One of the fastest, easiest ways to completely rejuvenate a room is to put up new curtains. But choosing the right curtain for your room is often easier said than done. With a wide variety of textures, patterns, and features, there is no clear-cut way to choose fabric for your window treatments. Fortunately, there are a few things to think about that will narrow down your options.
1. What are you hoping your curtains will do?
It may surprise you that the first thing you should consider when selecting the right curtain fabric isn’t color or pattern. Instead, it is important to first ask yourself what you are hoping your curtains can do for your room. If you have antique furniture you would like to protect, a curtain with the ability to filter UV light will keep your upholstery protected for years to come. Work nights and need to catch some shut-eye during the day? Blackout curtains can help you fall asleep and stay asleep so you can get the rest you need. Consider the direction your windows face, how the seasons affect your room, what sort of energy efficiency you are hoping to gain, and the position and composition of your furniture before choosing a piece of fabric. You may be surprised at what options rise to the top based on this information alone.
2. What look are you trying to achieve?
Whether it is Bohemian chic or mid-century modern, your personal taste preferences will dictate the texture and pattern of your fabric. Likewise, the shape and fabric on your furniture will help you choose the right curtain fabric to complete your room. Mid-century modern furnishings often lend themselves to bold colors and patterns on cotton or linen curtains. Beach cottage furnishings and gauzy drapes go hand in hand. Smaller patterns and heavier textures go well with French Provencal upholstery. Even if you are trying to move in a different direction with your home furnishings, the right curtain can bridge the gap between your grandmother’s settee and that fabulous reupholstered mid-century thrift store find.
3. Measure Your Window
One of the biggest mistakes people make is choosing fabric they love in a swatch but hate in a larger window. Measuring the window, you are hoping to cover gives you a frame of reference for the amount of fabric you need as well as how large of a “canvas” you are working with. At Beckenstein Fabrics, we want you to love the curtains you choose. That is why we have thousands of fabrics on site that you can see in larger pieces than what you would typically find in a swatch album. Even if we do not have the fabric you are looking for in our warehouse, we can help you decide on curtain fabric you are sure to love in your space.
4. Consider Curtains an Investment
It may be tempting to purchase curtains from a big box store rather than investing in high-quality window treatments. Some people cite wanting to change the look of the room without spending a bundle. Others feel like “trying something out” is the best way to add curtains to a room, figuring they will invest in something they love down the line.
The truth is, inexpensive curtains rarely perform the way you want them to. Rather than offering true UV filter, inexpensive curtains often rely on the fabric itself rather than true UV treatments to block the sun’s harmful rays. Instead of offering a true blackout, most inexpensive options only block out some of the light because of the type of fabric used in their creation.
Inexpensive curtains also don’t fit your window the way you want them to. Most are made in so-called “standard sizes” that manufacturers to maximize their fabric yardage. Instead of getting a custom fit, you wind up with ill-fitting curtains that do not offer the rich, luxurious look you are hoping for.
5. Color, Texture, Pattern, Shine
Once you have considered the functionality, position, size and financial commitment of new curtains, you are finally ready to consider color, texture, pattern, and shine of the fabric. Your choices in every other area of consideration will often direct you to a certain family of fabrics. For instance, if you are looking for a light, breezy feeling for a window that gets indirect light, you may find yourself looking at the linen family. From there you can consider the different textures, colors, and patterns available in that segment. Suddenly, thousands of options are narrowed down to tens or at most hundreds. Rather than drowning in options you can begin to compare your favorite fabrics and land on just the right one.
As daunting as it may seem to pick the right fabric for the curtains in your home, the process is really about knowing what you need from your curtains, what you want from your decor, what your measurements are, and what your investment is. Once you have done the introspection work, choosing a curtain fabric is fun and exciting. Still confused about what you are looking for? The experts at Beckenstein Fabrics can help. Call today for a free curtain consultation. Be sure to bring your window measurements and think about what you are hoping to get from your curtains. Together we can find the right fabric for your window treatments.