It’s time to shed light on the importance of a well-styled window. These treatments can make or break a room’s aesthetic.
And, if you don’t know a few simple rules, choosing can can be a pane. Not only are we talking about the array of components including size, color, texture, etc. This also includes where and what they should hang from.
With so many options, how do you choose? According to the experts, there are a few basic guidelines to help narrow down the options, and select the ideal curtains for your home.
Choosing Window Treatments: Measure the Drapes
With a few adjustments, a well-dressed window can add both height and width to any space. Which is why first and foremost it’s important to properly measure and record necessary dimensions of the wall prior to making any in-store purchases.
Like trousers, high-water curtains come off as nerdy and old-ladyish. More often than not, your drapes or curtains need to hang at least 12 inches above your window frame. By getting the length right, you will not only add height to your space, but allow for extra light. Basically, floor length is nearly always the way to go, unless there’s a pretty good reason not to.
For example, for a more tailored look, drapes should hang about half-an-inch above the floor. These fit in best for spaces requiring the constant opening and closing of curtains, such as your bedroom. Or use café curtains on a windowsill in spots like the kitchen and bathroom, where long curtains aren’t practical.
To make sure panels look full, and drape effortlessly when closed, make sure there is a combined width of 2 to 2 ½ times the width of the window. Or, when measuring the width, add four to eight inches on both sides, and then double the total number to create fullness.
An exception to this rule is if you don’t intend to ever shut them. If this is the case, feel free to round down to 1 ½ times the width. Or, if working with pleated panels, which already have built-in fullness, their width should nearly always match the span of the coverage.
Choosing Window Treatments: Don’t Spare the Rod
It is important to consider how and where you hang your curtains. Typically you will use a rod.
A decorative curtain rod should always go with the style of the room. Those hidden from plain view can be selected based off of function alone.
The classic rod style includes an adjustable pole, typically with ornamental end caps. These attach to the wall with brackets, and come in double-rod versions if you are looking to layer with sheers. Just make sure the metal matches the other room finishes.
For spaces requiring light blockage, such as the bedroom, consider a return rod. These adjustable, U-shaped rods screw directly into the wall. This allows panels to wrap around the curved sides, providing an extra layer of window coverage. An added bonus? They also come in a double-rod style for layering.
A track rod is also a great solution for rooms requiring more lighting control. Drapery hooks attach to the pulleys inside of the track. All moving parts are concealed inside the pole, and allow for curtains to glide back and forth effortlessly.
If you are looking for both easy and cheap, a tension rod is your best bet. A less-sturdy tradeoff, it still does the trick by adjusting to fit inside a window frame without any need for hardware. It primarily can only hold lightweight panels or café curtains.
As far as the length, most experts say a one-inch wide curtain rod is your best bet for keeping a simple, classic look. Make sure to mount the brackets on the wall above and outside the crown molding. Or, if you have a detailed window frame worth highlighting, an inside mount can work.
Choosing Window Treatments: Raise the Curtains
Consider your curtains to be an instrumental factor in determining the uniqueness of each room. Each room deserves its own separate treatment.
Make sure your curtains compliment the rest of your furniture in the room. Believe it or not, along with the floor, ceilings, and wall, furniture comprises the four major elements of a room. Of these four, only one can stand alone as a star. Meaning, if you have a plush velvet couch don’t go overboard with matching curtains.
When it comes to the texture of your curtains, look at the mood of the room. For example, for a formal space, you can use a heavy silk or velvet. Both are dry-clean only and insulators, meaning they are less practical and therefore work best in rooms with less foot traffic.
For rooms with more traffic, go with rayon or cotton blends. These are most often washable, and provide a crisp, neat, practical feel. You can also go with season-less wool or wool blends, or linen. However, these are less-practical in the sense they are typically dry-clean only.
Choose a color based on the purpose of the curtain. For blending, go with curtains that are a few shades darker in tone than the wall. Or, try to match it with a less-dominate color in the room, like a light-grey accent chair. A bold color is great for adding flare to a room. Just keep in mind the color of the curtains can overpower the room if unlined.
Choosing Window Treatments: Getting the Hang of It
To summarize, window treatments can make or break a room. Always choose wisely, and never skimp on specific details.
Most importantly, make sure you’re investing in what’s right for you. While these are great guidelines to follow, they aren’t hard and fast. Always go with your gut, especially when styling small or tricky spots. And, ultimately, don’t rule out their general purpose of treating light, noise and temperature of the space.