Curtains remain a popular home furnishing item that many people continue to purchase and use in their homes. This article explores curtain trends, reasons people buy curtains, curtain materials and styles, buying considerations.
Curtains continue to be a staple in homes across the world for both functional and decorative purposes. Recent surveys and industry reports show that the majority of people still use curtains in their bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and other areas of their homes.
There are several reasons why curtains remain popular home furnishing items that people continue to purchase:
- Privacy – Curtains allow homeowners to increase privacy from neighbors or passersby who may be able to see into windows. Sheer curtains still let light in while obscuring visibility.
- Light control – Different curtain materials and linings can block out light better than blinds or shades. This helps create dark sleeping spaces or reduce fading from sunlight.
- Insulation – Curtains provide an extra layer over windows to better insulate rooms from outside temperatures. Some are specifically made to reduce heat loss.
- Decoration – Curtains come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, textures and styles to elevate a room’s décor and match homeowner preferences.
- Affordability – Curtain panels are often cheaper than replacing entire window treatments. Homeowners can easily update rooms by adding new curtains.
Below we’ll explore popular curtain trends and reasons why specific curtain styles and materials continue to be purchased by consumers looking to decorate, increase privacy, block light, insulate, and more.
Several curtain styles and lengths have increased in popularity over the past few years:
- Blackout curtains – Used in bedrooms to completely darken rooms for sleep. The thick, layered fabrics prevent any outdoor light from entering.
- Thermal curtains – Made from materials like velvet or quilted fabrics to provide extra insulation around windows. Help reduce heating/cooling costs.
- Sheer curtains – Lightweight, semi-transparent curtains that still allow daylight to filter into rooms. Often used for decoration in combination with standard curtains.
- Light filtering curtains – Woven fabrics that only let in a portion of outside light. Keep rooms cooler and prevent fading while still allowing some light.
- Floor length curtains – Longer curtain panels reaching the floor have become a popular dramatic accent for large windows and room entrances/archways.
- Patterned curtains – Bold patterns like florals, geometrics, and abstract prints in rich colors have increased in popularity, allowing homeowners to make unique style statements.
Why Do People Buy Curtains?
There are several functional and aesthetic reasons why curtains continue to be purchased for homes:
Functional Uses of Curtains
- Privacy – Sheer, layered, and blackout curtains obstruct views and create privacy.
- Light control – Different fabrics and linings filter or block outdoor and indoor light.
- Temperature insulation – Curtains create an insulating air layer to help reduce heat/cold transfer through windows.
- Room darkening – Blackout curtains block light for sleeping, home theaters, or reducing fading.
- Sound dampening – Some curtain materials and pleating can absorb noise from outside or other rooms.
Decorative Uses of Curtains
- Style/decoration – Curtains come in endless colors, prints, textures to elevate room aesthetics.
- Accent windows – Draw attention to beautiful views with frame curtains or highlight architectural details.
- Define spaces – Curtain dividers and room separators create new spaces without building walls.
- Match décor – Patterns and colors can be coordinated with furniture, bedding, art etc.
- Affordability – Inexpensive way to update the look of a room by changing curtain panels.
Homeowners often use curtains for both functional privacy/light/temperature needs as well as decorative style/accent purposes. The wide range of colors, fabrics, lengths and styles makes it easy to find curtains that suit both needs.
Curtain Fabrics and Materials
Choosing the right fabrics and construction is important when buying curtains. Materials determine the level of light blocking, insulation, durability, and opacity.
Common Curtain Fabrics
- Cotton – Natural fiber that drapes well. Breathable, easy to launder, and available in various weights and transparency.
- Linen – Made from natural fibers, linen has texture and drapes beautifully. Wrinkles easily but softens over time.
- Polyester – Synthetic fabric that resists shrinking, stretching, and fading. Often used for blackout curtains and outdoor curtains.
- Velvet – Dense plush velvet in cotton, silk, polyester, or blends. Provides insulation and elegant appearance. Shows wear eventually.
- Silk – Extremely delicate but beautiful natural fabric with elegant drape and sheen. Difficult to clean so best in formal spaces.
- Wool – Natural fabric keeps its shape well and provides insulation. Resists dirt, wrinkling, and flames. Often mixed with other fibers in curtains.
- Microfibers – Lightweight synthetic blends like polyester microfiber dry quickly and resist stains/shrinking. Inexpensive so good for kid spaces.
- Jacquard – Decorative woven fabrics with complex patterns made from cotton, linen, silk or synthetics. Creates beautiful accent curtains.
- Faux silk/satin – Synthetic versions with appealing sheen and drape. More durable and affordable than natural silk.
The insulation, durability, texture, breathability, and ease of cleaning varies greatly between natural and synthetic curtain fabrics. Consider location, usage, and needs when deciding.
