Curtains are a significant part of a home's interior decoration as they give passersby a tiny glimpse of the luxurious or attractively designed interiors. When selecting appropriate dressing for the windows, it is essential to ensure that it blends and complements the overall colour palette of the room. Window curtains serve the twin purposes of shielding the house interiors from curious onlookers and enhancing the beauty of the room.
Curtains have been used since ancient times when they were made from animal hide and used to provide warmth and define the boundaries within a home. Once mass production of fabrics began in the mid-80s and home furnishings came into vogue, people started dressing their windows with colourful curtains and silken drapes tied back with heavy ropes. While floral prints were the trend in the 50s, abstract prints, as well as stripes, checks and ethnic patterns in pastel colours, became the norm in the 90s.
Window curtains are available in a wide variety of fabrics, designs, patterns and colours to suit every design style. The most common materials used for curtains are cotton, silk, lace and even velvet if the room has a vintage or classic-style setting with heavy dark wood furniture and thick embroidered carpets. While cotton is the most versatile curtain material as it can blend into both simple and luxurious environments, silk and lace are equally in demand for drapes and elaborate window dressing.
In recent times, performance fabrics such as those from Sunbrella provide a wide array of choices for curtains in terms of texture, designs and colours. The best part is that the material is stain-resistant and fade-resistant, making it ideal for Indian homes.
Curtains: They come in a wide variety of lengths, colours, sizes and patterns and can be used in every room. The most common way of hanging them is with metal or plastic rings, metal grommets and fabric sleeves on a plain or decorative rod. Besides full-length curtains that cover the entire length of a door or window, the curtains on the lower half of windows with a matching valance on top are referred to as cafe curtains. They are usually used on kitchen and bathroom windows to bring in more sunshine during the day and retain privacy at night.
Drapes: They are also made of fabric panels and are usually sold in pairs. Drapes are made with an inner lining to block sunlight. They are ideal for living rooms, media rooms and bedrooms. Generally made of thick fabrics like velvet or damask, drapes usually hang from the top of the window to the floor. They are commonly used as blackout curtains to block sunlight in bedrooms. They are made of solid colours and designed with pleats.
Shades: This form of window treatment refers to a soft fabric panel which is attached to the window’s upper frame. They come in a range of colours, materials and lengths to fit window frames of various sizes. The shade folds or rolls either sideways or upwards to regulate light.
Even though fabric and colour are important considerations while selecting curtains for the living room, their length, accessories and designs also play a significant role. The living room is generally used for watching television and greeting guests, so people prefer expensive fabrics with modern prints and elaborate accessories to shut out harsh sunlight and create a cosy ambience. Furniture and the overall mood of the room also influence the choice of curtains for living rooms.
Modern Curtain designs: While panels with valances are trendy and romantic, curtains with cornices or pelmets on the top edge have an equally stylish look. In living rooms with dark wood and upholstered furniture, light lacy chiffon curtains are ideal, whereas in a country style living room textured pleated fabric curtains will work better. When a living room has a single tall window, then full-length curtains from ceiling to floor in heavy damask with bold prints can help to present a stunning feature irrespective of whether it follows the modern or classic style.
Conventional curtains: They extend from the top of the window and end just a few inches below the bottom frame. Pleated curtains with floral prints with petals and creepers are commonly used to accentuate the theme in classic-style living rooms, while modern rooms are more likely to have neutral-toned curtains with eyelet rings.
Curtains for bedroom windows have to be selected with care as they bring privacy to the area while protecting the room from sharp sunlight and cold winter winds. One can choose varied types of window dressings like curtains, drapes, shades or elegant valances, depending on the size of the window as well as the overall ambience of the bedroom.
Bedroom curtains range between formal and feminine so they are often dressed up with pelmets or window scarves. Sometimes, they are let to puddle on the floor or tied back with ropes and ribbons. Window curtains for the bedroom can be outrageously romantic with a combination of lace sheer curtains and heavy drapes or distinctly modern with geometric prints. Though homeowners like to experiment with whimsical patterns, colours and fabrics, as bedrooms are private spaces, curtains with lining are the recommended option. Blackout curtains are also an excellent choice, especially in bright or high traffic areas, to block out the light and noise and create a peaceful haven for resting. Thick curtains made from heavy fabrics like suede, velvet, tweed, and faux silk also serve this purpose.
Curtains can help to achieve the desired look in a room by introducing colours and patterns, but before selecting them, keep in mind the following points:
Material: The fabric of the curtains depends on the look that you want to create as well as the need for privacy and natural light. While heavy fabrics like velvet and silk are great for providing privacy, they are also excellent for bringing a touch of drama to the decor. Light fabrics with floral, geometric and abstract designs and prints are perfect for casual surroundings like dining rooms and kitchens. Curtains made with linen, or sheer lace fabrics, add romance and style to a bedroom.
Design and colour: Curtains can contribute to creating a focal area in a room. They should be bought, keeping in mind the other furnishings and furniture in the area. In general, rooms with solid colours should have window treatments with patterns or prints to bring contrast, while rooms with bright tones or boldly patterned upholstery should be decorated with neutral or pastel-coloured curtains.
Length: The current trend is to have floor-to-ceiling curtains since many modern apartments have full-length glass windows. However, even for smaller windows, curtains should be well below the frame. If they don’t reach the floor, they should not be too short, or they can look awkward.
The versatility of Sunbrella performance fabrics makes them the ideal choice for curtains and window shades as they are not only stain-resistant but also fade-resistant and machine washable. Additionally, they can be used both indoors as well as outdoors in balconies, terraces and patios.