How To Choose Curtains

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Curtains can break or make the look of your home. It will definitely reflect the interior of the home, so, one should be careful while selecting them. To help you figure out best, here are some of the key factors which you have to consider before purchasing the curtains. Let’s have a look on them.

1. Fabric Material:

The construction material will serve various purpose beyond decoration. In general, the thinner material used for sheer or semi-sheer material whereas thicker material used for semi-opaque and blackout curtains. So, depending on your requirement, you have to select the material.

  • Cotton – It is a popular option for various applications. It is a semi-sheer, which let lot of light while providing a moderate level of privacy. It is easy to clean and comes in different styles that makes it versatile and viable choice for any room.
  • Linen – A bit heavier than cotton and maintain an easy, casual vibe. They allow moderate level of sunlight and also, provide a better privacy protection. This cloth is a bit difficult to clean when compared with cotton. It won’t be a perfect choice for dusty environment why because its rough texture attracts dust.
  • Velvet – It is the best option for those who are looking for privacy. It is a heavy material to keep out the drafts and reduce the outside noise. Suits best for the bedrooms (especially for light sensitive sleepers) and creates dramatic effect on windows. It has to be cleaned professionally, as it is difficult to clean fabric.
  • Silk – It is a soft, beautiful and luxurious fabric that mostly used in classic and contemporary style curtains. It is semi-sheer and let a limited amount of light yet provides a better privacy protection. It is difficult to clean and may require professional help for its cleaning.
  • Lace – It is a sheer material that creates a bright, light and airy window treatment. It provides less amount of privacy by letting most of the light into the room. One can use this lace material in living rooms, kitchens, or any other room where you want to get a lots of light. In some cases, the lace is paired with heavier fabrics to create a versatile window treatment.
  • Burlap – The texture & look of this material is similar to linen but a lit heavier weight than linen. It is a plain and casual that allows minimal/no light and thus provides a better privacy protection. It is easy to clean fabric and looks great in casual applications.
  • Synthetic – This synthetic material is popular fabric. It is cheaper to produce than natural fibers and also has same look and feel as natural one. It is easy to clean and a best option for those who are looking for a cheaper yet easy to clean curtains.

2. Curtain Patterns:

The patterns of the curtains are also essential to consider. For this, you have to check the rest of your room décor to match. They are printed patterns and solids available for curtain patterns to look attractive and stylish.

  • Solid Curtains – It is a safe option that won’t involve much of pattern and design. So, in case, if you want to blend with the room décor then choose colors that are darker than walls. The solids are popular in all types of curtains, mostly in casual and modern styles. They will create a soft, clean, and harmonious look in your room.
  • Printed Patterns – If you have patterned furniture or wallpaper in the room, then choose this patterned curtains with small, neutral prints like circles, stripes, checks, dots or floral designs. The prints will add visual weight to any element and also best pair with solid colored furniture. Prefer to use florals for traditional décor and modern classic, whereas the geometric patterns and quirky prints will suit best for contemporary style space. For modern look, choose curtains with stripes and geometrical shapes. The vertical stripes will make the ceiling of the small rooms look taller. Cotton, lace, linen, velvet, synthetic or burlap works well.

3. Curtain Length:

It is essential to consider the length/size of the curtain before its purchase. For exact window curtain length, you have to measure the top of the curtain rod to the bottom of the window / floor. For a crisp look, choose curtain 1-inch above the ground. Want the curtain to touch the floor then go for curtain 2 – 3 inches below the ground. Add 4 – 6 inches to curtain length to make it puddle on the floor. Here are some types of curtains as per their length.

  • Sill – This sill length curtains are perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, and smaller windows. They hung in such a way that curtain ends even with the window sill or simply just above it.
  • Apron – The Apron length curtain will elongate the look of windows. They are suitable on smaller windows. They hung a bit higher than actual window and this extended curtain length by several inches below the sill will make it look attractive. When closed, this curtain make the window look larger than actual one.
  • Floor – The floor length curtains are best option for floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors. They suit perfect for small – large windows which are rarely or not opened to create an illusion of floor to ceiling windows.
  • Puddle – These are extra-long floor length curtains. They are several inches longer than the actual window size, just like train of a wedding dress. It suits perfect for those who are looking to create a romantic or dramatic window treatment.

4. Curtain Styles:

The room which you’re decorating will decide which types of curtain suits best. Take a look at some of the different curtain styles available in the market.

  • Casual – These are popular in bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms, as they lend themselves to easy vibe. They often feature grommet, eyelet or tab top attachments and also rarely used with valance.
  • Classic – Popular to use it in any room and they often used with valances and additional accessories to create a full window. They often seen in design styles like country, classical, and bohemian styles.
  • Contemporary – They are available in shades of earthy and grey tones, which are inspired by nature and sometimes brighter and bolder colors are used. They often feature rich textures and provide a sophisticated look, which is not overly styled or pretentious.
  • Modern – They incorporate metal with eco-friendly materials. The solid colors are popular with this modern curtains, abstract elements or bold patterns with clean lines. The modern curtains will create a stylish and attractive appearance in any room.

