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Things to Consider When Choosing Curtains


Before choosing the correct fabric for you room it’s best to consider the position of the sun. North facing rooms can be dark and cold. Choosing white for the walls will lighten the overall effect but will not enhance the room. Light, warm shades are the best colours to choose, such as buttermilk, soft yellow, pale terracotta etc. This gives a light but warm effect. Fabrics in very sunny windows will fade so using silks in rich colours are not advisable.

Try not to choose strong, plain dark colours if you have painted your room in a very light shade. The contrast will be too great and harsh. It would be better to choose a patterned fabric with hints of darker colours. If you choose a silk or taffeta fabric, interlining will also create the best effect.

Make sure also that you choose the fabric that has the right scale to your window. Small designs, checks and stripes work well on a small window. Also textured fabrics also look good. For added interest on a plain fabric, you can add a co-ordinating trim along the sides and bottom.

If possible always go for long curtains. If you have a window with a radiator beneath it, then you can have a blind to close and dress curtains either side. Try not to have long and short curtains in the same room. For a more understated informal look let the curtains puddle on the floor. For more formal curtains use pinch pleat or goblet headings. With this more formal heading the curtains should hang just above the floor.

Double Curtains

Some windows require privacy all the time. The best way to deal with this is to have a double track above the window so that voiles can be hung permanently over the window and the main curtains on another track that can be drawn in the evening.


Windows can be too small or too big in a room and they might not be in proportion to the rest of the room at all. For example if a window is particularly low, curtains just above the window might draw attention to the problem. It would be best to set the curtains above the window as high as possible so the proportions were improved. If the window is too narrow for the room then set the pole to extend beyond the window. If the window is too wide for the room, use blinds or simply gathered curtains.

Valances can also help improve the look of certain windows. By setting them higher than the window you can make the window look bigger. As a rule of thumb, a valance or pelmet should be around one sixth of the finished length of the curtains.

For more tips and for a selection of designer curtain fabric click here.


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