Curtains Guide

Curtains Guide

Vanette Mendoza

Curtains are a great way of keeping light out, ensuring privacy and can help regulate the temperature of a room. Curtains can make room transformation easy and much less costly adding style to any room. 

What are curtains?

Curtains are pieces of hanging material used either to block out light, a section of a room or just for added privacy. They come in variations of styles, with different materials, different attachments and allowing different light levels to pass through.

Whilst blinds and other types of window decoration have become more popular, curtains remain popular and continue to serve their purpose.


Adding the finishing touch to your home's decor can make a statement.

Curtains can affect the decor of a whole room. Often covering a significant portion of the wall, the design of a curtain can significantly improve the appearance of a room and make a room much more enjoyable to be in, whilst opting for the wrong curtains can make the room less appealing and could make the room too dark.


 Different styles for curtains

There's not just one way of using curtains. Try different looks to achieve the desired effect you're going for.

The Layered Look

Curtains may be layered on the windows to enhance the look. Layer multiple layers to get an intimate and romantic feel. Multiple curtains mean more material, giving a fuller and more luxurious appearance. Select matching colours to create additional effects.

Alternately layering heavier curtains can enhance the window depths. Combining a light material like cotton curtains and another heavier style, for example, silk can be very luxurious. It gives you the ability to control the amount of light within an area during certain times of the day with a heavier choice to block the light in the evening.

 Traditional Two-Piece

The most common types of the curtain are simple, elegant and understated; the two-piece has a curtain on each side which is then drawn in to meet in the middle.


The single curtain

Curtain panels may be used in window treatments. Sweep the curtain into one corner for a romantic look or keep it hanging for a relaxed feeling.



 Type of curtains


Eyelet curtains are known for their contemporary style. The eyelets are usually around 40mm (if you need a different size, look at going custom).


Sheer curtains

Sheer curtains are great for letting light in and allowing privacy. They are usually lightweight and will help will illumination in any room.


Tab top

Tab top curtains have evenly spaced "tabs" at the top of the curtains and work with poles. It can be more effort than other curtains, as they are mainly decorative than functional.


Pencil pleat

A popular option, the usual pleats measure around three inches deep. They are contemporary and have a simple appearance with long, tight folds at the top and are suitable for most rooms.



Goblet pleat

Goblet pleat curtains offer a more formal feel that looks great in high ceilings rooms; they are tucked and folded with the goblet pleats open at the top, giving a wineglass appearance. Goblet pleat curtains also usually come with a rope that helps draw the curtain back from the window.



Pinch Pleat

This involves groups of three pleats which sit at the top of the curtain. They're kept together at the base of the pleats by means of a stitch and allow to fan out. This is an elegant and simple style which continues to be popular today. This Richard Barrie design will bring warmth to any room.


How do I measure for ready-made curtains?

Measuring curtains can be stressful, but it's fairly easy to calculate. If your window is two metres long, then the width of the curtains should be 150% times bigger, up to around 200%. So, in this case, with a two-metre window, your curtains would ideally be about three to four metres. This gives 75cm – 100cm clearance on each end of the curtain to the start of the window.


Layering curtains with other window dressings

For enhanced effects, you can layer the curtains in your home. It can be for aesthetics and practical reasons like deciding how much sunlight can get through. Layering different drapery with blinds can be a fantastic way to blend fabrics in a window to add contrast, textures or patterns.

Combining light shades and full curtains is terrific for allowing for softness in windows. You could even use blinds in layers to cover curtain walls and improve sound insulation and noise suppression. Alternatively, curtains may be coated with a mixture of violas. Voiles are a good option for avoiding prying eyes coming into homes at night.



Choose curtains that make an impression on your window. Window dressing adds style and character to any home, but choosing curtains is not only about their width or length. Curtains are essential and can bring out your personality and can be a focal piece in the room.

 Types of curtain fitting

Exact Fitting (Recommended)

Perhaps the most popular method for its simplicity. Attach a curtain rail above the window (2 inches minimum) using wall plugs, and the screws attached fit how you want it; remember to add around 50-100cm clearance on each side of the window.


Recess Fitting

When curtains are recess fitted, this means that the track of the curtain is made to be used with a recess fixing in the ceiling. While this takes more work, many people find them more visually appealing as the track fits into a hollowed-out area in the ceiling, making it invisible.


Bay windows

Bay windows can be awkward to buy curtains for, as with various shapes, you need them to fit correctly. Thankfully, most bay window curtain poles can be altered to fit multiple bay window styles.



Finishing with stylish accessories


The finishing touches chosen for the finished product should be as crucial as the textile for its final product. The accessories must compliment your chosen fabrics perfectly. Are there any tracks or poles? How can a bar fit in a house? Is it possible that tiebacks would be helpful? This may seem like some choices; however, there are many possibilities.