5. Attachment Style:

One has to consider the way curtain attaching to the rod before purchasing it. Depending on the style you want you have to select certain attachment styles.

  • Rod Pocket – It has been sewn into the top of curtain. Simply feed the curtain rod through curtain and out the other side of pocket. Popular with a valance and suits best in cotton or linen fabrics.
  • Grommet & Eyelet Pocket – This style has large eyelets in the top of fabrics, which are reinforced with grommets to move freely on curtain rod. Popular in modern or contemporary styles. It suits best for light & medium weight fabrics and it will add a flourish of style in valance.
  • Tab Top – Here the fabric loops are sewn into the top of the curtain. Simply, the curtain rod hangs through loops or feature decorative buttons. Popular in casual or contemporary country styles.
  • Hidden Tab – A cross between tab top and rod pocket curtains. Here the tab hangs the curtain and fabric on top is pinched pleated to add a level of style. Use these curtains either with or without valance. Popular in contemporary or traditional country styles.

6. Opacity:

For different applications and rooms, you have to select different opacity curtains. For instance, consider factors like privacy, not letting natural light into the room, or offer any additional features. Here are some opacity curtains, you have to select as per your requirement.

  • Sheer – It is thin, semi-transparent fabric that allow optimum light passage to provide your room with an optimum light during the day, even the curtain is closed. They provide least amount of privacy and this type of curtain is popular in living rooms or dining rooms. If added liner to this, then it is a perfect choice to get privacy and view of other side. It is suitable for ultra-modern interiors.
  • Semi-Opaque – It is a blend between blackout & sheer curtains. It allows some natural light into the room but provide a better privacy when compared with sheer curtains. Popular choice for any application.
  • Blackout – They allow the least / no light to enter into the room when they are closed. They are made with heavier weight material and has built-in linings. They provide the most privacy, which makes it use in bedrooms, living rooms, or any other places where you want to keep out the natural light.

7. Ideal Width:

For a neat and gathered look, always choose the curtains with exact width. The width of curtain will depend on the width of moulding of your window pane or door. To get an ideal width, one has to measure the frame and multiply with 2. Here the extra fabric will help to accomplish the sides look whenever we draw back the curtains.

A general rule is combined curtain width should be double than curtain rod. For instance, if the curtain rod is 56-inches long then you need the curtain width of 112-inches (56X2). In case, if the width of the window is 56-inches and a curtain with 60-inch is not enough, as it looks flat without much gatherings.

8. Curtain Types:

Choosing the right designed curtain will not only transform your décor but also controls natural light and provide privacy. Here is the list of different types of curtains that help you to narrow down the curtain styles you have to choose for your room.

  • Pelmets – Pelmets let you hide curtain fixtures at the top of window or door and make it look appealing. They made with plywood shape and covered using decorative fabrics. Used on big hall with less furniture or long and lengthy multiple layered curtains. This will take attention away from curtain fixtures and thus make the room look beautiful.
  • Panel Pair – It comes with two separate curtain panels and one can place the curtain on either side of window. Popular in contemporary or classic styles. They can be tied back to create a symmetrical look.
  • Single Panel – Here, one panel will cover the entire window and this can be pulled to either side for opening. Popular in casual or modern styles.
  • Window Treatment Set – This set comes with everything that includes 1 – 2 curtains, valance and some accessories like curtain rod and tiebacks.
  • Valances – They are installed in kitchens and bathrooms, as they cover the uppermost part to avoid direct rays but allows plenty of light. This valances are softer in appearance with pleated heading.
  • Window Scarf – Similar to valance, a long thin piece of curtain fabric that hung from the top of the window. They create a dramatic look to your window. Perfect choice for bedroom, as it adds soft look and romance.
  • Liner – It would be an add-on to the curtains. For instance, a liner added to sheer curtains to have more privacy and less light allowance. Also, they offer other features like thermal insulation and noise reduction.

9. Color:

Color can make or break the look of the room. The color of the curtains you choose should either harmonize with décor or contrast with it. For example, choose color that complement the shade of your walls / furniture for a pleasing look. Or else, select a curtain’s color that contrast with furniture and walls for a focused look.

The color of curtains will fade away quickly if placed in the room where it gets a lot of direct sunlight. So, it is suggested to use light or pastel colors. It is less noticeable in case, if the light color fades when compared with dark or bright color fades.

10. Lining:

Lining will depend on how much light and air you want to let into the room along with the privacy. For instance, Faux silk curtains with best quality lining will make it look better and attractive. The protective lining will make the curtain opaque, fade it slowly and last longer. So, to grab the flexibility of selecting the amount of light and privacy you want, then opt for two layers (1-sheer & 1-opaque) for curtain. The lining also makes the curtain heavier. Choose them wisely.

