Custom curtains and blinds are a big decorator decision. At a stroke, new curtains and blinds can change the mood of a room, making the space appear lighter, brighter, bigger, smaller, traditional or modern. It pays to make smart, informed decisions about styles, patterns, colours and how you install curtains and blinds in the context of your room and décor. We’ve set out a list of tips and tricks below to help guide your choices, and assist you in avoiding some classic mistakes in curtains and blinds.
You’ve been dreaming, planning and leafing through magazines, and now it’s time to make a change. A big change! It’s easy to get carried away when you have an amazing choice of fabrics in front of you and to ‘go heavy’, layering fabrics onto your windows. It’s easy to fall in love with luxury fabrics – especially heavy fabrics and textures – because they look and feel magic when you’re browsing through samples. But beware – a whole window’s worth of that same fabric might look too heavy, make the space too dark and give your room a stuffy, overdressed look. Speak with our professional Design Consultants before you throw everything at your windows – we’ll be able to show you how to use the luxury fabrics you love but still enjoy light in your home.
When you take measurements of your windows, you might have a ‘that’s enough’ moment and decide to have your custom curtains hanging well above the floor. While there might be some practical reasons for this choice, the result virtually always looks unfinished. A decorator rule of thumb is that curtains must touch the floor, or hang just a centimetre or so above it. And by far the safest way to be sure you have the right measurements for new custom blinds and curtains is to have our Design Consultant visit your home and do the measuring for you.
It might seem counterintuitive, but you can create the illusion that your room is bigger by making your windows appear larger than they really are. And that’s often as simple as hanging your custom curtains well above the window frame, as well as adding some extra length to your curtain rail so that your curtains extend out wider than your actual window. Don’t let your window size dictate the size of your custom blinds and curtains – go higher and wider, and you’ll be surprised how it can amplify your space.
If you’re not a custom curtains and blinds expert, it’s natural to want to simplify your approach to your windows and perhaps apply just one treatment. While on the face of it this can make a lot of sense, it can also severely restrict the versatility of your windows and limit your decorator options, too. Great looking windows generally feature two treatments, whether that’s conventional curtains with sheers behind, or something more unconventional like Plantation Shutters behind a Roman Blind. There are so many choices available, so to get some great decorator tips, speak with one of our custom Design Consultants.
Even on those windows that end a metre or more above the floor, try taking your custom curtains all the way to the floor. Instantly, the look is one of luxury and space. If you’ve ever wished that a particular window in your home was bigger, this is a handy ‘cheat’ to achieve the look of a bigger window, without cutting a hole in your wall! Never feel that smaller windows only deserve small curtains.
Custom curtains offer all sorts of wonderful decorator options, but they’re not the only way. If you’ve been staring at a particular window for a while, and you just can’t see a solution in the shape of curtains or blinds, perhaps curtains and blinds aren’t the answer at all, and you’d be better to opt for Plantation Shutters. Custom Plantation Shutters – especially in quality Paulownia timber – are a premium window treatment that really make a statement. While they tend to be priced above curtains and blinds, if you choose premium quality Plantation Shutters you’ll be making a lifetime investment that will add to the value of your home.
For some windows, selecting a Venetian Blind is a no-brainer. Venetians are attractive and functional, but don’t be tempted to think that they’re all the same. Decide a budget design, and you might shortly after be left with unsightly ‘kinks’ in the slats, as well as discolouration problems. Speak to us about the material choices that make a difference in Venetian Blinds before you commit.
Whether you’re deciding custom blinds and curtains or indeed any window treatment at all, don’t forget to consider the effect your décor choices might have from outside your home. A classic mistake is fitting boldly coloured but unlined curtains. Not only will unlined/unbacked curtains suffer from sun fade and offer less insulating effect, they can also look odd from outside your home. Whatever decorator choices you make for your windows, there’s a lot to be said for adding a neutral liner behind them.
Some people really have an eye for what’s right and can add an eclectic variety of elements to a room, yet still achieve a sense of visual balance. If you have rooms like these – or would like to create some – curtains and blinds can be part of it all and really ‘pop’ when you select a standout pattern and colour. In situations like this, approach your curtains and blinds as a feature, rather than something to blend in. Just bear in mind that while you can be remarkably open-minded about colours and patterns, in order to avoid a completely random look you’ll need to stick to the rules regarding how your curtains and blinds are placed, and their proportion in relation to the size of your windows. Creating spaces like this can be great fun, but daunting if you’re going it alone. It’s always a good idea to share some photos of the room you have in mind with our showroom Design Consultants for a second opinion, or even have one of our in-home design consultants visit your home before you purchase.
We hope these tips have helped to set out some basic guidelines for you. Hopefully they’ll also help you to avoid some common mistakes homeowners make when choosing custom blinds and curtains. The process of deciding what’s right for your home can be a lot of fun, especially when you team up with a Country Blinds professional Design Consultant. Should you have any questions regarding how to best select curtains and blinds for your home, simply contact us today.