How to pick the right window curtains for your home

Curtains are costly and a long term investment
Curtains are costly and a long term investment. PHOTO/FILE
Curtains, also known as drapes, usually offer a lot more than simply serving as a window treatment in an interior. The accessories go a long way in improving the aesthetics of a room.

With the correct colour, size, texture and weight you can create the perfect balance between function and style – giving your home the much sought after urban look.

To help you get this right, the following are a few pointers to keep in mind when you go out shopping.

1.) Colour
When the opportunity to choose window curtains color (Americans!) for your home arises, you must decide whether you want them to stand out or blend into the colour scheme of the space.

Keep in mind that light colours allow in more light, thus making the space to appear larger while dark colours seem to constrict the area. Considering that curtains are costly and a long term investment, you should avoid fads and pick a colour that you love.

2.) Weight
In areas where little light is required such as bedrooms, a heavy triple weave fabric such as velvet, suede and tweed is appropriate.

For places where you want to allow in a lot of sunlight, use lightweight bright coloured curtains or use sheer curtains which provide for a good view without compromising on privacy.

3.) Texture
Texture can be visual or tactile and it helps determine the mood of a room. Fabrics such as velvet, suede and tweed have tactile or 3d texture which adds a luxurious textured look to a room.

Visual texture can be achieved on plain fabric through prints and patterns. To avoid a cluttered and busy look, if the carpet or upholstery on your furniture is textured or patterned, go for solid coloured curtains.

Always keep in mind that pattern can make a room appear larger or smaller.

4.) Thermal insulation
If you want curtains that will provide insulation during the cold season, invest in heavy fabrics such as velvets and silk. Alternatively, you can have your curtains fully lined in case they are made from a medium or light weight fabric or use them in combination with blinds. The air trapped between the layers prevents loss of heat through the windows.

READ: How to decorate a bedsitter

5.) Fabric type
Fabric composition is important since it determines its durability, wash-ability and drapery. You should seek professional advice on a fabric’s properties before making a purchase.

Natural fibres, especially silk, are easily destroyed by direct sunlight and should be avoided in area of high exposure. If you are lining your curtains, ensure the lining material has the same properties as the main fabrics to avoid difficulties in laundering.

Lastly, before settling on the window curtain fabric, take a sample and view it the area it will be used to see if it will have the desired effect. Some fabrics have colour variations depending on the strength of light they are exposed to.

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