Monday, December 1, 2014

How to Choose Curtains

Sheer curtains filter light in a room.

Drapes can set the tone for a room, so give thought to their selection, instead of allowing them to be an afterthought. Your decorating budget is obviously an important factor in selecting window coverings. But you should also take into account how the curtains help meet your needs in any specific room and how much care is required to keep the curtains looking their best. Your family’s lifestyle is also a consideration. If you have young children, avoid any draperies that have cords which could become a choking hazard.

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Privacy Needs

The amount of privacy required in a room is actually of particular importance when choosing curtains. For a room that is primarily used throughout the day, choose a sheer curtain made of a lightweight fabric. For bathrooms or bedrooms, or even for any room where you desire a cozy feeling at night, choose curtains that can be attracted closed. Where you want lots of light during the day but privacy at night, install a simple valance supplemented by a window shade or blind.

Fabric Care

Take into account the kind of material from which the curtain is made. Heavy or ornate draperies made of luxurious materials, like silk or damask, may be beautiful, but they often require dry-cleaning, although these may be preferred for formal rooms or low-traffic areas. For easy-care curtains, select cotton or cotton-blend fabrics that are easy to launder at home. Pure drapes made of nylon or other man-made fabrics look dressy while becoming relatively simple to care for.

Windowpane Exposure

A window’s exposure, or the direction it faces, affects a room’s mood and temperature, and should be taken into account when choosing curtains. A room with a north-facing window tends to be dark, so you may prefer curtains or a valance that simply leaves much of the window open to allow in maximum light. Windows that face southern and west get the most sunlight, so consider mounting curtains that can be attracted during the hottest part of the day. Using lined and insulated curtains to keep away both cold and heat can help save on energy costs.


Determine design for decor or tone for a room and choose curtains that are in keeping with which mood. Cafe curtains are casual and are especially attractive in kitchens or even breakfast nooks. Ruffles tend to give a room soft, feminine appeal and work nicely with country-style furniture. Simple panels, especially those hung with ring videos, impart a more contemporary feeling and work with practically any decorating style. Ribbons or linen panels softly filter light while adding elegance to a space.

Color and Pattern

Consider how the curtain fabric’s color and pattern connect with other fabrics and colors that already exist in the room. When you shop for curtains or even curtain fabric, you may wish to take along paint chips, carpet swatches or little cushions as you compare fabric choices. Remember, too, that the curtain color might look different when placed in a window. While pale colors tend to dissipates light, dark colors block it. Hold up the curtain in direct sunlight to verify if provides the desired effect.

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