Track accessories

The typical curtain track measures the entire length of the way. Completement the track with accessories like gliders, brackets, hooks and cording.


Pole accessories

Accessories for curtain poles include brackets and connects, curtain rings, finials and draw rods.


Curtain accessories

There are plenty of ways to jazz up curtains with accessories, including flowers, acrylic bead tiebacks, embroidered ribbons, and more.


Choosing the proper curtain lining

The curtain is lining standard and has an elegant finish. There is a possibility for a thermal curtain covering that helps insulate the house or a blackout curtain cover that keeps exterior light out.


Measuring the correct curtain drop

Curtains are mounted on wall surfaces. The curtain should have a little area below it; if it is moved down the bottom, it might snag and swell.


Choosing how high to hang your curtains

If your curtain is placed a few inches over the window pane, you will increase its effect on the height.


Selecting a header type

Pinch pleat headings

Curtains are lined with pleated fabrics and woven into several sections that create dazzling patterns; the woven fabric has graceful folds that run to the floor. There are pinning pins on the poles and tracks.


Pencil pleat headings

Pencil curtains with pleats gather the fabrics into semicircle rolls similar to pencils. The curtains slide freely onto the ground. The heading is a classic that can go on poles or tracks.


Wave headings

Wave curtain covers have a relaxed, informal feel. The curtain is broken down into soft waves that allow more material visibility. Wave curtains can be attached to sloping tracks.


Eyelet headings

Eyelets curtain heads can be attached via wired rings, and the drapery hangs in thick uniform folding from top to bottom of the pole. These types are pretty popular in modern homes.




How to measure curtain drop?

These allowances taken into consideration whether you use poles or tracks will help you get the best out of your curtains.


Measuring drop for a regular curtain pole

The curtain should be measured from the eyelet in the bottom of the rings (where the hooks are inserted) until the curtain finishes. It is recommended to us to improve our appearance. You can hide the ring's upper and eyeliner by adding 1″ to a measurement.


Measuring drop for an eyelet curtain pole

Upon using a curved curtain pole, you must measure the height of your curtain to the point in which your curtains should go. Please note that the curtain must have a minimum clearance between 1.7″ and 2″ below the curtain pole.


Measuring drop for a curtain track

If you are using curtains, the height of the curtain tracks should be measured from the point of the curtain to the end.



 What's the best material for curtains?

Cotton Curtain Material

Cotton curtains will either be 100% cotton or a cotton mix. Both types are great for everyday use and work well in a combination of window styles. One benefit of cotton curtains is they are often lighter compared to other types. They are also usually easy to hang ( the lining in the curtains helps with this); however, they can change colour in the sun, becoming lighter.


Linen curtains

Linen curtains are an excellent option for a chilled out atmosphere but can bleach in the sunlight faster when compared to artificial fibres. An ideal choice for privacy without blocking out too much light can range from lightweight to heavyweight.


Wool Curtain Material

Wool curtains are becoming more and more popular. They are great for adding warmth to the room, and also they are a renewable natural fabric. Another benefit with wool curtains is (if they are 100% wool) it will be fire retardant ( it is flammable, but the material needs to reach at least 1,058 degrees Fahrenheit to start a fire.



Silk and Faux Silk Material

Achieve a glamourous look in any room with silk and faux silk materials. Silk curtains are renowned for class; however, they are more pricey when compared to other materials. You'll want to find a pair with a good lining too.


Velvet Curtain Material

A popular material, velvet curtains are usually heavyweight and thicker(make sure the pole can support it). Also, velvet curtains aren't as compact as other types, so please consider this if you've got smaller windows.



How far should curtains be off the floor?

The curtain should hang around half an inch from the floor; however, the distance is really up to you. Some people like their curtains to hang and reach the floor, while others prefer a bit more clearance, making tasks like hoovering and mopping much more accessible.


Can I put curtains over blinds?

Curtains and blinds can work well together when thoughtfully planned out. This can give you a better range of lighting options being more flexible with say lighter coloured curtains and with lighter coloured blinds, helping to keep the room lighter and not too dark.


What colour curtains to choose from?

The colour of your curtains depends on your decor and the size of the room. Larger rooms can get away with darker colours, whereas smaller rooms will benefit from lighter colours. To block out more light, darker colours are preferable; to add more personality to a room, go for striking designs.


How high should I hang my curtains?

You want to hang your curtains around four to inches above the window frame. Ideally, the top of the curtains should never be closer than 2 inches to the ceiling. Positioning the curtains higher will make the window appear taller.


Are curtains out of style?

In our opinion, curtains will never go out of style. Whilst they aren't as popular as they once were mainly due to more modern alternatives like blinds and curtain panels, windows up and down the UK still use curtains.