IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU’RE BUYING CURTAINS

COLOR AND FABRIC

Fabric is an essential part of choosing curtains, since the material will dictate how well your curtains function and hold up over time.

“If they’re too heavy, they may not fold crisply when drawn; too light and they may not fall well”.

Holding fabrics up to a window, even in a fabric showroom. “Pleat it like an accordion at the top and let it drape,” she says. “If it starts to flare like a piece of crinoline, then it’s not going to fall nicely on the window.”

Work with a big sample, at least 2 yards, since a smaller piece may not show the fabric’s true drape.

Also, remember sunlight will fade fabrics over time. If the room in question gets a lot of light, it’s smart to avoid bright colors, since they tend to fade faster.

Some fabrics can help keep out the cold. Many hotels use suede, velvet, tapestry or tweed since their weight helps block light and keep heat in. Still, nearly any fabric can be interlined with bump, a thick, insulating felt material. And interlining — a piece of fabric slipped between the lining and the face fabric — can also help prolong the life of the curtains.

LENGTH AND LINING

Before you take out the tape measure, decide how high above the window you’d like the curtains to begin. “Hanging panels higher than the window will give a sense of height to the room.

Measure from the top of the window (plus the added inches of height where the curtains will hang from) to the floor. For a more traditional look, with the curtain slightly puddled on the floor, you’ll want to add another two or three inches to your length.

When measuring the width of your window, be sure to add four to eight inches on both sides and double the total number to ensure curtain fullness. “Then you won’t block a lot of window glass when the curtains are open, and they won’t get in the way.

OFF-THE-SHELF AND CUSTOM WINDOW TREATMENTS

Custom window treatments offer many benefits: You can customize the dimensions to your window size and create a tailored look, like a perfectly-fitted suit. Custom panels come in endless design options, from material to header style. With these options, though, comes a considerable price difference from off-the-shelf curtain panels.

IN-HOME VS. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS

Get your curtains right with a home consultation. Some companies, like Accentsstore, will send a consultant to your home to help you decide on colors, textures and finishes that blend perfectly with your design — saving you a few trips to the store.