Things to Consider When Buying Curtains

hen done right, your window dressings will strike the perfect balance between form and function. We want our window dressings to look beautiful and help us manage light, sound and heat within our homes.

With endless combinations of style, fabrics, colour and materials to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. To assist you make a good choice, we of Houseologists have come up with a guide of all information you need to know to pick the right window dressings for your room and measure them up without hassle.

01.Buying curtains and drapes – the difference
One of the most popular options for window dressings is curtains or drapes. The two terms have a tendency to be utilized interchangeably but, strictly speaking, there are always a couple of key differences between your two:

Curtains
Curtains are produced from lighter fabrics and are traditionally unlined. They could be custom-made or purchased prepared to hang and tend to be affordable than drapes.

custom drapes
Drapes are floor-length draperies using heavy fabrics and lining to add weight. They are simply traditionally reserved for more formal spaces such as a living room or dining room.

Fabric, colour and pattern are important to consider when selecting the design of your window dressing. The colours you select for your curtains or drapes will either help them blend with the décor or make a bold, contrasting statement. Accent colours and complementary tones can help pull together your palette, while bold colours will generate an instant center point.

When placing your order, select the exact width you want your panel(s) to cover. You’ll usually choose one of two options: side panels only or full-coverage panels.

Understanding fullness: It’s important to note that your custom drapes will be made at 200% to 300% fullness, which refers to the extra fabric that goes into the drape. For example, if you order a width of 24”, your drapes will be made with at least 48” of fabric and pleated down to get a 24” width. This gives the drapery a textured look and keeps it from looking flat when closed. However, you may want to order a smaller width if you’re concerned about having too much fabric.

Side Panels: Side panels are mainly for decoration, and provide less privacy. This style is not meant to close all the way, instead hanging at the sides of the window. To measure for side panel width, simply measure the width you need the panels to cover, and order at exactly that width. For instance, if you’d like your panels to cover 24″, enter 24” as your width. Side panels can also be collapsed to cover less space when desired.

02.Types of extra long curtains headings
The very best hem or heading of your curtains or drapes will donate to the entire look of your window dressing, so examine these carefully as well.

extra long curtains buying guide – curtain headings

Pencil pleats
Pencil pleats are the most traditional fitting – folds are gathered together closely and come in a variety of widths from narrow pencil pleats to wider, flat box pleats. Generally with this hem curtains are hung using curtain hooks or rings.

Eyelet hem
An eyelet hem offers a fold that’s typically wider and even more fluid, giving a much more relaxed, casual feel. Metal eyelets are hung from a curtain pole and are simple and durable – you can move them backwards and forwards with ease.

Tab top
Modern, relaxed and informal, tab top curtains include a row of fabric loops that hang from the curtain pole. It’s also possible to choose concealed tab top, where in fact the loops are hidden behind the curtains for better light absorption and heat insulation.

Box pleat
Box pleats give you a more tailored, masculine look – the pleat hem lies flat in a squared styling, creating deep folds that run the entire amount of the curtain. This style works particularly well with textured fabrics and comes in a single, double or triple box pleat.

Pinch pleat
Pinch pleats give a structured, tailored look – simply perfect for adding some elegance to a more relaxed space. The very best hem is gathered and pinched together within a, double or triple fold.

Goblet pleat
Goblet pleats are very elegant and formal however you like – pleats fall from rounded ‘goblet’ style folds that are stuffed to seem fuller and retain their shape whether curtains are open or shut.

curtain buying guide – types of pleat

03.Curtain fabrics
Obtaining the fabric right can be an essential part of choosing your window dressings – the fabric you utilize will have an impact not simply on the finished look but how well it’ll hold up as time passes. While we would think of curtains as more decorative now, they still serve an important purpose – think about what you want your curtains to do and let that narrow down your seek out the fabrics you utilize. Some of the most typical functions include:

Light control
Curtains or drapes are a great way to filter or block light in an area. A sheer curtain will filter sunlight and help generate a softer glow in your room, while much fabric will help block it altogether. Velvet, velveteen, corduroy or wool-blend fabrics will all limit light – for maximum light control, put in a blackout lining to your curtains to help with making them completely opaque.

Noise control
When you have an area that faces out onto a busy street, noise control is a priority for you. Choose curtains or drapes made with heavy materials like velvets and wools – anything fabric which could absorb and absorb water will continue to work well to soak up noise, too. Deep pleats will also help catch and absorb sound and provide better acoustics inside the area.

