How to Choose The Right Curtains for Your Home

What You Should Know About Curtain Lengths, Fabrics, and Hardware. Natural light coming into your home is a beautiful thing, except when you want to sleep or have some privacy.

Yes, curtains are pretty much a necessity regardless of where you live, and you'll want to do a little research before you buy to make sure you're getting the right size and style for your home.

To help take the guesswork out of the process, we've put together this quick guide on choosing shades and all the extras that come with them.

Step one: find out how long they should be

Length is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing curtains. There are five standard curtain lengths: 63 inches, 84 inches, 95 inches, 108 inches, and 120 inches.

How long it lasts will depend on the height of your windows and ceilings and the look you are trying to achieve.

The length of the curtain is determined by measuring from the pole pocket, which is where the curtain hangs from the curtain pole to the bottom of the fabric.

(Note that there are also short curtains, called layered curtains, that only cover part of the window. They are usually 24 or 36 inches long.)

To find the length of the curtain you need, you may want to raise the curtain rod to the height of the floor.

Determine where your rod will be installed or measure from the existing rod to where you want the blinds to hang: at the bottom of the window or to the floor.

Take this measurement in inches as this is how curtain lengths are generally given in the US.

The standard width of the curtain is 45 inches. To determine if you will need one or two panels, measure the width of the window in inches and then add 12 inches on each side to offset the projection of the rod and allow the curtains to hang in soft folds instead of hanging.

Types of curtains by length:

When shopping for curtains, it can be helpful to search for certain keywords rather than just the length. These are the common terms that are used.

Layered curtains: short curtains that only cover part of the window.

Apron curtains: curtains that are placed just below the bottom of the window.

Floor curtains: curtains that reach the floor. It usually looks best when paired with a downrod that is closer to the ceiling.

Drapery Puddle: Drapes that go to the floor with some fabric remaining on the bottom. Again, combine them with a higher pole.

Step two: choose a curtain fabric

Curtains come in a variety of fabrics. In addition to thinking about the general look, you want your windows to have, remember how much light will come through.

Heavier blackout fabrics will hold the light lighter than lighter, more transparent fabrics.

If you want a lot of light to shine: choose sheer or cotton fabrics. Even in a variety of colors, you will still get plenty of natural light.

If you want a moderate amount of light: go for linen curtains, which offer a textured fabric that lets in some, but not all, light.

If you want the light to be totally or almost totally blocked: choose velvet curtains, which are extremely heavy and opaque.

Blackout curtains, which feature a special lining that completely blocks sunlight, are also an option.

Within each fabric option, you will also have a lot to choose from in terms of color and pattern.

Go bold if you want your curtains to be a standout feature in the room, or keep them simple if you'd rather not distract from other focal points in the space.

Step three: choose your hardware

The last step in choosing your curtains is deciding on the hardware, including the curtain rod. To balance the look, choose a curtain rod that is 6 to 12 inches wider than the window.

This will provide some visual interest and also give you room to move the blinds to the side when you want them open.

Fortunately, most standard curtain rods are adjustable, so you can make them smaller or larger as needed.

As for your hardware material, brass, brushed nickel, polished nickel, and antique bronze are popular choices that can fit almost any style of home.

If you decide to use curtain holders, keep them the same material as your rod to maintain continuity.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about how to choose curtains for your home:

Source: West Elm

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