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Which curtain is best for home?

Choosing the right curtains for your home is an important decision that can dramatically affect the look and feel of a room. With so many fabrics, colors, and styles to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which curtains are the best fit for your needs. This article will examine the pros and cons of different curtain types to help you make an informed decision when shopping for new window treatments.

Do curtains save money?

Considerations when choosing curtains

There are several factors to take into account when selecting curtains:

Privacy

  • Sheer curtains allow light in while obscuring visibility from outside. Good for bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Blackout curtains block almost all light for rooms where darkness is preferred. Ideal for media rooms and bedrooms.
  • Light-filtering curtains let in some light while maintaining privacy. A good compromise option.

Insulation

  • Heavy curtains in materials like velvet help insulate windows against cold and heat. Important for conserving energy.
  • Lighter fabrics like linen have low insulation properties. Best for rooms where temperature regulation is not a priority.

Room decor

  • Color, pattern, and texture of curtains significantly impact the visual aesthetic of a room.
  • Neutral solids or simple patterns complement without overwhelming.
  • Bold prints make a dramatic statement. Ensure they align with the room’s overall style.

Window size

  • Floor-length curtains visually enhance small windows.
  • Shorter curtains bring light and exposure to larger windows.
  • Rod length should extend 2-3 inches past the window frame on each side.

Budget

  • Inexpensive ready-made curtains work for basic needs.
  • Custom curtains have higher quality with tailored fit, but also higher prices.
  • Designer fabrics and embellishments increase cost.

Popular curtain styles

Rod pocket curtains

  • Casual and informal style.
  • Fabric has pocket sewn into top that slides directly onto curtain rod.
  • Relatively affordable and easy to install.
  • Provides fullness but usually lacks precision of more tailored looks.

Grommet curtains

  • Metal grommets reinforce top hem allowing curtains to hang from hooks or rings on rod.
  • Sleek, modern aesthetic.
  • Stack neatly when opened.
  • More costly than rod pocket curtains.

Tab top curtains

  • Fabric loops sewn into top hem provide attachment points to curtain rod.
  • Quick and easy hanging while still looking elegant.
  • Works with wide range of fabrics and patterns.
  • Versatile style suits traditional and contemporary spaces.

Back tab curtains

  • Modified tab top with additional tab sewn on back side.
  • Creates fuller draping effect.
  • Tabs spaced further apart for lighter transparency.
  • Provides insulation and dimming of light.

Pinch pleat curtains

  • Pleats are tightly packed and stitched into curtain headings.
  • Achieve formal tailored appearance.
  • Require picking tape and drapery hooks for hanging.
  • Among the most expensive curtain treatments.

Best curtain fabrics

Cotton

  • Natural fiber breathes well and provides insulation.
  • Affordable option suitable for most windows.
  • Machine washable for easy care.
  • Durable and resistant to fading.
  • Weight impacts light dimming; choose accordingly.

Linen

  • Made from flax fibers creating natural sheen.
  • Casual texture complements rustic or farmhouse decor.
  • Low insulation value good for rooms without temperature concerns.
  • Expensive, but long lasting if cared for properly.

Silk

  • Luxurious fabric with beautiful draping.
  • Diffuses light gently while obscuring visibility.
  • Needs delicate care and dry cleaning only.
  • High price tag but unparalleled elegance.

Velvet

  • Fabric made with dense short fibers.
  • Creates plush, elegant look.
  • Provides excellent light-blocking and insulation.
  • Dressier aesthetic not suited for all decor styles.
  • Shows wear easily. Best for formal spaces.

Polyester

  • Inexpensive synthetic fiber.
  • Wrinkle and stain resistant.
  • Machine washable making care easy.
  • Not as durable or attractive as natural fabrics.
  • Lower light-dimming capabilities.

Top specialty curtain styles

Blackout curtains

  • Thick, tightly woven light-blocking fabrics.
  • Vinyl or plastic back coating prevents light seepage.
  • Available as both curtains and blinds.
  • Essential for bedrooms and media rooms.
  • More costly than regular curtains but worth investment.

Noise reducing curtains

  • Incorporate thick insulating fabrics like velvet.
  • Interior plastic or foam lining muffles outside noise.
  • Best for bedrooms and home theaters.
  • Look for NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rating.
  • Provide both sound dampening and temperature insulation.

