Curtain designs - something for everyone

When you actually come to selecting your curtain designs, you may find it a bit more difficult than you first thought. If you want something simple there's usually no problem.

But once you decide you need a more elaborate or sophisticated treatment, there's a bit more to it. Have a look at the following illustrations, and you'll find lots of inspiration for your own home decorating.

These designs are very basic ones, and can be used in all types of homes. There are many variations on these curtain designs, such as adding trimmings and borders. Once you decide which one is best for you it makes sorting out the finishing touches a bit easier.


Straight curtains

A style for all situations

This is what most of us think of when we talk about curtains or drapes. And it is perhaps the most useful of all curtain styles.

  • You can use it for long or short curtains.
  • Can be hung from tracks, poles, corded tracks, under cornice boxes, etc.
  • Allows for a variety of headings, such as pencil pleats, pinch pleats, bottle headings, etc.
  • Looks good when fitted inside or outside a window recess.

Curtains on floor

No, it's not a mistake!

Curtain designs include this idea of having the fabric 'puddle' on the floor. But there is one feature you must get right - allow plenty of extra fabric in your curtains. If you only allow an inch or so (2-3cms) then everyone will think you didn't get your measurements correct! Allow a good 6 inches (15cms) or more so that there is plenty of fabric to sit on the floor.

This effect is best used in situations where the curtains won't be opened and closed regularly. You'll often see this style used in old houses with tall windows, such as Georgian.

Curtains tied back

Enhance your curtain designs with tie backs

There are a number of reasons why you might want to use tie backs.

  1. To break up straight lines. You may find you have a lot of horizontal and vertical lines in your room - window frames, cornices, beams, furniture - and tying back your curtains just breaks these lines up. The gentle sweep of fabric can add a restful appearance.
  2. To keep curtains back so as to allow in more light.
  3. To prevent curtains from being blown around if a window or door is open.

Curtains on floor tied back


A touch of opulence

If you're going to use tie backs, why not go the whole way? Don't just tie the curtains back with any old supports, use some really good ones, such as double tassel tie backs. Yes, they'll set you back quite a bit, but the effect can be stunning.

And while you're at it, why not let the curtains drape on the floor, as well? Be bold, and watch the envious glances of your visitors when they see what you can do!

Curtains on floor tied back high

Practical and elegant

This effect tends to look best when used on tall windows rather than wide ones. It's also best used when you don't intend to let the curtains hang down together, because you'll get obvious crease marks where the tie backs have supported the fabric.

It's often used in situations where you want to dress a window with curtains, but also let as much light in as possible.

Sometimes the area immediately above the window is not very attractive, and this method allows you to hide the offending area. It's also a popular way of dealing with curved windows, as the curve can be hidden behind the curtain tops.

tuxedo style

The tuxedo or pull-back style is deliberately ostentatious, and is normally reserved for a special room or situation where you want to make a statement.

It is often used in dining rooms, and the idea is to use the color of the lining to emphasize a feature of the room. For example, if you had gold curtains and a green table cloth, use green lining to match the table cloth. When pulled back as in the illustration, the effect is quite dramatic. Needless to say, curtains like this are designed to be fixed in position.

This style also works particularly well with top drapes and jabots which can also use the lining color for added effect.


floor drapes

There are many ways of designing curtains which reach the floor.

The most common option is to have the curtains finish a fraction above the floor. This can sometimes cause problems, especially if the floor is uneven.

Another way is to have the curtains 'sit' on the floor, by making them two or three inches longer, as shown in this photo. This idea can be developed further, by making the curains longer by at least six inches. The result is known as 'puddling', where a substantial amount of fabric sits on the floor.

Notice that these curtains are not held back by normal tie-backs (usually made from fabric), but by hold-backs - curved pieces of metal rod which are fixed to the wall behind the curtains.


Here are some more ideas for curtain treatments.




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