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It's nice to have the opportunity to mix and match essential pieces of décor such as curtains and cushions to dress your home in various styles.
But finding the right style of curtains and blinds for your windows can be particularly challenging...
The right curtains can add dimension and depth to a room, making it seem clean and tidy. On the other hand, choosing the wrong type of curtains can make the room feel dark and smaller than it actually is and can also make your room look untidy and disorganised.
Depending on the type and size of your windows, there are a variety of different styles, lengths and textures available make the most out of your curtains.
Here is our comprehensive guide to choosing the right type of curtains for your windows, so your rooms will always look their best:
Before we delve into the nitty gritty of choosing the right curtains, we need to talk about functionality. It's very important to ask yourself what the purpose of the curtains will be.
Firstly, are you looking for a design that will block light from shining through in the morning, or are you simply looking for a decorative design?
If you are looking into getting curtains fitted in your bedroom it's worth investing in thermal blackout curtains that will protect your bedroom from sunlight and from changing temperature. Curtains with a thermal lining will help keep your bedroom nice and warm for the winter, but might not be such a good option for the warmer summer months.
Having lined curtains is advantageous from several other points of view. Lining protects the fabric from sun damage and will make your curtains last longer, whilst remaining vibrant and beautiful for a long time. It also allows curtains to fall more elegantly, creating a very luxurious-looking effect.
Secondly, if privacy is on your mind it might be worth investing in net curtains as well as blackout curtains. This will allow you to keep your blackout curtains pulled during the day and enjoy the natural sunlight while still being protected from curious neighbours' glances. At night when you need to put the lights on, you can simply pull your blackout curtains shut and enjoy the privacy!
Colour is a very important thing to keep in mind when choosing curtains for your home, too. Curtain colours can either complement the décor palette in your room, or, for the brave decorators out there, create a playful contrast effect.
Before you start looking at curtains, think whether you want them to blend in with the other décor in your room or stand out and add a pop of colour.
As a general décor rule if you have print and pattern elements in your room such as elaborate rugs or furniture, it is a good idea to opt for solid coloured curtains. Too many different patterns can look messy, whereas having the same pattern everywhere is outdated. Try choosing colours and patterns that match and complement each other, even if that means going for bright contrasts!
This is also a great way of adding personality to a rented property where décor tends to be on the plain side. Prints, patterns and colours can instantly make a room seem friendlier and will definitely make you feel at home, even in a rented property.
This is also a very important aspect to consider as it can drastically affect the style and look of a room. Depending on the type of window you are getting curtains for, the right length choice can make them seem bigger and create the illusion of light and openness.
Length is determined by the type of window you have, the room you want to place the curtains in (you wouldn't want floor-length curtains in the bathroom, for example) and also on your personal taste and preferences.
There are two ideal options for basic curtains in terms of length:
This is a classic look that is very useful if you plan on pulling your curtains open and closed a lot because they will basically rearrange themselves neatly afterwards. This style will suit most windows and is a timeless option that will suit most décor styles.
The advantage of choosing this length of curtain is that they look a little bit messy while still maintaining a very tailored and put together feel. This is a more contemporary look that adds a lot of style-points to your room, but is slightly more difficult to maintain. Because the curtains break at the floor it can be a hassle to rearrange them every time you pull them open, or when kids and pets play around them.
If your curtains are too short they will look outdated and out of place and if they are too long they will be very difficult to maintain, look messy and require constant rearranging and dusting.
The exceptions to these rules are small windows: kitchen curtains, valances and swags that are purposely meant to be short and only cover a section of the window can actually create a very elegant effect and elongate the window. Bathroom window curtains are also meant to be short as to not touch the floor and get damaged by water or steam.
Now that you've taken all of those elements into consideration, let's talk about window shapes!
Have a look at some of these styles: Red apple kitchen curtains, poppy curtains, red checkered curtains, light blue curtains. For any special designs or shapes and sizes consider investing in custom made curtains.
Small to medium windows
If your windows are short and rather small the best option is to have long curtains that break slightly at the floor hung a fair distance higher than the frame. This will create the illusion of a taller window. Try to aim for the curtain pole to be placed halfway between the window frame and the ceiling, but within reason! Don't hang anything at more than 8 inches above the actual window frame otherwise the whole display will look a little bit ridiculous.
As previously mentioned it can sometimes be beneficial to have shorter curtains on small windows (especially if the window is located in the kitchen or bathroom) but if you want the room to appear bigger or for a more sophisticated look longer curtains are recommended.
A good design idea that has recently become popular again is to combine floor length curtains with swags or valances for an elegant look.
If your windows are quite narrow, the main issue will be light: you want as much light as possible in the room. The perfect solution for that is to get some nicely tailored long curtains that are set relatively wide apart from each other. This way you can pull the curtains off the window fully but create the illusion that the window is bigger without compromising on sunlight! The curtains will hang against the wall and the window will be fully exposed.
Alternatively, if the window is not in a main area of your house such as the living room or the bedroom, having an hour glass curtain will add a classy touch.
With large windows the possibilities are endless! Most types of curtains would look nice on larger windows, but our favourites are overlapping curtains with voile swags or valances. These types of curtains really bring out the shape and make larger windows appear grandiose and create the illusion of space in a room.
Swags or valances go beautifully with airy long curtains that lightly kiss the floor and create a romantic look.
Another great idea if you don't like swags and valances is to choose purposely oversized curtains and hold them back with tie backs to create a rich draping.
If you have large windows in your bedroom, a good idea would be to invest in thermal curtains. This will protect you from the cold in the winter and make your sleep a lot more enjoyable!
Bay windows can be quite difficult to find curtains for because they don't come in a standard size. We recommend considering custom made curtains for your bay windows to make sure that they are a perfect fit! You can find the green tie back and other similar ones on our website.
Bay windows can be very tricky to decorate with curtains, but once done right the effect is stunning!
Our style of choice for bay windows is individual curtains for each window rather than large curtains to go all the way across all the bay area. This makes the windows appear bigger and can be very handy if you want to stop some of the sunlight from coming in without fully pulling the curtains.
Individual curtains also create a polished, put-together effect. Try alternating with swags and valances for a sophisticated romantic look, or with blinds for a more modern touch. If you're really brave, try playing around with different colours and patterns for a contemporary look.