Insulation
Particularly in older homes, draft from the windows in winter can sap heat from an area. If you need your window dressing to provide extra insulation, choose something that covers the windows, extending well at night trim and draping on the floor. Heavy fabrics like damask, tapestry, velvet and suede are all good materials for blocking out drafts. Special thermal and flannel-backed linings will also help to make your room more energy efficient – a lot more layers you add, the warmer your window dressing will be. Interlining is another good option for insulation; here, an additional blanket is stitched between your curtain and lining to provide even greater heat and sound insulation, and can also help make curtains appear even more full and luxurious when hung.

curtain buying guide – fabrics

04.Buying window treatments
Blinds are a straightforward, practical option for your window dressings, particularly in busy spaces. They are less expensive, space saving and attractive; without the need for poles and are much better to fit in comparison to curtains or drapes. Blinds may also be adjusted each day for different levels of light and privacy – this is ideal for rooms that have a bright glare in the morning but a softer, more welcoming light in the afternoon or evenings.

Blinds and hard coverings are particularly suitable to kitchens and bathrooms where there is more humidity and condensation – they can withstand moisture, repel unfavourable odours and are easy to clean.

curtain buying guide – blinds

There’s a huge amount of choice as it pertains to blinds, and your decision will depend on the area, amount of space you have and what you would like them to perform. The most common include:

Roller blinds
Roller blinds are made from a stiffened, treated fabric and operated with a cord and spring mechanism. They come in a range of options – blackout roller blinds will block the light from entering an area completely and can be utilized either independently or behind curtains. Sheer roller blinds will filter light and add a hint of colour to your room, while daylight blinds provides a balance between the two, letting some light in but blocking out any harsh glare. Roller blinds are a few of the safest window dressings because they feature a spring release and extra material rolls away safely out of reach – exquisite for children’s rooms.

Venetian blinds
Made from wood or metal, Venetian blinds feature horizontal slats that may be tilted up or down to filter light, as well as raised and lowered for optimum privacy. They come in a variety of widths, from very thin to chunky and thick.

Roman blinds
Roman blinds sit flat when lowered and form soft pleats when raised. The pleats are kept set up by dowel rods and operated with a cording mechanism. Like roller blinds they come in sheer, daylight and blackout options.

Vertical blinds
Vertical strips of fabric can be tilted or drawn by using a simple chain control. Because they need to be suited to the precise specification of your windows, vertical blinds have to be designed to measure and come in a huge selection of colours.

Shutters
Shutters are hard window coverings which make it easy to customise light and offer extra security and privacy. You can choose full height, two-tier, half-height café style or solid shutters. Solid shutters will completely filter light and are great for large windows.

05.Window dressings
Measuring your windows effectively is essential to the success of your window dressings, so take time to take action carefully. The measurements you need be based upon the style of dressing you choose. Consider whether you want any finishing decorative touches to help complete your window dressings and add a little extra flare.

Curtain poles
Decorative rods are part of the room’s design and come in a number of styles and finishes, from polished chrome to light timbers.

Finials
If you’re going to make use of an exposed curtain rail in your room design, consider finials as well – they could be simple or ornate, and can donate to the design of your window dressing. A simple brass finial is ideal for a contemporary, Urban look, while a crystal finial can evoke a Chic and luxurious feel.

Tie backs
Decorative yet functional, tie backs are a quick fix way to include some drama and style to your window dressings. Using tie backs allows light to flood into the space and can help create a wonderful frame throughout the window. The tie backs you select can add the easy to ornate, and each will emphasise an alternative style – low-slung leather tie backs reinforce a straightforward, Chic look, while ornate, statement tie backs suit a Luxe look.

Pelmets
Pelmets conceal the most notable part of a window dressing and are made of short panels in matching or contrasting colours, fabrics and patterns. You can use them to include height to your window dressing or with blinds to create a finished look if you are short on space. You can find a large number of different styles to choose from: fabric pelmets, also sometimes called valances, will come in the same style as the curtains themselves – box pleat, double pleat or pencil pleat are just three popular examples and can be produced to hold straight or arched. Hard cover pelmets on the other hand, come in a number of different shapes from simple styles like straight or arched to more intricate designs like stepped, scallop edge or even moulded ceiling cornice pelmets.

curtain buying guide – window dressings

06.Curtain length guide – careful measuring
Measuring your windows properly is vital to the success of your window dressings, so take time to undertake it carefully. The measurements you will need depend on the design of dressing you choose.

For curtains
To measure for curtains, first determine how a lot of the window you want to cover – in general, curtains and drapes usually hang several inches above and also to either side of the window frame. If you curently have curtains installed, gauge the total width of the track or pole as opposed to the window itself. Add an additional inch for overlap when the curtains are closed. Next, decide whether you want the curtains to fall to the windowsill, below it, or to drape on to the floor. Sill-length curtains should finish half an inch above the sill – below the sill or on the floor depending by yourself style preference. See our curtain calculator to get more help.

For blinds
Blinds desire a much closer window measurement. Measure your window in the recess, taking into account the measurement at the very top, middle and bottom of the window. Decrease the width by 1cm for Venetian, Roman and roller blinds to permit for smooth extension. Then, measure from the top of the recess to the windowsill. For windows with out a recess, add a supplementary 10cm to the width of the window and gauge the length from the very best of the fitting to where you want your blinds to get rid of.