Basic home renovation tips: How to Choose the Perfect Curtains for Your Living Space

WORDS: Diana Smith PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

One important element of home decor should never be ignored and that’s curtains for windows. They’re a crucial piece that can set the tone for the room. From light and airy to heavy and ornamental, from solid colours to various prints, from sheer fabrics to opaque textiles — the possibilities are limitless.

Curtains are still very much in style in Australia where homeowners see an undressed window like a dress without shoes. Also, natural light streams abundantly there into homes illuminating the space but asking for protection as well when it’s time to sleep or when there’s a need for privacy.

With a huge variety of options, making the right choice can be quite overwhelming so here are several tips on how to choose the right curtains for your home.

Distinguish between curtains and drapes

The first step to choosing curtains for windows is determining what your room requires. Oftentimes, homeowners confuse curtains and drapes, and in doing so, they end up having window treatments that interfere with the amount of sunlight the room needs.

This is why it’s important to know the difference between these two – curtains are light fabric panels that hang from curtain rods and are typically used for privacy and decoration. On the other hand, drapes are made of thicker materials that are used to block out sunlight, so they’re mainly used in bedrooms.

Decide between ready-made and custom curtains

Another parameter that influences your curtain selection is whether to buy custom or ready-made. Both options have their benefits. If you opt for custom-made curtains in Sydney, you’ll be able to adjust them to your window size to achieve a tailored look, particularly if you have irregularly-shaped windows with arches. For that reason, custom curtains aren’t just very practical, but they also add great style and immediately set the atmosphere in your room

On the other hand, ready-made curtains are more affordable but you might experience difficulties in their fitting.  If you can’t afford custom curtains, go for high-quality curtains to take full advantage of your purchase.

Pick the right fabric

The fabric plays a crucial role when selecting curtains for windows as it impacts the look of the room. From lightweight and cotton sheer lace to heavy velvet, the options aren’t lacking. One important consideration in choosing the material for the curtains is the amount of sunlight you want streaming in. The hot Australian sun is quite intense throughout the entire year, but particularly so during the hottest months, like December, January, and February. Harsh ultraviolet rays can wreck your floors, furniture, and other items that are in their way causing them to fade, warp and crack. The thin and sheer curtains are excellent in diffusing the sun rays which provides UV protection.

Pick out the colour

The colour you pick for your curtain should be consistent with the rest of the furnishings. You could go for a colour that’s in harmony with the decor or in contrast with it. You can also opt for a colour that complements the shade of your walls or pick a shade that’s opposite to your walls and furnishing so that your curtains become a focal point.

Also, when deciding on solid colour or print for the curtains, look at the rest of your decor. If all the soft furnishings in your room are a solid colour, pick a printed curtain design and vice versa. Bear in mind that prints add visual weight so it’s best to pair the printed curtains with solid-coloured furniture and a few printed accessories such as cushions and rugs.

Select the ideal length and width

Curtains that reach the floor are trendy now in Australia and if you want to achieve a more dramatic look, opt for an even longer cut, by a few extra inches, so that the curtains puddle on the floor. Another classic option is to have them end at the sill which works equally well.

When it comes to the width, it will depend on the width of the moulding of your window pane. One way to get the ideal number is to multiply the frame measure by a factor of 2/2.5. The extra fabric will help achieve the gathered look on the sides when you draw the curtains back.

Choosing curtains for your home isn’t as easy as it may seem initially as you need to choose the right material, colour, pattern, fit and light-blocking or exposing qualities. Hopefully, these tips will help you pick the ideal curtains for your living space.