11. Readymade or Tailored:

If you want to purchase a readymade curtain with standard dimensions, then you have to put a little effort to have tailored it that suits perfect with your exact dimensions. When it comes to tailored curtains with better quality stitching and also choose/inspect the material quality of curtain and customize it as per your requirement.

12. Machine Wash or Dry Clean:

The fabric material of the curtain will determine how it should be cleaned or how often it needs to be cleaned. In general, the curtains should be washed for every 3 – 6 months.

  • A few high-quality curtain fabrics will have to be only dry-cleaned or else they may get damaged. So, you have to spend some extra money on its maintenance. The curtains with stitched pleats & swags or fabrics like wool, sheer and silk curtains have to be dry cleaned and require high maintenance to retain its shape and colors.
  • Curtains made with low maintenance fabrics like cotton, synthetic or linen will definitely save your money and can be easily machine washed at home for 2 – 3 times a year. Also, they are durable and lasts longer without spending money on dry cleaning.

If you’re prone to dust allergies, then vacuum your curtains on weekly basis. So, low maintenance fabrics is a great option for those having dust allergies, pets or kids at home.

13. DIY or Expert Consultation:

Everyone should know the basic tips like color, length or style while buying the curtains. In case, if you’re not confident or unable to find the right curtains for your home. Then simply consult an expert designer to get an advice on how to select the best curtain that suits perfect for your home décor.

Want to do it yourself then simply take the exact measurement, purchase the fabric color with proper length, and lining and finally, customize its tailoring. Although, it is a time consuming process but it helps you to grab a detailed information on curtains, which help you in future.

14. Trims and Accessories:

Generally, the curtains when tie back will spruce up the design. So, you can either tone them down or dress them up. The trims and accessories will add richness and grandeur. For instance, valance (a decorative fabric) will enhance the beauty of the room when placed on the top of the window. Or else, the fabrics like satin or velvet with simple pull backs without any decorative trims look stylish and glossy. It all depends on the effect you want to get in your room.

15. Texture:

Choose curtains based on the mood and style of the room like formal, modern, relaxed setting or traditional look. For formal, opt for silky or velvet curtains and for casual style, go for cotton or crinkly crushed velvet. Cotton is easy to wash and suits best for all kinds of home décor.

16. Energy Saving:

One of the benefit of using curtains is its energy saving property. We go through hot summers, cold and wet weathers around the year. So, choose curtains with heavy lining to insulate the room. They reflect the heat from sun and prevent heating up of room during summer and insulate the room in winter. Also, the partial lighting from curtains will not let you waste electricity on room lighting.

17. Density & Thread Count:

Curtain’s density is essential to know before its purchase. It should be either heavy, moderate or thin dense, which depends on your choice and type of room you’re using it.

  • Thin density curtains are transparent and can’t block sunlight effectively. In general, there are used in conjunction with heavier curtain to provide privacy.
  • A moderate density curtain will block out the sunlight partially and suits perfect for kitchen and living rooms.
  • The heavier density curtains will not allow / block the light entering into the room. Suits perfect for bedrooms and living rooms.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is the difference between curtains and drapes?

One should know the difference between curtains, and drapes before treating windows to know the amount of sunlight or airflow to get into your room. Curtains are made with lightweight fabric material and hang from curtain rods. They used mostly for privacy purpose and suits best for living rooms. Whereas the drapes are made with thicker material used to block out sunlight, and make it ideal for bedrooms.

2.Is it essential to consider the type of room before purchasing curtains?

Yes, you have to purchase curtains as per the room type, why because, they serve different purpose and you have to use different curtains for every room. Here are some suggestions that help you in choosing the best curtain for your room.
Kitchen Curtains – The curtain should be short and light-colored like café style curtains, which allow both privacy and natural light. Cotton and linen are preferred due to its non-flammable, non-absorbent and washable fabric.
Living Room Curtains – It is the place where family members spend most of the day. For this, use curtains made with linen, cotton, silk and sheer to provide natural light and fresh & airy environment into the room.
Bedroom Curtains – Choose light-blocking and fuller curtains with double layered to have maximum privacy. A thicker light blocking layer of curtain will isolate and make you feel comfortable in any weather. Cotton, linen, satin, silk, scarves, etc. will enhance the look of your room.

3.How to select the right fabric material for curtain?

Always choose the material that allow for proper ventilation and let the room breathe better. But it should not be heavy and keep dust away. Also, you should change the fabric according to the weather. For instance, light & airy linen, cotton or silk are most preferred for warm weather.
The material you choose for the curtains will change the tone of its design and look of the room. There are plenty of options like from sheer lace to heavy weight velvet, medium weight brocades or lightweight cotton. But one has to consider two main factors while picking the fabric – amount of sunlight streaming and the design suits your room décor. For instance, sheer fabrics suits best for minimalistic rooms and heavier fabrics for traditional rooms.

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