When it comes to fusing timelessness with contemporary, curtains achieve this delicate balance effortlessly.
In fact, they’re masters at manipulating natural light and able to instantly revitalise a space.
Just take a look at a room with custom-made, fitted curtains, compared with one that’s furnished with ready-made ones. The difference between the two is glaring.
With the ability to instantly change the ambience of a room economically, bespoke curtains also offer insulation traits. This means that your space will not only be beautiful and practical, but also functional and comfortable. As consumers in the 21st century, we’re looking to tick off multiple boxes in one-go, which our DIY curtains solutions will help you do.
Now when it comes to making the right decisions, it can get a little tricky. For some, it can be downright overwhelming and frustrating. There’s a lot to consider, from fabric opacity to length, colours, patterns and of course making sure it all matches with each other. And as with anything, it helps to break it down into bite-sized pieces.
Seeing as how you won’t be updating your window furnishings every two years, it helps to get it right the first time. So let’s find out how you can buy curtains online with minimal hassle.
1. Pick Out the Right Fabric
This is a good starting point for any window furnishing newbie. Fabrics are fundamental to the final result, so it only makes sense that you begin here.
Now when it comes to fabrics for curtains, there are two main categories you should know about:
You may have already guessed where we’re going with this, but we’ll explain anyway:
The first thing you should know about blockout curtains is that they offer great light and sound insulation.
These particular fabrics are designed with the sole purpose of keeping out light so they have a myriad of uses. For instance, do you need to convince your kids that it is indeed bedtime instead of 1pm? Hang these bad boys up and you’re golden. Or perhaps you want your baby’s nursery to maintain a nice and cool environment… blockouts can help.
They’re also incredibly useful if you’re a night shift worker and get your sleep during the day. When the rest of the world is up and about, this is the time you have to rest, so you should make sure you get it. Blockouts will help you do just that. They mean business when it comes to keeping out light, so you can enjoy uninterrupted sleep; especially during the weekends!
As a bonus, because they help block light out of a space, they also help regulate temperature. Less light means less heat, which is great for those warmer months.
Additionally, blockout curtains help maintain complete privacy, which means peace of mind at all times.
Sheers are the exact opposite of blockouts, and do nothing to block out light and insulation. However, they do a marvellous job of diffusing light ever-so-gently into a room. If you’re battling harsh sunlight in a room but don’t want to block it out fully, sheer curtains can help.
Sheer curtains are made out of soft fabrics, and most importantly are unlined. This is what sets them apart from blockouts, as lining is 99% the defining feature of blockout curtains. You can use sheers in a range of spaces, including four-poster beds, patios and sliding doors to name a few.
2. The Choice of Colour Can Make or Break the Look of Your Curtains
Have you ever thought about the detail in a room that makes you stop in your tracks?
It’s likely that you have.
Every so often, you walk into a space that takes your breath away. It’s more than just a room. It evokes something in you, and leaves a lasting impression long after you’ve left. You go home and you can’t stop talking about it. Then you call up your friends and tell them about it and then think about using this inspiration for your own home. Motivation and energy creep in thinking about this new makeover.
That’s the power of interior design, which in turn is dependent on window furnishings. Curtains, for their part, have always played a main role in this world and will continue to do so.
Choosing the right colours is key when deciding on the right curtains for you. Different shades of colours all give off a different feel and ambience, so there’s much to play with. This is actually the fun bit, where you can let your imagination run wild and experiment with design options.
Like any window furnishing option, curtains work best when they blend with the style of the room. The colours you choose are naturally a big part of this especially as they’re what you first see. For this, ask yourself what you want to achieve with your curtains. What kind of statement do you want to make?
Do you want the curtains to match the walls exactly? Then something with a neutral tone will do the trick. Think off-whites, creams and light beiges. Or perhaps you want a sharp contrast instead? Or maybe you want them to match specific details of your décor like your cushions for instance. Then something with colour will do nicely.
In saying that, it’s also important to remember that bright colours are more prone to sun damage over time. While you won’t see your curtains fading in a hurry, it’s something to bear in mind. However, by the time this actually happens you’ll likely be wanting a new makeover anyway!
As a tip, if your room is already busy with patterns, we suggest opting for more plain colours to balance it out.
Have a browse through our options, and discover the beauty of our blockout curtain collection.
3. Selecting the Ideal Length for Your Curtains
You now need to think about how to hang curtains. We’re typically used to seeing curtains just stretching the length of a window/ door without really paying attention to it.
However, thinking about the ideal length is an important part of the process. It helps your curtains drape the way they should. Think of it like tailoring the hem of a pair of pants. You don’t want it too short, but too long won’t do either. It’s the same thing with curtains.
