Picking out curtains is tricky. With so many choices out there, choosing the right type of window treatments can be overwhelming. Once you've decided on curtains (as opposed to shutters or blinds), the next step is fabric type. This is usually dictated by what you're trying to achieve.
Need to block out all light for a nursery or a Media Room? You want a heavier fabric like velvet, or one with block-out fabric. Want to keep heat from escaping in winter? Again, heavier drapes. Do you want to have some natural light but still want privacy? You want Light Filtering curtains. Just looking for a little decorative finish to frame your windows? You can go lightweight linen or with sheers!
IMPORTANT: When weighing up fabric options, remember that you'll need a minimum of 4 x panels per window (even for a small one). Trying to cheap out and pull one or two panels across your windows like a sheet will look cheap. You need to get enough to make sure they still fold, even when closed.
FAKE BIGGER WINDOWS
The next step is to measure from the top of the curtain rod to the floor. When in doubt, go for the longer option, especially if they're machine-washable (more about that later). Also, remember, that you can always lift the rod higher than the actual window! This will give the illusion of height and you can always add a pelmet to hide the fact that you have stubby windows.
FIT, BREAK OR PUDDLE?
It's difficult to get your curtains to exactly fit the floor. Plus, if you hang your curtains this way, and then wash them, you're going to face a Harry High-Water situation once they're dry! If that happens, don't fret! There are things you can do, but it's better to play it safe and get longer panels that will break or even puddle on the floor.
CURTAIN TRACK OR ROD?
When I was picking out curtains for our new house in 2019, I was attracted to a stylish brass curtain rod and decorative curtain rings. We have a LOT of windows, so I opted for some great looking, machine-washable panels from Target. I LOVE them, but the rod? not so much. Why? Because the adjustable rod has a little lip that makes it hard to tug the curtains closed every night! Next time, I'm definitely going for a smoother curtain track situation, with a box pelmet to hide the mechanics.
Apart from their obvious, linen-like good looks, I love my Target curtains because they can be machine washed and tumble-dried! Can you even? Back in 2016, we spent a small fortune on linen curtains for our rental, and they faded and fell to shreds the first time I even tried to wash them (by hand). Never again! If you can't find machine washable curtains that you like, I would actually invest in some custom-made ones. Just make sure you wash, and tumble dry the fabric before you have them made, and you can proceed with confidence. I still can't get over my washable panels. They are as easy to wash as a T-shirt. I just wash them in cold water, on a delicate cycle, and tumble dry them on low heat. I give them a turn with wool dryer balls, to scent them, and then take them out of the dryer when they are almost dry. Let them hang damp, and spritz them with Room & Linen Spray, and you have immaculately clean window treatments that gently scent the room when the sun (or the central heating) comes through. Heaven.