a window’s frame. However, if you want a look that is more dramatic, you can go even higher.
Take your measurements from your window’s top, plus however many inches above the window you want to go, to your floor. If you want a look that is more traditional, with your curtains puddled slightly on your floor, you want to add 2-3 inches to the length. For a look that is crisp and modern, have your panel go right to the floor.
When you’re measuring your window’s width, make sure you’re adding 4-8 inches on each side and double your total number. This will ensure fullness of the curtains. This will help you avoid blocking a lot of the windows when they’re open and the curtains aren’t going to get in your way.
If you’re planning to use your curtains to block the sunlight, the additional inches around your window’s perimeter also will help with blocking out any of the creeping light.
Custom Versus Off-The-Shelf Window Treatments
There are a lot of benefits to having custom-made window treatments. They can be customized to your window’s dimensions and give you a look that is tailored. There are a lot of design options when you are choosing custom curtains, from the header style to the material. With these kinds of options, however, you’re going to find that the prices are a lot higher.
If you can’t afford having custom curtains made, it’s a good idea to choose curtains that are high quality. The price will be higher than other retail options but the quality is going to be higher.
Washable Versus Dry Clean Curtains
Figure out whether you want to be able to wash your own curtains or you want to have them dry cleaned. This is going to save you money and time. Remember that high-quality curtains can be ruined if you try washing them in your washer rather than having them dry cleaned.
Online Versus In-Home Consultations
If you are unsure of what types of curtains you should have for your home or you want a professional opinion, you can ask a professional. There are some companies who offer consultations right in your home and save you multiple trips to the store.
You also can work online and snag some suggestions from the designers that have online services for interior design. They are going to pair you with some professional designers who can help you with picking out the ideal curtains for a room. Then you’ll get a shopping list. When you choose the items, they’ll be sent right to your home.
These are the things to consider when you are looking for new curtains for any room. The right curtains can enhance your décor, can add to your room’s overall look and can also block out light and help keep your room warm. Just find the right ones for your needs.
Need Help? Talk to An Expert!
Claudia Leah is the owner of Decorating Den Interiors. A native of Germany, she’s worked as a interior decorating specialist since 2000. Claudia offers interior decorating services many areas of Southwest Florida including Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, and Marco Island.