From sustainable wooden Venetian blinds to smart home controlled fabric screens, window coverings are now available in an exciting plethora of styles and solutions. Yet none of them quite carry the special quality that well tailored, undulating curtains deliver. Perhaps it is the nod to a classical design history or the sensuality of the fabric, but their ability to change the mood in a room is still unparalleled. If adding their particular brand of decorating romance appeals to you, read our guide to help you find the perfect curtain fabric to deliver your dream drapes.
The scale of your chosen pattern influences everything, from the rooms focal point to its sense of proportions. A vivid, large-scale design such as Louis from our new Belleville collection (above) transforms this window into a show stopping focus, offering a sense of play and drama. This look is ideal for large windows where the repeat can be appreciated in all its glory. For a smaller window, a neater pattern is a better option, unless you desire a more painterly, abstract effect. A smaller pattern repeat will create a more refined look, even in bright or contrasting colours, as the colours blend and unify to the eye.
Into the blue
A limited palette scheme is an ideal way to create a study in colour. Here, using the 100% cotton Delta range (above) for both upholstery and curtains, the designer can explore the tonal range of this single shade. Although a plain, the stain resistant finish keeps the material looking crisp for years to come. The deepest tone here is at the window, and the dominance of this vertical stripe increases the sense of height in the room. A minimal tonal scheme also lends itself beautifully to some refined detailing, such as minimal brass curtain rings or rigid, sleek tie backs. It’s an effective way of keeping the look low key glamorous but also modern.
Drawing upon the bucolic appeal of the English Country garden, the linen viscose mix of our Arcadia collection (above) is suitable for both curtains and upholstery. This is a confident, slick way of decorating that works very well in small spaces that, due to limited room, are best clutter free. There is a playfulness in using pattern in this way, but make sure to pull out details with elements such as this bright piping to create contrast and form to ensure it doesn’t become a bland wall of similarity. And if you choose a paler fabric, consider a blackout curtain liner so your pretty floral bedroom curtains in your chic boudoir don’t also bring the dawn chorus.
Measure, measure and measure again
It’s easy to forget that the height of the windows it not the true measurement. How will they be hung? A pole with suspended curtain rings versus a track fitting that runs flush to the wall will require different lengths. And essentially, do you want the sumptuous pool of fabric that can make a curtain seem so luxuriant and sensuous? Ensure these measurements are folded into the overall length. Also consider the width when choosing fixings. If you want to enjoy an uninterrupted view, ensure the curtain rod is wide enough to allow the curtain fabric, when opened, to hang against the wall.
How a fabric will hang depends on several variables. Too thick, and you may not get the crisp folds you desire. Too stiff, and it will flare out rather rather than pleat. A lighter weight fabric can be given extra heft with a curtain liner and inter liner. A curtain pole paired with curtain hooks attached to the fabric gives a modern look and very deep fold. The airy scheme (above) features mid-tone Tango fabric as curtains, which stops the space being one note. Curtains, more than any window treatment, are made to create a focal point in a room.
Lined, fine quality handmade curtains are an investment that can transform any room. With this in mind, a more neutral palate could give your drapes a longer design life. Create interest with a delicate, textural weave, in a timeless tone. These Fable fabric navy curtains (above) are a strong design pillar in this elegant, bold design but they could easily work in an all white scheme of with other contrasting tones. This approach is worth considering when planning budget across any renovation, but also ensure you splash out on something a little bold to draw the eye, such as this chair upholstered in Uhura fabric. That way your design can combine both longevity and wit. The ideal design combination.
For more ideas on bring beautiful fabrics home, see our upholstery range.