Though curtains are probably not the first thing that come to mind when you’ve just bought a house or apartment, they are definitely on the list! Curtains provide multiple benefits such as: preventing direct sunlight, instilling privacy, and adding visual appeal to your home. But beyond the obvious benefits, curtains also have an effect on the insulation of your home’s temperature and noise levels. Curtains help with the reduction of heat transfer (saving you a hefty sum on your monthly bills) and the reduction of outside noise. With so many options out there, how can you be sure you’re picking the right ones? Well, before we get into the things you should consider prior to buying curtains, let me just say one thing: do not begin your search before you have considered the things below. The last thing you want is to realize that the curtains you fell in love with are not going to work for you.
So… let’s get right into it.
Consideration #1: What room are the curtains going in?
Considering the room is important for many reasons. First, you should consider the lighting. How much natural light is the room in question receiving? Is this a more intimate room or a more welcoming room? You’ll probably want curtains that allow a good amount of light to stream in for your living room and curtains that will allow less light for your bed room. Second, pay attention to your windows. How big are they? What is their presence in that particular room? Are they at an angle where the sun comes directly in? Asking yourself these questions will help you figure out the kind of curtains you’ll need for that room. Thick or thin? Lining or no lining?
Consideration #2: What vibe are you going for? What do you want the curtains to do for you?
Do you want to create an intimate setting that allows limited light to come in? Do you want a room where the lighting solely depends on the natural light from the window? Once you’ve figured out the purpose of the curtains, it’ll be easier to narrow down your search. For example, if you’re looking to make a room private, you’ll know to rule out sheer curtains and vice versa. If you want a bright room, you’ll know to rule out heavy curtains. Use the purpose of the curtain as a tactic to knock the other options off the table.
Consideration #3: Material – Both fabric and color
Whether it’s silk, linen, velvet, faux silk, pink, green, blood orange, etc., your options are endless. Some general things to keep in mind when picking a material are: how durable is the material you’re picking? What effect is the material going to have on how the curtains hang? How can the material help keep out the cold or transfer the heat? One example: Polyester is said to work well in bedrooms, but not in the kitchen as it’s a material that could easily catch fire. And when it comes to color, think about the room. Is it a room that receives a ton of sunlight? If so, I would recommend staying away from bright colors as the sun will fade the color over time. Neutral colors would be a better option for a room that receives a ton of sunlight.
Consideration #4: Lining and height
Always measure from the top of the window to the floor. And again, constantly be thinking about the curtains purpose in the room. Are you trying to block out all the natural light? If so, you’ll probably want to measure a couple inches above where your window starts so that light doesn’t creep in through the corners. Are you trying to make the ceilings seem higher than they are? If so, do the same thing and measure a couple inches above where the window starts. When measuring the width, add about 4-8 inches on each side to make sure your curtains fully cover your windows even when they are open.
Consideration #5: Washing machine or dry clean only?
If your curtains are dry clean only, keep in mind that these are going to cost you extra to maintain. And do not try to put dry clean only curtains in a washer machine because you will ruin them! Think about your kids, your pets, the color of your curtains, etc when making this decision. Are the curtains in a spot where they can get dirty easily? Are they a color that make stains stand out? Are they convenient enough for your pet to step on after he/she has taken a walk?
Consideration #6: Will you need a specialist?
Picking your curtains should not be overwhelming or stressful. If you really feel you are incapable of doing so, you can always call a specialist! They’ll come right to your home and take down all your measurements as well as provide you with suggestions of what they think would look good. You can also work online with a specialist if you are not currently at home and need advice. Both options are of course pricy and will not work for everyone but it is still something that’s good to know.
Consideration #7: Do you plan on installing your own curtains?
If you plan on installing your own curtains, here are some general instructions. First, mark where your brackets are going to go. Next, drill the holes. Once you’ve done that, you can go ahead and screw the brackets in and attach the curtain to the rod. Make sure the rods are then placed in the brackets and just like that, they’re installed!
- The curtain shop
6. Pottery Barn
7. West Elm
8. Bed bath & Beyond