What are the things to consider when buying curtains? Intan Maizura Ahmad Kamal finds out from an expert
CURTAINS are a crucial part of the home decor. When the renovations are completed, the walls have been painted and all the furniture has been put in place, curtains provide the final flourish to a home.
More than just pieces of cloth hanging on windows to block sunlight from filtering in, curtains help to beautify the living space and offer plenty of benefits. At the end of the day, leaving windows bare is not going to cut costs anymore, especially when there’s such a wonderful selection of fabrics and colours as well as curtain ideas to choose from.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to curtains. It all depends on your decor style, personal preference and, of course, budget. There are many modern styles to choose from, from eyelet curtains and tab top to pencil pleats, all of which are very popular styles and trends.
Nevertheless, keep in mind the style and look of the room and furniture or your curtains may look a little out of place.
THE RIGHT CURTAINS
When selecting curtains,there are six points worth considering, says Elyza Yong, a window dressing specialist and founder and chief operating officer of Elyza’s Home Sdn Bhd. Firstly, study the size, type, shape and positioning of the window.
“If there’s a limited space on the two sides of the window for curtains to stack back, then blinds may be a better choice. Different window types require different curtains to complement the design theme,” she says.
Secondly, you need to choose your preferred style that would also complement the interiors. “It’s up to you to decide what kind of ambience and feel you want to create in the room,” says the affable 48-year-old Penangite. There are plenty of styles to choose from such as traditional, contemporary, elegant, funky or country.
Determine the function of the room to make it easier to select your curtains. Every room has a purpose,so the curtains you choose should accommodate this, says Elyza, a former fashion designer.
Then consider what you want your window dressing to achieve. This determine your choice. For instance, says Elyza: “Do you need to control sunlight? Obscure an undesirable view or camouflage architectural awkwardness? Do you want it to be the focal point of the room or to enhance the interior style? Knowing exactly what we want the curtains to do go a long way towards making selection easier.”
Another thing to take into account is the physical environment of the window. When you have a window that looks out to a pleasant natural view, like a garden in bloom or a rolling vista, having blinds that roll all the way up, or any other minimalist style, would definitely suffice.
But what if you have undesirable scenes? A bedroom with a window facing the street may need cover-up for greater privacy, advises the mother-of-two. “The position of the sun is another important consideration. Rooms that face west get strong sunlight in the afternoon and some fabrics fade quickly when exposed to strong sunlight. So avoid using silky fabrics in very sunny rooms.
“Rooms that face east get the morning glare. If you’re normally a late riser, this means you may need black-out lining for your curtain to block out the sunlight.”
Finally, plan your budget accordingly. If you’re not willing to spend too much, opt for affordable fabric and simpler designs. Or you could just add trimmings or accessories to your existing curtains. Elyza says: “You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Just be creative. Ultimately, consider all the functional and decorative aspects to avoid making any expensive mistake.”
COLOURS, PATTERNS AND STYLES
The general rule is to match the window dressing style with the main colour and theme of the interiors – NOT the reverse. “This is because it’s often easier and cheaper to change curtains than the interior of a room,” says Elyza.
Some considerations to make include curtain style, colour, design motifs and textures.
If you have a traditional-looking space,opt for classical or formal curtains such as cascade, swags or tails or valances. These are more suitable than modern-eyelets or timber blinds, says Elyza.
Vertical blinds in textural finish meanwhile, are nice when you’re decorating a study area. For a romantic bedroom, try sheer curtains with small floral prints.
Depending on the effect you wish to achieve, the colour of your curtains can be an eye-catching focal point or soothing coordination. A rule of thumb: The curtain colour should match the wall unless what you’re after is a contrasting effect.
The design and motif of the fabric should enhance the ambience of the room and the curtain style, says Elyza. “For example, damask design motif enhances a classical-looking room while a country floral design creates the country mood. But try not to let the motifs overpower the room. The curtains should harmonise with the interiors and perhaps create the focal point but they shouldn’t overpower.”
Curtains made of textured fabrics add character and richness to a room. Some of the more popular examples of textured fabrics include damasks, chenille, velvets, silks, satin and jacquard.
Window dressing trends are still dominated by contemporary and simplicity, says Elyza. But, she adds, things are changing and with decades of minimalism, there are people turning to other new styles and trends.
‘What’s old is new’ always works for the world of interior and home decoration. “Eco-friendly and vintage are the two main trends this year. Vintage and floral prints are coming back and will continue to gain momentum.”
There are also vibrant colour schemes, bold graphic designs, whimsical motifs and colourful botanicals around, continues Elyza. Contemporary textures, luxurious silk and sumptuous velvets will remain trendy for many years with a twist of a new colour palette from time to time.
One new, emerging curtain style is Ripplefold, now one of the hottest curtain trends in Europe. It’s named for the soft, ripple-like folds that flow smoothly from one end of the track to the other. “Ripplefold curtains can stack back to the very end of the track, so they actually take up less space than conventionally pleated draperies,” says Elyza. “More glass is exposed so more light can come in. This is really useful for the living room where you want maximum natural light.”
To check out more of Elyza’s range of curtains and drapes, go to www.elyza.com