Lined vs Unlined Curtains
Some curtains feature lining on the backside for extra functionality:
- Blackout lining – Completely blocks outdoor/indoor light for room darkening. Usually made from tightly woven synthetic fabric.
- Thermal lining – Made of warm fabrics like flannel or velvet to add insulation around windows and glass doors.
- Sheer lining – Light-diffusing see-through fabric used behind sheer curtain panels. Creates air pockets for better insulation.
- Noise reducing lining – Special soft, sound-absorbing materials reduce outside noise or sound transfer between rooms.
- Regular lining – Basic lining helps curtains hold their shape, stack better on windows, and provides fuller body.
Lined curtains cost more than unlined but provide added privacy, light control, temperature insulation or noise reduction.
Curtain Styles, Lengths and Shapes
Curtains are available in a variety of different styles, lengths and shapes to suit any room.
Classic curtain styles include:
- Rod pocket curtains – Basic panels with sewn-in pockets that slide onto curtain rods. Available in wide range of fabrics.
- Tab top curtains – Curtain panels attached to curtain rods using button/loop or tie-back tabs instead of rod pockets.
- Back tab curtains – Tab connectors placed on back of curtain instead of top. Creates cleaner look and stacks better when opened.
- Grommet top curtains – Brass, silver or colored grommets reinforced with rims feed onto matching poles. Create a modern, sleek look.
- Clip ring curtains – Curtains slide onto rods or rings using attached clips or loops at the top. Allows easy movement and adjustment of curtains.
The main curtain lengths include:
- Sill length – Just long enough to reach windowsill when closed. Works well with radiators or furniture underneath windows.
- Floor length – Long curtains that just brush the floor, helping draw eyes down and highlighting tall windows/doors. Sophisticated option.
- Puddle curtains – Extra long curtains that pool dramatically on the floor around bed bases or window frames. Creates lavish appearance.
Unique curtain shapes include:
- Tier curtains – Two or three stacked panels split into upper and lower sections to frame windows with pretty ruffled edges.
- Tailored curtains – Crisp panels mimicking suit jackets with structured corner pleats and neat, narrow hems. Formal elegant look.
- Pinch pleat curtains – Tight, sharply pressed parallel pleats that stack narrowly and create a neat tailored finish.
- Ruffle curtains – Cheerful gathered ruffle-edged panels create softly diffused light and cozy, casual charm.
- Eyelet curtains – Pretty rows of cutout holes/eyelet openings allow light to shine through decorative patterns.
Homeowners can find curtain solutions whether they have small windows, bay windows, sliding doors, French doors or uniquely shaped spaces that need covering. There are styles designed to complement both formal and casual room décors.
Buying Considerations When Purchasing Curtains
Factors like room size, window measurements, and installation methods should guide curtain purchases:
- Window height/width – Purchase wide enough to fully cover window frames when closed. For floor length, measure height from top of rod to floor.
- Room size – Larger rooms suit bigger patterns and long flowing curtains. Smaller spaces need appropriate proportions.
- Window type – Choose tailored panels, tier curtains etc. suited to flat, arched, or specialty-shaped windows. Consider door curtains for patio and French doors.
- Light control – Select thicker light blocking or blackout lined fabrics if complete darkness needed. Sheers lightly filter light.
- Insulation – Thermal linings or velvet/wool fabrics provide extra insulation around drafty windows in cold climates.
- Installation – Measure for correct rod length and choose curtain tops or tabs that coordinate with your existing hardware and bracket type.
- Care – Check if machine washable or dry clean only. Linen, cotton and synthetic mix curtains are easiest to launder.
Measure carefully, accounting for stacking space so curtains do not bunch too tightly when opened. Calculate additional length for puddle or floor length styles.
Order panels 2-3x wider than window frames for best light blocking and a luxurious overlapping appearance when closed. This also allows curtains to stack attractively off the sides of windows when open.
Key Takeaways – Why People Still Buy Curtains
- Curtains remain extremely popular for both decorative and functional purposes like increased privacy, light control, insulation, and stylish accent décor.
- Specific curtain materials and linings help rooms stay darker and warmer in cold weather climates.
- New styles like bold patterns, long floor length panels, blackout, and thermal curtains add drama and function.
- Curtains are an affordable way to quickly update the look and feel of tired rooms.
- Unique curtains can make architectural features like tall windows or glass door walls the focal point of rooms.
- Technology advances create durable, easy-care curtain fabrics tailored to today’s busy families.
Homeowners continue to purchase new curtains in order to decorate, increase privacy, control light infiltration, reduce heating/cooling expenses, soften room acoustics, enhance ambiance, and express their personal style preferences. The many available sizes, shapes, fabrics, colors and options make finding the perfect curtains easy and fun.
