Discover the Alluring World of Curtains: Unveiling the Essence of Your Home’s Soul

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Are you struggling to find affordable curtains that look nice? I encountered this question while discussing cost-effective home decoration at the FT Weekend Festival. I briefly mentioned the process of making curtains for my cottage, but I want to dive deeper into the topic. Curtains can be quite expensive, even for small windows and low ceilings like the ones in my cottage. You can end up needing a lot of fabric, and if you’re doing all your windows at once, the costs can quickly escalate. To save money, my partner and I decided to buy rolls and scraps of fabric on eBay and have them turned into curtains and blinds by a local maker. Not only was it budget-friendly, but it was also a gratifying experience. I was able to discover unique designs, and some of the fabrics I found were even discontinued. Despite their faded appearance and outdated patterns from the 80s and 90s, I found them charming. I highly recommend searching in antique shops, junk shops, eBay, and similar places because you never know what hidden gems you might find.

Another fantastic option is Haines Collection, a digital platform where interior companies sell surplus textiles, furnishings, and accessories to the public. It is a more sustainable and profitable alternative to sending these items to landfills. The website has an extensive fabric section with listings that suggest recommended uses like drapery, cushions, or upholstery.

Before you start looking for fabrics, it’s important to consult a local maker who can measure your windows and provide advice on how much fabric you’ll need. This will guide your fabric search, and platforms like eBay allow you to filter by fabric length. When discussing your curtains with a maker, they will ask you about headings. You can find inspiration online or in magazines and explore different options. Personally, I prefer pinched pleat headings because they offer a tailored yet unfussy look. Sometimes I like it when the heading covers the curtain pole and hides the rings, but this is not always necessary. Another heading option I like is a rod-gathered heading, which is simpler and more informal. It works particularly well for cottages.

Now, let’s talk about pelmets because I absolutely adore them. Classic box pelmets create an elegant statement and also hide the curtain pole. They can be treated in various ways. You could cover them in the same fabric as your curtains and consider adding a trim for a finishing touch. I personally like using a tonal grosgrain ribbon on the edges of simple box pelmets. It gives them a smart finish, and it’s easy to do. Another idea is to match your pelmet to your walls using wallpaper. If you prefer a ready-made option, companies like Jali offer inexpensive and customizable MDF pelmets that you can paint in the color of your choice. Don’t dismiss pelmets as old-fashioned; they can add character and sophistication to your windows.

For added privacy or a delicate and beautiful effect with sunlight, consider adding a sheer curtain or blind to your window. Sheer curtains can be full length, but half-curtains work particularly well in street-level windows and bathrooms. Semi-sheer cotton voile fabrics are easy to find, but you can also think outside the box and repurpose vintage tablecloths into blinds. Nest Design is a great source of inspiration for curtains and other textile pieces. They design and make curtains for architects, designers, and private clients.

Lastly, don’t discount ready-made curtains. If bespoke curtains are out of your budget, high-street options can still work. You can personalize them to make them unique. For example, John Lewis sells velvet curtains in a range of colors. You can add a decorative trim down the leading edge of each curtain to give them a personalized touch. Schumacher offers colorful tapes and borders that can provide a fabulous finishing touch. Curtains may seem daunting at first, but once you understand the technical aspects, you can have fun with the creative process. If you have any questions about design and stylish living, feel free to email me at lukeedward.ha[email protected]. You can also follow me on Instagram @lukeedwardhall.

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