Designing Curtains

My absolute favourite part of my job is designing curtains. Maybe it’s memories of hiding in the divine texture of my grandmothers rich red velvets drapes as a child. Or maybe it’s because of the cosiness created by the combination of drawn curtains drawn and a fire lit. I’m not sure, but I love thinking about the affect the curtains will have on a space. They can completely transform a room and tie a scheme together. When the curtains go up, I always have that feeling of a bride putting on her veil. The perfect finishing touch.

So, this article isn’t going to discuss how to measure, the difference between Roman and London blinds or what to consider if you’d like to have electric curtains. This article is all about the joy of beautiful window treatments. Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration to make your room a little more special.

 Decorative Pelmets

Just the word “pelmet” is enough to make some people cringe. I will admit, there is a gut reaction that makes you think of highly decorative, very matchy-matchy circa 1980s window treatments. But, the lowly pelmet is making a great comeback.

The image below is what many of you will think of when you think “pelmet”. However, I actually think this is a great example of how you can go with a traditional design but still make it modern. This image is from one of the guest rooms at Cliveden House. They clearly want to evoke a certain traditional glamour in their décor. But the pleating and trim details in this design give it a contemporary feel.

This diminutive pelmet is a great example of how to add interest to a window treatment. The heavily lined fabric design is a great balance for the soft, flowing nature of the sheer curtains draping either side. A discreet roll blind provides extra privacy but the star of this window is absolutely the pelmet.

The Arts Club

 Add Some Detail

Curtains really come into their own when the designer takes the time to add some detail. For all of the examples below, it is the added touches that really make these curtains special. The designers haven’t just designed the curtains- they’ve made them an important component to the overall room design. They are absolutely central to the overall success of the schemes.

Tone On Tone

One of the most effective ways to make your curtains more impressive is to work directly from your wall colour. This is obviously less effective when dealing with neutrals. However, if you’ve got a hint of colour, or an in-your-face scream-out-loud statement wall, you can accentuate the look by colour matching your curtains.

One trick that I think is important when colour matching your curtains, is to consider trims and tie backs. When there is so much of one colour, it’s important to soften the look and create some much-needed balance.

For more information about how to freshen up your favourite space with new curtains you can reach me on jill@clarenorrishinteriordesign.com. 

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