Based on industry statistics and trends, people will continue buying curtains for their functionality and decorative versatility for years to come. New technology improvements create more durable, easy-care, and lightweight curtain materials than ever before.
At the same time, eco-conscious consumers have more natural fiber choices like OEKO-TEX certified textiles and organic cottons. Smart shoppers take advantage of custom-made curtains for unusually sized windows or customizable blackout options.
For many homeowners, curtains bring rooms happily together – adding cozy ambiance, beautiful focal points, and stylish finishes while still serving necessary practical privacy and light control duties. Their color, charm, softness and movement add life to indoor spaces in a way few other furnishings can.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can old curtains be altered to fit new windows?
Often curtains can be adjusted for reuse. Take down rods, remove tabs/pockets, re-hem length or trim width. Re-pleat tops, replace rings or grommets and re-hang.
- What colors/styles work with open concept rooms?
For big open spaces use cohesive colors/patterns flowing across the open areas. Frame key spots like kitchen sinks or reading nooks with curtains in varied but coordinating hues.
- Where should curtain rods be positioned on windows?
Rods mount above the window frame itself. Place just below the ceiling trim or 6-12 inches above the window top for standard floor length panels.
- How wide should curtains be compared to windows?
Standard curtains should equal 2-3x the width of windows for full light blocking when closed and attractive draping when open.
- How do thermal blackout curtains help rooms?
Dense blackout fabric layers help darken rooms completely. Soft thermal linings add insulation, keeping rooms cooler in summer/warmer in winter.
- What curtain colors make rooms appear bigger or smaller?
Light colors reflect more light, making rooms feel more open and airy. Dark colors absorb light for cozier spaces but can close in smaller rooms.
- Why are some pencil pleat curtains expensive?
The labor involved in making tight, perfectly aligned pencil pleats commands a higher price. However, lesser versions look crisp for less.
- Do back tab curtains need inner lining?
Back tabs allow curtains to stack more smoothly, reducing need for linings. However, linings improve insulation and light blocking when needed.
- How much fabric is needed to make floor length curtains?
To calculate yardage, multiply height from rod to floor by width of fabric (typically 2-3x width of window frame). Add at least 20% more for pleats/overlap.
- What are the best kitchen curtains?
Washable cottons/synthetics suit messy kitchens well. Choose wipeable vinyls or laundered cafe styles for areas around stoves. Bright colors/patterns hide cooking stains.
- Where should curtain rods be placed in bay windows?
Use end-to-end rods the full length of bay windows. Center above windows with equal overhang for neatly stacked side curtains when opened.
- Do patterned curtains make rooms look larger or smaller?
It depends on scale. Small allover prints expand space. Large or bold patterns overwhelming rooms appear closer. Safe bet is medium scale patterns.
- What accessories are available for curtain embellishments?
Add ties, fringe, tassels, embroidery, contrast bands or trim for extra flair. Layer separate sheer panels over solids for depth. Use holdbacks cords on doors.
- How much heat do thermal curtains reduce?
Quality thermal curtains provide up to 20% better insulation than standard versions. This saves on winter heating/summer cooling costs.
- Can curtains help soundproof rooms?
Specialized noise-reduction curtain lining fabrics and denser materials like velvet absorbs outside noise. Overlapping sealed panels better seal noise than blinds.
- Do blackout curtains require special hardware?
Wider, stronger traverse rods support heavier blackout panels weight. Stabilizer rods or overlapped double rods prevent sagging in centers caused by dense fabrics.
- Where should curtain rods be placed above patio doors?
Full length rods spanning entire sliding door widths let curtains stack attractively off to the sides when open without blocking views.
- What are the best curtains for bedroom blackout?
Bedrooms need complete light blocking abilities so choose fully lined opaque panels in dark colors mounted high/wide enough for full coverage when closed.
- Can dry clean only curtains be laundered at home?
Check fabric content first. If acetates, wools or special coatings require dry cleaning to uphold warranties. However, some gentle machine washing works for silks or delicate synthetics. Know risks first.
- Do Tab Top curtains have a casual or formal look?
Crisp pleats, tailored corners and coordinating bands on tab tops create a smart uniform window treatment versatile enough for formal living rooms or trendy teen bedrooms.
Based on the continued popularity of curtains for decorative, functional, and practical purposes – as shown by industry statistics and consumer purchasing trends – people will keep buying curtains for their homes now and in coming years. With the range of available fabrics, colors, styles, and features like blackout and thermal capabilities or easier cleaning treatments, today’s curtains suit modern homes and families even better. They remain an affordable way to quickly and dramatically upgrade room décors while providing necessary privacy, light control, insulation, and softness. For many homeowners, stylish curtains happily bring indoor spaces together.