Tips on how to pick a good curtain material that suits your home
Choosing a curtain material that suits your home takes some thought and a bit of pre-planning. A dizzying array of curtain fabrics to choose from can make the final decision a little tough, especially if you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for in the first place. What looks like the perfect curtain material today might not seem so perfect tomorrow, especially if you’ve made a hasty or impulsive decision. Take the time to narrow down the search by putting a few tips into practice before buying lengths of fabric that you may be unhappy with in the long run.
Setting the Tone or Mood of a Room
Ask yourself what mood you’d like your room to convey. Formal living spaces work best with luxurious, weightier materials that drape well and lend an air of drama and opulence. You may want to consider more lustrous fabrics, such as heavy silk, brocade, satin and Jacquard, or fabrics with rich texture, such as velvet, damask or tapestry. Curtain material in formal rooms should be able to retain folds and pleats, depending on the drapery style.
Family rooms or rooms with a more casual look call for curtains made from lightweight fabrics that convey a friendly, welcoming space. Bright colors and sheer curtains that move with an unexpected breeze or beautifully filter light create an inviting room with a relaxed, informal appeal. To achieve a casual mood, choose fabrics such as linens, silk, cotton or cotton blends, chintz, broadcloth, chintz or synthetic sheers.
Determine the Desired Level of Light
You’ll also need to think about how much light you’d like to let into a room. For room-darkening fabric, think about selecting tightly woven fabrics, heavy silks or “black-out” fabrics, which can keep a too-sunny room cool, or afford some privacy in a room where windows face other houses or apartments, or in bedrooms on street level. Insulated curtain fabrics can save energy, as well, in winter or summer. Sheer or translucent fabrics let the light in, and shimmery fabrics catch light and reflect. One way of combining the best of both worlds is to use both sheer panels and heavier-fabric panels that can be pulled to the side of the window for more light, or pulled in front of the sheers for less light.
Choose an Appropriate Color or Print
Correctly colored or patterned curtains can make all the difference in a room. Make a statement with bold, bright prints, or pick neutral colors that go well with virtually any room decor. Colored synthetic sheers permeate a sunny room with subtle color. For a “busy” room containing patterned furniture or rugs, solid color curtains can tame things down; solid-color furnishings could do with some livening up using larger patterned, more daring curtain prints.