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Window dressing

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Author: Gill Greenwell, Posted: Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 09:00

Curtains in bedroom interior design style Image: Designers Guild

Autumn is my favourite season. It’s not just about damp mornings and dark nights – it’s cosy evenings in hunkering down by the fire. Now more than ever our homes are our safe place, so it’s the perfect time to focus on making our living spaces cosy and comfortable. What better place to start than investing in some new curtains or blinds?

Curtain call
Curtains keep autumn/winter draughts at bay, but they’re also a great way to add drama to a room with colour and pattern. Follow my simple rules – use full length curtains where possible, don’t block radiators and don’t go mad with lots of expensive fabric.

For extra cosiness, layer curtains over blinds or shutters. I always keep my sitting room curtains drawn back and just close the blinds at night so I get maximum heat from my radiators.

Fabrics and headings
Be sustainable by re-using your old curtains. Add a contrasting band down the edge or along the bottom to make them fit. Search out vintage fabrics or choose natural cotton, linen or wool where you can. A 75%-25% split with a synthetic fabric is a good value option and quality lining makes a cheaper fabric look more expensive.

For a contemporary look, style guru Lulu Lytle advises using a European curtain heading to create a relaxed feel, or go for an eyelet heading paired with black metal poles for a modern industrial look. Your curtain maker can advise you on all the options.

Stay on track
A friend has just installed on-trend Critall windows in her new kitchen. These large-scale windows require a different approach for maximum light. Floor to ceiling Wave curtains are the best option here, and you can achieve this look by fitting the curtain track to the ceiling or concealed behind a fascia. The curtains fold back neatly to reduce the amount of fabric blocking the light when drawn back. Lovely in a linen look fabric.

Be smart with blinds
Blinds are a practical, smart and versatile option, particularly for smaller windows. Terence Conran calls them “the blue jeans of window treatments”. My favourite roman blinds are a great cost-effective alternative to curtains – they use less fabric and you can have fun with pattern, trims and textures.

Venetian blinds are an inexpensive alternative to shutters, classic roller blinds work well for a minimalist look, and trending, natural looking pinoleum blinds are a great solution for home offices.

Ever-popular shutters will always smarten up the outside appearance of a house. My sister has them at her Lake District cottage – they give a nice filtered light and provide her with privacy too.

Finishing touches
For that all-important wow factor, add some decorative details – maybe a trim in an unexpected contrasting colour. Think tassels, braids and fringes. The purple braid trims on my bedroom blinds transform them from ordinary to chic and stylish. Have fun choosing your new curtains and blinds, and create your winter ready cosy home.

Other Images

Image: Designers Guild

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