By Erik J. Martin, CTW Features
Your home’s windows are vital elements that let in natural light and help seal your home from the elements outside. But window treatments are just as essential, as the right types and materials can guarantee privacy and shade as well as make an aesthetically pleasing statement. That’s why curtains remain popular among many homeowners today versus blinds, shades, and shudders.
But it’s important to select the right curtains for your needs, dimensions, and preferences.
“Curtains play a crucial role in the overall look and feel of a room. The right curtains can add warmth and privacy to a space, while the wrong curtains can make a room feel cluttered or uninviting,” says Young Kim, head of design for Awning.com.
Good candidates for new curtains include homeowners who are looking to update the appearance of a room, add privacy, or block out light.
“Homes with large windows or sliding doors may also benefit from the addition of curtains,” Kim adds. “On the other hand, those who prefer minimalistic decor or who already have adequate privacy and light control may not need to invest in new curtains.”
It’s probably time for new curtains if you are moving into a new home or if your existing home has been recently redecorated or redesigned with new paint, furniture, area rugs, or other features.
“Your older curtains may contrast your new color scheme, which is why buying new curtains may be recommended,” says Natalie Meyer, principal designer at CNC Home & Design in Cleveland.
Certain factors need to be considered carefully when choosing curtains for your space – whether it be a living room, bedroom, study, or another area.
“First, think about the length,” says Eli Pasternak, an interior designer with Liberty House Buying Group. “I prefer curtains that are a little long. The curtains should slightly touch the floor to give a luxurious finish to the space. Curtains that do not touch the floor give an incomplete look to the overall space.”
Secondly, give thought to the fabric.
“I recommend investing in fabrics that are flowy and easy to maintain. For example, cotton, satin, and linen are easy to clean and maintain and give a handsome finish that looks absolutely chic,” Pasternak continues
Other fabric options include synthetic materials like polyester and nylon.
Additionally, ruminate thoroughly on the right color.
“I personally love neutral-toned curtains. For example, beige, cream, and greys go well with many types of interior decor,” he says. “These colors can be paired with a variety of paint and wallpaper options.”
Also, weigh the pros and cons of different curtain styles, including panel curtains, valances, swags, and tiers. And think carefully about curtain patterns, which can range from solid colors to intricate designs.
“It’s important to choose a style that complements the overall aesthetic of your room,” suggests Kim.
To properly measure for curtains, begin by determining the desired length. Then, measure the width of the window and add additional inches to allow for overlap on either side.
“When hanging curtains, use a sturdy curtain rod and install it at the appropriate height based on the size of the window and the desired length of the curtains,” Kim advises. “Avoid selecting curtains that are too small or too large for the window, as this can disrupt the balance of the room.”
Placing the curtain rod a few inches higher than the top of the window can help your room feel larger, “so be sure to account for those extra inches in your measurement when deciding which curtain length is best. You can always have them hemmed if needed,” says Meyer.
Lastly, keep in mind that some curtains may contain higher emitting materials like urethane and vinyl, which could create an odor and cause respiratory irritation.
“Check with the manufacturer that they have conducted tests or certifications for volatile organic compound emissions from their products and learn about the materials from which the products were made,” says Scott Laughlin, program manager for the Retail and Consumer Products Group at UL Solutions. “Look for reputable third-party certifications and labels – such as Greenguard Gold, which indicates low chemical missions.”