When it comes to where you want to hang your curtains from, you have some options:
Standard/ Floor length:
This is the length most tend to opt for. All you need to do here is measure the distance from about 6 inches above the window opening. These curtains come to about ¼ inch off the floor. They help create a cleaner, more streamlined look overall and work for most rooms.
If you want to create an illusion of length, then hang your curtains a little higher than the standard length. This could mean hanging them down from closer to the ceiling or just below the cornice. This is a great option for smaller rooms that need to look bigger. Some also like their curtains to ‘puddle’, which means letting them pool onto the floor.
These are shorter curtains, and work well with smaller windows that aren’t floor length. They typically reach around 4 inches below the windowsill, and are great if there are cupboards or radiators below.
If you’re adding curtain rings, then take this into consideration for your measurements as well. Additionally, if you measure the length wrong, you can always use your curtain rods to make up for it. Simply adjust their placement to your desired curtain height.
4. Measuring the Width of Your Curtains
Now we know how to measure for the length of curtains, let’s look at width. This is equally important, as the coverage this provides will help eliminate any light gaps. So you want to be sure they frame your windows well.
For standard width, the typical rule of thumb is adding 4-8 inches to both sides of the window. If you want your curtains to have a fuller look, you can look at adding perhaps an extra 2 inches. The trick is to utilise as much wall space as you can.
5. Trims and Accessories
It’s time to personalise your curtains and make them your own.
There are a range of options at your disposal, thanks to trims, accessories and heading styles. Headings refer to the way curtains gather at the top, determining their style.
Banding and trims can be added to the top, bottom, and sides of your curtains. They complete your curtains with a decorative flair, and add a splash of colour as well. You can choose to match them to the colour of the curtains, or the overall interior design look.
If you want something more subtle, choose something that complements the curtain fabric. Or you can opt for something bolder with a dramatic colour contrast.
Your curtains can also pair well with accessories like pelmets and tiebacks to pull the look together. Let’s take a look at them below:
Pelmets have the ability to refine your curtains, with a sophisticated finish to them. They’re best described as a framework that’s placed above your window, and do more than just hide your curtain track. They help with insulation, keeping convection currents at bay. They also look very similar to a valance.
These seemingly insignificant accessories are anything but. They say the devil’s in the details, and it’s very true here. Tiebacks are not just practical, they’re also decorative. You can use tiebacks to pull back your curtains for a more formal look and an instant change. For best results, ensure they’re made out of the same curtain material so they match.
Every curtain needs to have a great heading, and this is usually sewn according to different styles. This is important because they have a direct impact on the style and practicality of your curtains. Aside from how it looks, the heading style also determines how it drapes and of course how it gathers when drawn to a side.
Here are a few of the most common heading styles out there:
Double Pinch Pleat
Pinched in groups of two, they’re then tailored to your specifications. They’re designed to stack neatly on the sides, and give the curtains a classic look.
These pleats are flattened, making for a smart, tailored appearance. They pair well with silks and plain colours for a minimalist look. They look great for blockout and sheer curtain combos.
With regular pleating across the top, these pleats are gathered more closely together. They work well with most types of fabrics and designs.
Triple Pinch Pleat
Offering soft, neat finish, they look less busy, and are well-suited to blockout curtains in particular. They also look more decorative than their double pinch counterpart.
This is one of the most popular heading styles when it comes to curtains. Like the name suggests, the heading follows an ‘S’ shape along the length of the track.
This soft, continuous wave creates a simple yet elegant look. There’s no mess or fuss, and they work well for contemporary designs. Sheer curtains in particular look like a dream when paired with an S-Wave fold.
6. Select Fabrics Based on the Maintenance Required
Curtains can be the perfect finishing touch to any room, so long as you measure correctly and select the right fabrics. As they’re simple panels of fabric, before they undergo their transformation it helps to be precise for the best outcome.
Keeping your curtains clean and fresh will also help maintain them over time, and also contribute to a hygienic environment. Curtains are magnets for dust, and moisture can create mould and mildew. While this isn’t a regular occurrence, ensure you maintain consistency when cleaning them. Overall, curtain fabrics aren’t too hard to clean.
The easiest way to touch-up between cleans is with a vacuum. Just use the special brush head which typically comes included, and run along the curtain. This will help get rid of dust, and if you need to remove a spot, simply spot-clean with a fabric-friendly solution. Sometimes, just water will do. And for when you need to give them a thorough cleaning, simply pop them into the washing machine. Just make sure to use the right cycles!
We hope you learned something about curtains and that the process is now a little easier on you. We have covered all the main topics, but if you still have questions and need assistance, our team’s here to help. Come explore the widest range of custom-made blockout curtains with us. Our goal is to fit you with the perfect, custom-made curtains so all you need to worry about is enjoying them.