You may think that curtains are ‘just curtains’, but when asked about their biggest interior design pet-peeves, our Homewings designers voted poorly designed curtains as the number one faux-pas. We sat down with our friends at Stitched – the experts on all things, custom curtains and blinds – to get the scoop on how to get your windows dressed to impress.
1 | Starting at the Top
Many of us make the mistake of focusing on the pretty, pretty fabrics of our curtains, without giving much thought to the bit at the top. This curtail piece of window-dressing real estate is called the heading and apart from fabric choice, it is the most important part of a pair of curtains. The heading determines how the curtains will hang, and has a huge impact on the look and style you will end up with. For example, if you’re going for a sleek and modern look, there’s no better heading than a Wave that glides effortlessly along a track. If you’re a traditionalist, then the Goblet is the heading for you. Conveniently, Stitched offer 7 different headings, which can all be customised with a different pole or track, depending on your style.
2 | Keeping Things On Track
Some important bits of window dressing lingo: Curtains hang on poles or tracks. Poles have visible rings, tracks have internal sliders. It’s important to know the difference because Poles require an extra bit of hardware. Poles need stoppers at each end, which stop the curtain rings from falling off the pole. These are officially called ‘finials’ and as they come in many different shapes and sizes, they can add an extra bit of customisation and style to your windows’ look. Think of them as earrings or accessories for your windows. To keep life simple Stitched has carefully selected some classic styles for you to choose from. Oh, and they’ve made things a little easier by calling them ‘pole caps’ – because learning about curtains is fun, but the official terminology is a tad confusing!
3 | Let There be Light!
A common mistake is forgetting to account for what those in the Curtain trade call ‘stack back’. No-one wants their curtains to block the light from their windows when they are open, which is why it's so important to make sure you’ve got enough room for the curtains to open right up, revealing the full surface of your window and letting in aaaaaalll the light. Different styles will stack back to different widths so be mindful of how much space there is on either side of your window frame when choosing your perfect curtains. If you send the Stitched team a picture of your windows on their Web Chat, they’ll be able to advise you on what works best.
4 | Walk the Line(ing)
One of the funnest parts of designing a pair of curtains is choosing the fabric (who doesn’t love free samples!), but did you know you’ll also have to choose a lining as well? The lining of your curtains is far more important than you might think, so make sure you know the difference between the different types and styles. Blackout linings block out light which might otherwise upset a good night's sleep, while interlinings add weight, volume and warmth. These are great for creating a luxurious look or mitigating the relentless breeze caused by drafty windows. On the other hand, some fabrics look so good they don’t need a lining! For example ‘sheers’ and ‘voiles’, or Stitched’s very own Synergy fabric, which hangs beautifully on its own like a finely tailored suit.
5 | Right Down to The Floor!
Most people associate 'pooling’ with sharing a car to work, but in the curtain biz, pooling is the word used for the amount of fabric that gathers on the floor at the foot of your window. Made-to-measure curtains are made with an extra 5cm, as floors are often a little wonky. Stitched call this normal pooling, but if you’re looking for some glamorous excess, generous pooling is the one for you, adding 12 cm of fabric added to the bottom of the curtain and create that luxurious look.