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The curtain market is one filled with infinite possibilities, ranging from those designed to block out light, those created to allow light to filter through while maintaining privacy, and those which are purely decorative and selected to elevate the aesthetic appearance of a living space or functional room in the home. Finding the right curtains often begins with an assessment of the need, with most buyers finding their purchase largely influenced by the amount of light blocking that they need their curtains to do. For example, if you are shopping for curtains for a bedroom you will likely find yourself leaning towards the heavier fabrics which create more of a block against natural light; meanwhile, if you simply want to frame and dress a window in your living room but anticipate that this will only be used to block out direct sunlight at certain times during the day, you can generally afford to choose something much lighter and more airy in composition.

Making sure your curtains are functional

One of the issues we often see buyers facing is how to get the most from their curtains, when they have a fabric already chosen but it is not thick or strong enough to shield the light from entering a room. The fact is, curtains play a huge part in the soft furnishing appearance of a room, and are often used as a means of injecting colour and vibrance into a space, or showcasing the favourite colours and characters of children in a playroom or children’s room – however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are ideal for blocking light or doing their job. If in doubt, one of the best things you can do is take your chosen material and pair it with a set of blackout curtains which act as somewhat of a lining; adding extra layers to your curtaining and ensuring that the overall effect is impenetrable by light.

Popular designs for decorative curtains

Of course, it’s not just the infusion of colour that curtains are used for, particularly in modern living spaces where colour is at the bottom of the priority list in terms of soft furnishings. For many modern buyers, the real focus lies in the texture and layering that each part of the room brings, with curtains in particular providing a really stylish way of adding layers of a new texture which sets the window apart and draws attention to it in a different way. Some of the most stylish designs we have seen in modern homes actually use very pale and almost transparent curtains, which are so light that they tend to move around much more freely in the breeze of an open window – immediately adding life to the room and creating an uplifting vibe. These are the epitome of decorative curtains as they focus completely on the way the curtains fill the space and add to the aesthetic of the room, rather than adding privacy or darkness to the space.

Things to consider with curtains

The main thing you need to consider when you go to purchase any set of curtains is the size of the window or door to be framed – with our main rule being to always size up in your curtains. After all, there is nothing worse than a curtain which doesn’t quite manage to cover the whole window, with far too many buyers and homeowners opting for curtains that they think will fit only to find that they aren’t long enough or are not quite wide enough to fit comfortably across the entire window. The best curtains tend to be manufactured and made to measure by specialist retailers, though you can find standard curtains across department stores and soft furnishing retailers as well.

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