Bored with your living room? Bedroom need a refresh? Living in a rental and desperate for a new look? If you find yourself wanting to make some changes to your home for the new year, but have limited time and budget, we've got the solution. New curtains (or drapes for our Stateside friends). Nothing brings a room together quite like curtains can. They set the tone of an interior, whether you want cosy or elegant. They can make a statement or blend seamlessly into the background. Here's how to choose the right ones, and breathe some new life into your interior.
1.Colour and Pattern
Consider whether you want to completely remodel your room, or just introduce a fresh feel to what you've already got. If you are working with the existing wall colours and furniture, you can either choose to match your drapes to an element of what is already there, or add some contrast with an entirely new colour or pattern. You might want to pick out a colour in a rug, or add a punch of yellow against your grey walls. You can tone down a busy wall pattern with plain curtains, or go all-out pizazz (see below) and add a contrasting pattern. For a whole new look, make the curtains the starting point for your interior colour scheme and build your design around them.
And your choices don't stop there: you can combine drapes with blinds, and again contrast colours and patterns or go for complementary window dressings. You can hang two or three different curtains (if your windows are large) in contrasting patterns - one plain and one patterned on each side can look stunning.
Factor in the possibility of fading due to sunlight when deciding on a curtain colour, as some may fade substantially. A neutral palette may work better if you are worried about sun damage.
(pic courtesy of decoratedlife.com via Style Carrot)
2.Position and Length
It is vital to choose drapes that are in proportion with your room. Long curtains on small windows look weird, but if you want to add height to a room you can hang your curtains higher than the window top. Decide whether you want your drapes to hang so that they just skim the floor (a contemporary look), or whether you like them longer and finishing in a 'puddle' (a more traditional, elegant finish). This image below shows a perfect 'puddle' effect.
(Image by kind permission © Tiffany Grant-Riley of curateanddisplay.co.uk)
You don't have to hang drapes at all the windows. Check out this beautifully light and airy room below, which has two undressed windows and a larger window dressed with a lightweight curtain.
(pic via designmom.com)
3.Weight and Thickness
To choose the perfect curtains for your room you need to consider the function of the space. In a bedroom you want thicker drapes that will keep out the light at night and keep in the warmth. If you plump for a lightweight drape you can also use a blind to add light protection and heat regulation. This allows you to let in just enough light for your liking, adjusting which you use according to seasons - sometimes the drapes will be enough, other times you might want to hunker down more. Adding a curtain track can help keep out unwanted light.
Bathroom curtains should provide privacy but work best when in a lighter fabric. Dainty embroidered linens look really pretty in a bathroom and will allow light to filter through during the day.
For the living room you can play with texture and weight, and again combine blinds with drapes for flexibility. These are probably the curtains your visitors will see most, so choose carefully and you can add a real 'wow' factor to your home for very little expense or trouble.
Kitchen drapes need to be able to withstand steam and heat, so no silk here! Linen makes a great choice, and is machine washable so you can get rid of any cooking smells or stains. You could create a gorgeous rustic look with linen curtains and a matching linen tablecloth or tea towels.
4.Finishes and Headings
The headings and finishes you choose can contribute to the overall look you are creating. For an elegant style go for pinched or pencil pleats, or if you are after something sleek opt for eyelets. Rod pocket headings are fuss-free and great for a minimalist style. Tie-tops are charmingly informal, and look great on kitchen or bathroom windows. A pelmet or valance can add texture and interest - choose a contrasting colour or match your curtains, depending on the look you want. You can also add a border along the bottom or side of the curtain in a slightly different shade. Tie-backs are timelessly classy and can really dress up simpler curtains, or create interest by tying the curtain in the middle of the window, as below.
So, there you have it: all you need to give your room a refresh and create a new look by just choosing the right drapes. And excitingly, we will soon be launching our own range of luxury linen curtains, so you can bring some more LinenMe beauty into your home (more here soon!).
If you are feeling crafty and fancy whipping up some simple curtains of your own, check out this post. For more ideas on decorating with linen, try here. Window Treatment Guide: Tips and Advice from the Experts try here