Curtains are to lounges what a good quality mattress is to a bedroom: an overlooked, but essential accessory that singlehandedly transforms a living space.
As with mattresses, the options are endless, with each variable just as important as the next. From colour to fabric to heading, it can often feel like you need a PhD in interior design to know what you should be looking for in a pair of long-lasting curtains.
That’s where we can help. For a speedy and savvy shopping trip, read our curtain buying guide, below.
Before you get distracted by pretty pigments and dazzling designs, you firstly need to consider how you want to hang your made to measure curtains. More specifically, are you going to opt for a smart track or a simple pole?
In terms of functionality, they are essentially the same. The difference is that curtain poles remain visible as the fabric is hooked through a metal or wooden pole. They’re more decorative than tracks and you can even accessorise them with stylish finials, adding a touch of opulence to your window dressing.
Track curtains, on the other hand, use clip-on gliders and heading tape to hide the tracks so that the fabric drapes gently without any interference. The nature of their design also means they are easier to cut and more flexible than poles – making them ideal for dressing bay window bends.
Whether you want a heavy curtain with plenty of body or a thin flowing fabric, different curtain styles are influenced by the heading.
Take pencil pleat curtains, for example. A mainstay of living rooms for generations, these curtains boast orderly folds which makes them an ideal curtain header for traditional settings.
If you’re partial to a more modern motif, you will want to dress your window with eyelet curtains. This heading is exclusive for curtain poles, characterised by metal edged holes ringed along the header. The result is a pair of curtains that hang in soft, loose folds, for a simple, yet elegant look.
While you may have your heart set on a pair of bewitching royal blue curtains, the question is; do they fit in with your lounge?
If in doubt, opt for complementary or matching curtain colours to deliver a harmonious look. Not confident with your colour matching skills? Don’t worry – you can find all you need to know about styling in our colour wheel blog post.
When it comes to the more practical applications of your curtains think about how your colour choice will respond to natural light. For example, dark colours tend to absorb light, which can make lounges look small and boxy.
Curtains come in pretty much every fabric imaginable. All you need to do is hang material by the windows and, hey presto, you’ve got yourself a pair of curtains. That said, some are better suited to living rooms than others.
For example, silk curtains might look luxurious, but they are extremely thin (so, not ideal for privacy) and prone to sun damage (a living room no-no). On the other hand, a luxurious and thick fabric, such as velvet, is far more practical.
Blocking out sunlight and retaining the same deep, rich colour for years to come, velvet curtains are a living room staple. Due to their heaviness, they can even insulate your lounge and keep out a winter’s chill.
But be warned – while they tick many boxes, velvet is a high maintenance material, so you should research how to clean your velvet fabric first before you hang up your curtains.
Now you know how to choose curtains, you’re ready to start your search. At Plumbs, we offer over 1200 different fabric options for your curtains, giving you plenty of window dressing inspiration. And the best part is that you don’t need to faff around with measuring tape – Plumbs home consultants will do all the hard work for you!
Sophie is a great granddaughter of the founders of the business - so fabrics and furniture are almost part of her DNA! Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is The Repair Shop. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.
We'll go through our fabric collections and offer advice on colour and designs. There's no pressure to buy anything.