7 Tips on choosing curtains for your living room
7 Tips on choosing curtains for your living room
Are you searching for new curtains for your living room? Don’t know the answers the curtain expert will ask you?
Curtains are a must have in any living room. But finding the right curtains can be challenging. There are many different types of curtains, many types of pleats, many textures, many prints to choose from and not all of them will suit your living room.
We often meet clients who have a specific idea but don’t really know any technical bits that come with choosing a curtain for your home.
In this blog I explain the 7 questions you might want answers on before entering the online web, curtains shop or interior designer.
1- Choose your style
First you need to know your style. Are that the heavy darker curtains that make your living room warm creating a cozy atmosphere or do you prefer the airy sheers more, letting light through creating a brighter living room?
Do you go for neutral colours, maybe with a linen texture that fits your earthy style, or are you going for bold prints with lots of colours to really make a statement.
You can find many ideas by looking on Pinterest, reading home decor magazines, watching Netflix series about home decor and of course, have a look at what your friends have done. (tip: don’t tell them if you don’t like their style)
When you choose your style, don’t immediately dismiss it because your furniture would not match.
2- Should your curtains match your furniture
Finding your style is one thing, but deciding if your style matches your furniture is something else.
If you like bold prints but your furniture at home is classic and calm, then choose a big print in a neutral colour.
Bigger patterns will look better on higher larger windows, so keep that in mind. For smaller windows you can choose a pattern that is slightly smaller too, so that the curtains are not taking over the room.
A colourful room does not also need colourful curtains, imagine the curtains being closed becoming a wall of colours too. Choose one colour or go for neutrals so that the focus is on the furniture. But..go on..if you do need more colour and prints, go for it.
When a client walked into our showroom, she thought she knew exactly what curtains she wanted, but felt overwhelmed when she could choose between 15 catalogues.
3-What are the different types of fabrics
There is no such thing as “THE curtain fabric”. There are many different types, textures and qualities.
Curtain fabrics can often also be used for upholstering sofas and chairs. In the past the curtains fabrics purpose was to keep the cold outside. Nowadays with central heating and double glazed windows, curtains fabric is becoming thinner and thinner. For upholstering sofas and chairs the purpose is that they need to hold up over time.
Thinner fabrics can be interlined with insulating felt material, still keeping the cold out and warmth in. You will find that lots of hotels are using this method. Interlining is a piece of fabric between the lining and the face fabric. Besides controlling the temperature, interlining also can prolong the life of curtains.
Texture adds visual interest to your room. It creates dept and an element of design.
There are 3 types of textures for curtain fabric:
The visual fabric is to be seen, not felt. You can have a bold print but still choose a flat surface. Jaquar fabrics also have a print, but the print is woven into the fabric and not printed onto it. Both are creating a visual effect.
The tactile fabrics are the ones we talk mostly about when we talk about texture. Velvet, wool, silks and linens. They are useful to use while chasing your style. You can imagine that the silk and velvet curtains add luxury to your living room and that wool is creating a warm atmosphere.
Silk is a style many like to use. But real silk is not suitable for long term use as it will deteriorate. In stead, use faux silks, they tend to be most durable.
The amplitude is the fold of the curtain. Sometimes close to each other attached to the heading. other times big creating large weaves. The fold creates big or small depth to your living room.
Choose your fabric first and then the fold of the curtain. Because not all pleats are suitable for all fabrics.
4- What are the different types of pleats
The pleats we find in curtains mostly are the following seven:
- Ripple fold
- Pinch pleat
- Tailored pleat
- Inverted pleat
- rod-pocket / pencil pleat
The pinch pleat is a decorative heading for curtains and suitable for all fabrics. Pinch pleat use more fabric and look fuller then a pencil pleat. A more informal style is the grommet, also called eye-let pleat. The grommet just like the pinch pleat suits all fabrics. For a more formal look designers use a goblet pleat of pinch pleat. Not all pleats are suitable for all pleats. A heavy thicker fabric will need a lot of space on the heading, sometimes many small pleats will simply take too much space on the heading.
How much fabric do you need? Don’t know?
5- Curtain fullness
Curtains can be flat or they can have fullness. Fullness is the extra fabric used across the width or sometimes height of the drape. Fullness provides a drape with a richer look.
When measuring your windows, you want twice the width of your window in order to create this fullness and have enough fabric to make the pleats.
For the length a designer hangs a curtain approximately 18 cm above the window frame. Hanging curtains higher will give a sense of height to the room.
For a modern look, let the curtain fall on the floor, a few mm above. The more classic look wants the curtains 6 cm longer.
6- Open and close the curtains
For living room curtains we advise to open and close them from the middle. This can be done manually or smart via your tablet or smartphone.
We would not recommend to go for a cord on one side that pulls the curtain open. It needs to be very strong because it needs to move a lot of fabric and besides, you might want to move your furniture around ones in a while and then you don't want to block the side were the cord is attached to the wall.
7- Do you need a sheer
Sheers are a light weight fabric that softening your homes lighting and adds an instant infusion of style into your interior decor.
Sheer curtains give you a measure of privacy, but are also well matched for a layered window treatment.
Adding multiple treatments onto the same window, can bring multiple functions. The first layer is usually the functional one. A sheer can keep the sunlight out of your room. The other curtain then is pure decorative.
In the picture you see our project in Arabian Ranches II and the owner choose to use only a sheer…it works beautifully.
It all comes down to finding what you like and talk to a curtain expert to find out if it works for your living room. With the above answers to the most asked questions I hope you feel more comfortable choosing your curtains that match your style, your furniture, your budget and that all your friends like what you did .. but hey..who cares its YOUR home!