Expressing Yourself with Curtains

Nothing sets the mood of a room like a stylish window treatment. For instance, country charm can be enhanced with tab top curtains in a casual linen plaid. A sleek upstairs flat might call for the clean lines of venetian blinds. Elegant drapes, perhaps made of velvet, damask, or slubbed satin, are essential in a room decorated for classic luxury.

Sheers work well anywhere a light, breezy atmosphere is desired. They can be used beneath drapes or in front of blinds, or simply by themselves in places where security is not an issue. Some sheers are embellished with lush romantic ruffles. Others feature patterns and bold designs. All are nice for letting natural light into the room. Sheers can be made from natural materials like cotton gauze or synthetics, such as nylon.

Lace panels can be used in the same way. They lend a feminine touch to bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms. They are particularly nice under classic drapes. White and off-white are classic, but lace comes in every colour in the rainbow. Red or deep navy lace curtains can transform a bedroom into a sensuous get-away.

Some people prefer lined curtains for several reasons. First of all, they look nice from the curb as well as from inside the house. But an even more important reason for a lining is to keep the fabric from fading. Fabric that hangs in the sun all day can fade quickly and will soon look worn.

A valance can tie a window treatment together. There are several types of valances. The simplest is a short tier of a curtain with a rod pocket sewn in. A double, or even a triple, curtain rod is required if you choose to use a valance with panels, drapes, or sheers. In a tailored, uncluttered room, a box valance may be constructed. These are nice trimmed with ribbon or wall paper boarder, and are built-in at the top of the window. Some of these can even double as a shelf for decorative items.

A swag is a valance that is cut to angle down in such a way that it frames the windows. A swag can either be made with a rod pocket or can drape casually over window scarf hooks. It is usually paired with a plain short tier curtain underneath. These offer a bit of privacy while offering some view. They are nice for kitchens and children's rooms.

A final consideration when choosing a window dressing is whether black-out or insulating material would be advisable. For homeowners wishing to reduce their heating and cooling bills, insulated drapes look good while blocking out the cold and heat. For those who work nights, or perhaps have a baby, black-out curtains make it possible to keep a room darkened for easier sleeping during daylight hours. Both types of drapes are available in a wide variety of colours and prints, making it easy to express yourself.