Every home has a room – or two – that needs that elusive ‘something’. Perhaps it’s a room that feels small, dark or simply uninviting. We often think about changing paint colours, floor coverings, furniture, or even taking more drastic measures. But the truth of the matter is that most rooms can be vastly improved with a smart choice of window furnishings.
Your windows are a focal point, a large area of colour and design, an opportunity to introduce complements or contrast, textures and light. Designer curtains or blinds should be one of the first things to consider when you are setting the tone for a room, so let’s take a look at some tips to help guide you to happiness in creating a room revolution of your own.
Have you thought about designer curtain length? You can run them down to the floor of course…and you might choose to run them even longer. Length effects drape, and drape can bring varying degrees of softness and texture.
How about light? For an open, airy look, linen or sheer curtains are a great choice, giving you control of soft, diffused light while maintaining your privacy. And never forget that if you want the best of both worlds, you can always add a blind behind your curtain sheers for complete blockout when you need it.
Many homeowners lean towards designer curtains and curtain sheers with muted colours and there’s nothing wrong with that, but never forget that your curtains are also a perfect canvas through which to make a bold statement with eye-catching patterns and colours. This makes the most sense when you consider your designer curtains as a backdrop and a centrepiece for your room, something deliberately chosen to draw the eye. And the bonus is that carefully chosen curtain sheer fabrics have a personality that changes in subtle ways as light is filtered through them.
Forget about gaps – they tend to make a room look small. Go with floor-to-ceiling designer curtains for a look that will help add height to your room while also creating a cleaner aesthetic without that old fashioned short, boxy look. Pay attention to details like the header of your curtains, too, and go for an effect that’s neat and streamlined. Fussy details bring clutter and can downsize the feeling of a room, so choose the cleanest look you can when you’re out to create a feeling of spaciousness.
Too many homeowners overdress corner windows and create a space that feels small and dark, when in fact windows in a corner are a great opportunity to welcome light into a home. To get the best result, treat each window individually, with its own pair of designer curtains and rod. Be careful with your curtain rods though – make sure that the rods for each window are set at the same height, and remember to keep gaps between brackets wide enough to avoid a look that could otherwise seem cluttered or messy.
You could be excused for not having heard of a ‘lambrequin’. Think of it as a pelmet that also extends down the sides of your window. If that sounds like a frame to you, then you’re on the right track. A good custom designer curtain and blind manufacturer will be able to build these to suit your windows and the effect, especially when used with blinds such as Roman Blinds, is absolutely dramatic, focusing attention on the area and bringing a real ‘centre stage’ look to your window.
If you’re decorating a colonial or heritage home, going the extra mile with window valances really shows commitment to a look, along with an understanding of period décor at its opulent best. Like the lambrequins we discussed previously, valances can help frame a window, yet the aesthetic that they bring is more subtle. Valances look particularly beautiful in floral fabrics and when loosely gathered, offer a uniquely soft, heritage feel.
Some homeowners tie themselves in knots trying to perfectly match designer curtains to the colours of their existing floor coverings or furniture, never really getting happy with the choices available. The secret to finding a perfect pairing is to pick out only the key colours and go for as close a match as possible. Decide on which two or three colours stand out most strongly and then set about matching just these. When you take colour down to its basics in this way, you’ll be surprised how your eye ‘fills in the blanks’, and suddenly your curtains seem to be a perfect complement to that floral chair or colourful rug that’s a feature in your room.
When your room already features patterned wallpaper, the natural choice in designer curtains or blinds is plain and muted, right? Not necessarily. The ‘maximalist’ trend in interior décor today leans towards choosing a patterned fabric for curtains and blinds as well. And while finding the right pattern match for your existing wallpaper might be well-nigh impossible, choosing soft colours that are a good tonal match can make a strong design statement without it becoming overwhelming. A pro tip is to go with fully lined curtains so that natural light can’t shine through, creating a yellowed affect that can spoil your carefully chosen colours.
There are high ceilings, and then there are ceilings that simply look high. In rooms where windows are set well below ceiling height, a neat way to create the illusion of a ‘taller room’ is simply to have fittings well above the top of the window. This can be achieved with designer curtains, and with blinds such as Roman Blinds as well – with many designs there’s no need to set the top of the window furnishing level with the top of the window. Going higher will instantly bring the feeling of extra head elevation in a room.
Though it’s seldom an issue in modern homes, older designs can often feature windows of varying heights in the same room. This is another opportunity to create an illusion of extra space with some clever choices in how you fit your designer curtains. Where windows are high, set curtain fittings right up at ceiling height. Where they are lower, place your curtain rail directly above the top of the window, leaving the wall above exposed. This technique helps balance space nicely.
There are lots of default choices in home decorating and it’s often tempting to just go with the flow and be safe. But when you take the time to pay attention to the details of really beautiful homes, you’ll notice that their owners seldom take the colour-by-numbers approach, instead considering their decisions carefully and even making some daring moves here and there.
Your windows are the focal point of your home and can be used as the backdrop of your rooms, the canvas against which you create the rest of the picture. With some forethought, time taken over fabric choices and advice from an experienced consultant, stunning rooms can be created.