Curtain valances

  • Decorative fabric pelmet hung above window.
  • Conceal curtain rods and hardware.
  • Softens harsh window lines.
  • Wide selection of styles from modern to traditional.
  • Sheers offer lightweight complement without blocking light.

Cafe curtains

  • Short tiered curtains hanging in window segments.
  • Made from lightweight fabrics like lace or linen.
  • Allow light in while creating privacy.
  • Casual style popular in kitchens and cottage decor.
  • Inexpensive and easy to make from scratch.

Considerations for hanging curtains

  • Determine proper curtain rod length allowing adequate overlap.
  • Select rod type: decorative, Continental, or tension.
  • For grommet top curtains use rings spaced 2-3 inches apart.
  • Place rod high and wide to maximize natural light exposure.
  • Proper hemming eliminates bunching at bottom.
  • High quality layered linings improve insulation, light dimming, and durability.

Conclusion

The best curtains for your home depend on room function, personal style, and budget. When thoughtfully selected, window treatments not only provide privacy and light control, but make an impactful decorative statement as well. Evaluate your priorities regarding aesthetics, insulation, ease of care, and cost when shopping. And don’t be afraid to have fun with creative pairings and bold prints that showcase your unique personality. With the right curtains your windows will transcend from basic to beautiful.

FAQs

Q: What length curtains should I buy?
A: For standard windows, curtains should reach the floor for a dramatic look. For smaller windows, sill or apron length curtains ending slightly above or below the sill maintain visibility.

Q: How wide should curtains be?
A: Curtains should extend a minimum of 18 inches past the window frame on each side, up to 2-3 times the width of the window for a luxurious effect.

Q: What are the best blackout curtains?
A: The best blackout curtains use thick tightly-woven fabrics like velvet paired with blackout linings or a plastic coating to prevent any light seepage. Avoid lightweight translucent fabrics.

Q: Should living room curtains be floor length?
A: Floor length curtains make a luxurious formal statement in a living room. But for more casual decor, sill or apron length are also appropriate based on personal preference and window height.

Q: How much fabric do I need for curtains?
A: As a general guideline, allow 3 times the width of the window for light fabrics, and 3.5-4 times for heavy fabrics that need more fullness. Always double check measurements.

Q: Which curtain header style is easiest to make?
A: Rod pocket headings are the quickest DIY style requiring just a basic folded hem containing the rod pocket. Tab top and grommet styles involve a bit more cutting and sewing.

Q: What is the standard distance from floor to bottom of curtains?
A: For most windows, curtains should just kiss the floor. For safety, leave 1/4″ – 1/2″ gap between curtain hem and floor so they don’t cause tripping.

Q: Should curtain rods be wider than the window?
A: Yes, extend curtain rods at least 4-6 inches wider than the window frame on each side. Wider rods allow curtains to stack back completely when open.

Q: How do I hang pinch pleat curtains?
A: Pinch pleat curtains require both picking tape on the back top hem and drapery hooks spaced 2-3 inches apart along the curtain rod for hanging.

Q: What curtains are best for bay windows?
A: Bay windows look best with floor-length curtains installed on a rod wide enough for the curtains to softly drape at the corners without pulling.

Q: Where should curtain rods be placed vertically?
A: Install just below the crown molding or ceiling for floor-length drapes for optimal height. For sill length, mount rods right above the window trim.

Q: Should you put curtains in kitchens?
A: Curtains make great kitchen window treatments providing privacy while allowing natural light. Opt for washable fabrics in case of grease splatters.

Q: What is the best way to hang blackout curtains?
A: Install blackout curtains very close to the wall to prevent light seepage on the sides. Close floor length curtains fully when darkening is needed.

Q: How much do custom curtains cost?
A: Professionally made custom curtains average $30-$50 per linear foot. More complex designs, specialty fabrics, and embellishments add to the total cost.

Q: What curtain colors make a room look bigger?
A: Light and neutral colored curtains help enlarge a space visually. Bold graphic prints, darker colors, and heavy floor length styles tend to make rooms feel smaller.

Q: Should curtain width match window height?
A: Not necessarily. Feel free to mix wide curtains on shorter windows and vice versa for design impact. Just maintain proper clearance on floor length.

Q: Can curtains be returned if wrong size?
A: Always keep curtains in original packaging if unsure of measurements. Most retailers will allow curtain returns or exchanges if no indication they were hung.

 

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