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Structube Curtain Guide - How to Choose Curtains

April 6th, 2018

How to choose curtains

Window dressing is a great way to complement your home decor while improving privacy and security. Curtain-less rooms often seem unfinished. So if you're wondering how to pick the right type of drapes, fabric, size, colour, pattern, texture or even maintenance, here's everything you've always wanted to know about curtains.


How to choose a curtain style

Window treatment helps to make any space feel instantly warmer and up-to-date. Curtains add both pattern and texture, whether you tend towards richer, more luxe fabrics with a satin feel or a linen feel, or whether you prefer velvet drapes, jacquard curtains, pretty prints or on-trend geometric patterns.

Neston curtain panels

Bold hues, for example, help to showcase a pretty view. Conversely, more neutral, subtle tints harmonized with wall colour serve to distract from a humdrum panorama out the window. For that finishing touch, pick a curtain rod in a material already used elsewhere in the room — or in the same metallic colour as your light fixtures, for example — and make sure the finials fit the room theme.

Neston curtain panels

Bold hues, for example, help to showcase a pretty view. Conversely, more neutral, subtle tints harmonized with wall colour serve to distract from a humdrum panorama out the window. For that finishing touch, pick a curtain rod in a material already used elsewhere in the room — or in the same metallic colour as your light fixtures, for example — and make sure the finials fit the room theme.


Curtain types

Choose the curtain types according to your light needs (as in more or less), from whatever your sleeping habits in the bedroom to any privacy concerns in the living room.

Opaque curtains feature a higher-density weave available in a variety of beautiful textures. They keep 95% of the light out.

Luxa velvet curtains

Luxa velvet curtains

Opaque curtains feature a higher-density weave available in a variety of beautiful textures. They keep 95% of the light out.

Cumberland blackout curtains

Better suited to the bedroom, lined blackout curtains block 100% of morning sun rays. They're valued co-conspirators for those Sunday mornings in bed.

Cumberland blackout curtains

Better suited to the bedroom, lined blackout curtains block 100% of morning sun rays. They're valued co-conspirators for those Sunday mornings in bed.

Opaque, insulating curtains with a fleece liner are the handy choice against winter cold or summer heat. Their thermal properties also make them precious allies in reducing energy costs (from heating or air-conditioning). Not to mention they're great at noise reduction!

Callas insulating opaque curtains

Callas insulating opaque curtains

Opaque, insulating curtains with a fleece liner are the handy choice against winter cold or summer heat. Their thermal properties also make them precious allies in reducing energy costs (from heating or air-conditioning). Not to mention they're great at noise reduction!

Fedora sheer curtain panels

Finally, sheer curtains maintain privacy while still allowing some light in. You can combine them with opaque panels hung on both sides of the window.

Fedora sheer curtain panels

Finally, sheer curtains maintain privacy while still allowing some light in. You can combine them with opaque panels hung on both sides of the window.


How to measure for curtains

It's all relative. You want any fixed drapes hooked on both sides of the window moulding to hang in neat, regular folds. When patterned, the motif will also repeat more evenly.

If you wish to open and close your curtains on a regular basis, a generous amount of fabric is needed to ensure wavy, elegant pleats once the drapes are closed.

As a general rule, to ensure proper fullness, curtains should measure twice the width of your window. Plan a little less for heavy fabrics like velvet and a little more for sheer panels.

TIP: For very large windows, simply space multiple panels along the curtain rod.


How high should you hang curtains

By installing curtains outside the window moulding, you avoid reducing natural light.

Install curtain brackets 10 cm (4 in) or so above the window frame (illustration 1) — or more if you wish to create the illusion of higher ceilings —, extending 8 to 15 cm (3 to 6 po) on each side of the window (illustration 2).

Illustration 1

Illustration 2

Illustration 1

Illustration 2

You also want the rod to project the curtains forward from the window, by approximately 8 cm (3 in) (illustration 3).

Illustration 3

You also want the rod to project the curtains forward from the window, by approximately 8 cm (3 in) (illustration 3).

Illustration 3

The mistake to avoid? Too-short curtains! As a general rule, curtains should never hover more than 1.5 cm (1/2 in) from the floor (illustration 4). You may even let them extend lightly onto the flooring for an ultra-stylish look (illustration 5).

Illustration 4

Illustration 5

Illustration 4

Illustration 5


How to clean curtains

Vacuum curtains from time to time, using a soft-bristled tip to remove dust (or spider webs) that can accumulate around the rod.

Neston curtain panels, Monta rod.

Washing drapes twice a year is usually recommended. Synthetic fabrics like polyester offer the added advantage of being machine washable on cold, delicate cycle. Just hang them to dry in their usual spot.

Warning: Ironing or dry cleaning are not suitable for all types of fabric. You should always follow washing instructions provided on the label.


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