how to choose curtains

Choosing curtains for a small living area can be tricky when you want to create a light and airy space, as you don’t want them to overpower the room and maybe you’re not sure what colour of curtain fabric or pattern to choose?

Let me take the guess work out of this for you and answer questions I get asked all the time.

How To Select The Colour Of Your Curtains

If you have a particularly small room and want to increase the size of your space, try choosing your paint colour to match the colour of your curtains. This can be a little tone lighter or darker than your curtains which will push the walls out. Don’t worry about everything looking bland or the same colour as you will be focusing on texture.

What Fabric Should I Choose For My Curtains? 

Having curtains made to order is an investment. I like to design curtains that will stand the test of time and still look fabulous 10 years on. I love going back to clients homes that need re-decorated and the curtains still look amazing even though we have changed the entire look of the room.

Choose well, select fabrics that drape beautifully. The fabric doesn’t have to be expensive as long as they are made up properly and beautifully. Neutral colour fabrics with a texture or self pattern tend to look best in small rooms. Avoid loud patterns that will drown a small window and take over the room. You can go as bold as you like in scatter cushions and accessories.

Best Curtain Fabrics For Living Rooms

I’m loving the velvets at the moment which are still going strong. Far removed from the velvets we remember from the past, they exude luxury. Some have a variety of metallic and lustrous finishes for a modern look and are so tactile you can’t help touching them. They also drape into folds beautifully when you choose a nice soft handle fabric.

A linen or cotton with a polyester mix is also a good choice as it doesn’t crease the way linen does and of course comes in a vast range of tonal colours and textures. It is much lighter so I prefer to use an interlining when making up.

What Style Of Curtain Should I Choose?

In a small living room, go for an uncluttered modern look. For a long time eyelet curtains have been used as they are a very streamlined look and you can push them well off the window to create light. I tend not to use these headings as much nowadays unless they are 63mm but I prefer to create a similar look with cartridge pleats which give you the same effect but have a more elegant and classic feel to it. Double pinch pleat is another option and has a soft tailored look. Goblet headings are used in more formal settings.

Should Curtains Touch The Floor Or Window Sill?

I know in a lot of small rooms the radiators are positioned below the window and it’s very tempting to take your curtains to the sill or just below as you don’t want to block the heat. However, if your curtains are interlined (which is like a heavy blanket or wadding in between the curtain and the lining) this will keep heat in. This method of using interlining was initially used as insulation well before homes were centrally heated. Taking your curtains to the floor is undoubtedly the most elegant way to go.

What’s The Best Curtain Fabric for Living Rooms?

I’m loving the velvet textures which are still going strong. Far removed from the velvet we remember from the past, they exude luxury. These velvets have a variety of finishes and sheens in metallics for a modern look and are so tactile you can’t help touching them.

A linen polyester or cotton mix is also a good choice as it doesn’t crease the way linen does and of course comes in a vast range of weaves. These fabrics can give a relaxed or formal look depending on the heading you choose. The main thing is to choose a fabric that will drape nicely (not stiff and heavy) and to always interline a lightweight fabric. Interlining will always make a curtain hang better.

How High Do I Put The Pole Above The Window?

One of the easiest ways to create an elegant look especially when you don’t have a huge room to work with, is to think vertically. By hanging your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible you are immediately adding height and elegance to the room.

What Kind Of Pole To Use In A Small Living Room?

Depending on how heavy your curtains are, you can choose any decorative pole that suits your style. I personally love a large 50-65mm diameter pole as it adds a luxury statement to your curtains. I’ve been using Walcot Poles quite a bit recently as I love their textured wrapped poles which come in many finishes for a modern look. Byron & Bryon offer a luxurious hand crafted range and beautiful finishes if you are looking for something special. There is a huge range of poles to suit every budget and as I always say, if the curtains are made to perfection they will hang beautifully.

Take a look at poles available from Walcot here>>

Hand crafted poles from Byron & Byron here>>

You can arrange an appointment to discuss curtains and poles here>>

How Do I Care For My Curtains?

Although some curtain fabrics are washable, not many people wash curtains now especially if they are made to order and involve interlining. And dry cleaning is a risky business. My advice would be to hang them out side to air them and vacuum them regularly. It’s the dust that breaks down the fibres of the fabric, so keeping them dust free is the best option.

I hope this helps you make the right choices for your living room, there’s a lot of beautiful fabric ranges at all price points and if you still feel overwhelmed then we can select the perfect fabric for you.



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