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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Curtains 101

Do you ever gasp at things that make you happy? An image, or a color, that is so perfect you can’t believe it existed without you knowing about it?

The other day I fell in love with a curtain. Yes, a curtain! For those of you who know me well, you know that the curtains in my living room are, in fact, cream blankets from Walmart; a solution that happened on a cold February day, after weeks of looking for the “perfect’ curtain. Not my first option, they ended up being what I love the most; hanging casually from old, copper pipes with distressed curtain hooks. In fact, the process was so time consuming that I had no option but to write about it. Anyway, I recently saw some curtains that I loved, and it reminded me once again how difficult it can be to choose them.

I think, the first thought should be whether your need is driven by beauty or function? Of course, ideally, everything in life should be a combination of both, but in reality that rarely happens; to get there can take far more time than any of us have. Regardless of why you need them, spend a little bit of time wondering about your curtains before you buy.

In my living room, for example, I have three very large windows, each over 10 feet wide. I wanted a curtain that insulated the room in the Winter, but was not so decorative that it conflicted with my need to scatter random pieces of art onto the walls. Hence the cream blankets; they are simple, but warm, and I love the thick texture against the painted walls.

Like most things, we can get bogged down in the thought process, but going forward is always easier than we think. Decorating your windows should be fun, just ask yourself a few easy questions before you begin:

Do you want the curtains to be purely decorative – a statement of color or pattern? Then choose with no restrictions. Buy what you love. Remember to open the packet, and hang them up (or lay them out on the floor) before you throw away the receipt. Any curtain will look totally different when it is opened up into a 4 foot by 7 foot panel. – Are they something that you are buying because you “have to”? Be understated/neutral/classic in your decision. For total anonymity, try to match, or use a shade similar to the wall color. Is keeping in warmth, or shutting out sunlight, important? Spent extra time researching speciality curtains. They may cost a bit more, but will definitely solve your problem. – How much do you want to spend?Be realistic with your budget. Don’t be lured into things you cannot afford. Find your favorite, then see if there is a less expensive option available. – Is your room large or small, ceilings high or low? If it is small, then choose curtains that are similar (or complimentary) to the wall color. Hang them above the window for extra height. Too much pattern, or opposing colors, will break up a room, making it appear smaller. If ceilings are very tall, check the length before you buy.

The gorgeous photograph above is from A lovely blend of pinks that are elegant and feminine, without being too “precious”. The curtain is crushed silk.

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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