Window Curtains: Still the Classic Solution for your Home Sublime

Window curtains go by many names: drapes, drapery & drapery panels. There’s custom drapes, made-to-order as well as the stock sizes which are partially a do-it-yourself solution. And, just about every store under the sun sells drapes. I think that I once saw them for sale at a gas station in Phoenix once – just kidding. The point is though that window curtains are pretty ubiquitous and vary widely in quality, looks and, of course, price.

I remember the curtains in my Grandmother’s house. They were polyester and had that dated look from the 1970’s. They were the kind of drapes that would, unfortunately, probably last forever with care. They were also a considerable investment back then. My Grandma’s were high-quality drapes with the nice lining and everything and they covered a huge window in the rear of her home. But, I digress. You may have a similar memory but don’t let that deter you from giving them a fresh look for your interior decorating plans.

Drapes come in a wide variety of colors and materials, such as silk, cotton, linen, polyester blends, faux suede and more. Most of the upscale drapes come with a basic lining but you can opt for an interliner or blackout liners. An interliner is essentially a soft brushed flannel fabric that provides extra body and added protection from sun fading and is highly recommended for silk fabrics. For bedrooms, I would highly recommend choosing the blackout liner option.

Window curtains come in a variety of styles, including pinch pleat, grommet style, rod pocket, French pleats and more. Which style you choose is completely up to your tastes. Some of these styles have a more classic look and some have a fancier, upscale look. So just make sure if cohesive with the basic décor of your room.

The cost of window curtains varies widely. You can purchase the cheap, one-size-fits-all drapes at Target or stores of a similar ilk which, in my opinion, are drapes best suited for kid’s rooms. Or, you can purchase more upscale drapes from Crate and Barrel and the Pottery Barn. A third option is to purchase window curtains online. There are a plethora of good e-commerce websites selling mostly custom drapery panels. This is a good solution from a cost perspective as they are generally less expensive then retail establishments.

If you are planning to decorate a living room, family room, etc. and are considering window curtains, I would recommend budgeting a similar amount of money as you would spend on good quality window blinds or shades. The extra cost really shows in the finished look. Another consideration is to use window curtains in addition to window blinds and shades for a layered look. This can add a richness and warmth that is hard to beat. Window curtains look especially great with plantation shutters, wood blinds or faux wood blinds – basically blinds made from, or at least looking like, wood materials. They don’t compliment mini blinds, vertical blinds, or fabric shades quite as well but there are exceptions to that as well.

To recap, the right window curtains can really make a nice addition to almost any room and should not be overlooked when considering window treatments or coverings. ? David Brooks.

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