With the festive season over and the house returning to normal, January feels like a prime time for some home improvement. Nothing major, just a refresh to zhuzh things up for the new year once all the decorations are tidied away and the presents have found their places to belong. One simple way to brighten up a space is to replace the curtains. No decorating required, and no furniture moving involved, which is perfect for this post-Christmas time of stillness and recharging. So, this week we’ve got the lowdown on how to choose the perfect linen curtains and give your home a little love without splashing too much cash.
How to choose linen curtains
- Work out what look you’re going for. Curtains that puddle on the floor create a traditional, plush effect. For a more contemporary feel opt for curtains that reach to the floor without pooling.
- Decide if you want to pick out accents from an existing colour scheme (like the walls or a bed throw, for example), or whether you’d like the curtain colour to dictate the rest of the decor. Think about how you want the space to feel – a bedroom might be calming and nest-like, while a sitting room could take bolder, patterned curtains that make a real statement.
- If the room is naturally very sunny avoid bright coloured curtains as they may fade over time if exposed to sunlight. Neutral tones are better here, and will work with a range of different colour palettes.
- Add accessories if you want to embellish your curtains, for example, use contrasting tie-backs or embellished finials to pep up an understated pair of linen curtains.
- Consider the ideal weight for your curtains: in a bedroom you might want thicker drapes to block out light and keep the room snug, but a sitting room may better suit breezier, lightweight curtains that let lots of light in.
- Enhance your space with clever use of curtains. Hang them a few centimetres higher than usual to elongate the walls and create a sense of greater space in a small room. Run curtains wider than usual if your windows are narrow and you want to give more depth to the walls.
- If you want to save money on cleaning costs, opt for machine washable curtains. Linen curtains can withstand gentle machine washing and can even sometimes be tumble dried, so you won’t be without curtains for long when cleaning them. Thanks to linen’s inherent dirt-repelling properties linen curtains also stay looking great for longer.
- Think about your budget. Custom-made, bespoke curtains are more expensive than off-the-shelf drapes.
- You might want to combine new linen curtains with blinds for extra warmth and light protection.
What type of curtain hanging do you want?
- Pencil pleat: These work with curtain poles and tracks and can support heavier fabrics such as thick linen or lined curtains
- Eyelets: For a contemporary look eyelet curtains give a polished feel and are great for patterned fabrics as they hang flat when the curtains are closed, revealing the whole pattern
- Tab top or tie top: These are more informal and are perfect for unfussy, minimalist spaces or a rustic, homely aesthetic
- Cafe curtain: Great for kitchen or bathroom windows where you need a bit of privacy but also want to let plenty of light in, cafe curtains hang over the lower part of the window and are usually made from lightweight linens and cotton fabrics
How to measure for linen curtains
- Measure your curtain track or pole, not the window, and ensure that this extends by 15-30cm either side of, and around 15cm above, the window frame.
- Calculate your curtain width: for eyelet and pleated curtains double the above measurement, and for tab tops times it by 1.5 to get the right width. Add 2cm if you want an overlap when the curtains are closed.
- Work out what length you want, according to whether you’re looking for a puddling finish or curtains that brush the floor. For floor-length curtains aim for a length that’s 1.25cm above the floor to enable easy movement and to keep the hems clean.
Armed with this guide, and plenty of inspiration from your favourite sources (whether that’s Instagram, Pinterest, design blogs or magazines), you can create a fab new look for your home with the simple addition of the right linen curtains. An interior revamp with minimal effort – perfect for the new year!