Dressing Your Window - The Everyday Artform with a Staggering Array of Options
Curtains and blinds were once so unappreciated, not surprising given the choice before us was so underwhelming. But there has been something of a quiet revolution on this front and today’s window accessories can set a casual, relaxed scene, just as they can create a dramatic backdrop.
For a modern rustic interior, sheers are the way forward. Gone are the days when net curtains were hung simply to obscure the view. Today’s featherweight drapes create a light, bright and breezy atmosphere – offering a far more informal solution when compared to the relatively stiff and formal traditional curtain.
And no better a time is there than spring for going sheer – just as the periods of sunlight are getting longer and temperatures warming, allowing us to open the windows and watch sheers dramatically billow across the room.
The choice of sheers is staggering, incorporating every colour imaginable and an astounding number of patterns. For those who may struggle with colour combinations and contrasts, the fail-safe options of white and cream are a one-size fits all option for almost every existing interior.
The Curtain Conundrum
When it comes to window dressing, curtains are the go-to option and typically they fall into one of two categories – formal or casual.
Formal curtains are generally heavy, tailored fabrics with plenty of body – they’re particularly well-placed in a traditional home where sleekness is a running theme. When colours such as royal blue, rich red or shimmering silver combine with a formal style curtain, the order of the day is decadence and opulence in equal measure.
Casual curtains are a world away from their formal cousins and pay homage to the current make-do and mend styling sweeping interiors.
This trend has impacted every part of the home, from the unstoppable rise of upcycled furniture and DIY artwork, to the introduction of cork materials and hand-crafted panelling. Casual curtains have experienced an upsurge in popularity alongside this interior design movements, and are instantly recognisable for their almost handmade look. For an especially laid back appearance, choose a slightly longer than necessary drop so curtains gather on the floor beautifully.
Window dressing has moved on considerably in recent years. No longer do we just have to think about materials, colours and weights. Instead we have to consider how best to ensure we get a decent night’s sleep without the sun peeping in, how to keep homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
There was once a time when to guarantee complete and utter darkness a seamstress would tack some thick material to the back of your curtains. Now, most fabric designers incorporate black-out layers into their fabrics to ensure the bedroom is perfectly dark for some decent shut eye.
Like black-out curtains, specialist thermal lined curtains are becoming more and more popular in the home. These energy-efficient homewares can drive down the heat transference through your windows by an impressive 24 per cent - which means cooler rooms in the summer, and a warmer home in the winter. Impressive indeed.
Taking The Indoors, Outdoors
The past few years has seen a transformation of our outdoor areas – driven by an upsurge in bi-fold doors and the merging of the interior of our homes with the outside space beyond it. As furnishings such as sofas and cushions have been built to withstand the outdoors, while al fresco dining has been taken to a whole new level, fabrics have also found their way outside.
Now, there are specialist fabrics that are more than ready for outdoor life – fabrics that are coated with water repellent surfaces, and materials that have been developed to face even the harshest of sunlight season after season. All of which means that inviting, stylish patio areas, pergolas, arbours and arches will never be the same again.
Top Tips for Dressing your Window
- Use your existing décor to influence your decision when picking your curtains
- Choose a fabric that is suitable for the room
- New traditional is all the rage meaning sheers are back in, great for added privacy and a romantic finish
- Does your bedroom give you a cracking view of the sunrise? Best ensure your chosen material is black-out ready
- Made-to-measure curtains are perfect for the structured look while oversized gathers work well in a casual setting