Carol Burnett immortalized the humble curtain when she wore it, rod and all, during her infamous “Gone with the Wind” parody sketch. With so many styles, colors and lengths to choose from it can become a daunting task. Let's help simplify that process so your windows are the best dressed in town!
Begin by assessing the rooms function. If privacy is the main goal, then choosing a heavier fabric will ensure no one is peeking in. These denser fabrics are also great options for blocking sunlight. If sleeping in on a Saturday morning is your weekly treat, you may want to consider a lined curtain to really block out those early morning rays.
Cotton or linen allow natural light to filter through while letting you to enjoy the view from your window. These fabrics are also easy to maintain, which is a plus if the room sees many an active child or furry pet. If you are concerned with fading, a neutral hue will hold its color longer.
Now that you've chosen your fabric let's move on to length. You may see terms like brushing, breaking and pooling. Brushing means the curtain is slightly touching the window sill or floor. Breaking is when the curtain goes an inch or two on the floor. A curtain that drapes over the floor by more than two inches is pooling. Again, looking at the rooms function will help you decide on length. A well-used room may not benefit from large pools of fabric on the floor.
When measuring, start from the rod to the floor to get an accurate length. Don't forget to account for rings or hardware that may be used to hang the curtain. Many designers hang curtains close to the ceiling for the illusion of added height.
Generally speaking, you want a curtain to be a few inches wider than the window for a nice full effect. In the room’s you are seeking privacy or darkness you may want to choose a curtain that is 3X the width of the window to create a bigger barrier.
Now the fun part...choosing a material or pattern to complement your décor. If your furniture already has a pattern, going with a solid, complimentary hue is a good choice. Patterns and bright colors mix well in a room with classic elements. Make sure your material matches the other fabrics in the room. A light and airy room will not mesh well with wool or velvet. If you find a fabric you love, bring a swatch home and hold it up against the window to see how it looks in the light.
Pull the look together with fun hardware. Curtain rods that have a brushed silver or wrought iron finish can be charming. The addition of finials or using clip rings to hang the curtain add interesting details. A child's room gets an amusing pop when you use something out of the ordinary as a tie back, like a chunky necklace or pretty ribbon.
A great window treatment should provide a balance of function and beauty. We hope this guide will help you choose a curtain with confidence.