There are so many things you can do to improve your home without professional help. Painting your home’s interior, creating table- or wall art and picking up some mirrors from your local retailer, to name but a few. But, curtains? That’s a different story. Even if you are a shopping expert or an avid do-it-yourselfer, there are just some things that are best left for customisation by the professionals. And curtains fall into this category.
Why we would never, ever buy ready-made, off-the-shelf curtains?
#1 - Sizing
Not all windows, doors and ceiling heights are created equal. Therefore, not all curtains are made to fit your space to perfection… unless they’re custom-made.
Today, most designers and decorators hang curtains high and wide as it creates visual height to the room and makes the windows look much larger than it actually is.
The aim is to install a track or pole about 30cm past the outside edges of the window or door, as close to the ceiling as possible. Visually, this makes your window or door more than half a meter wider and allows a full length drop that reaches the ground.
While the average floor-to-ceiling height of a South African home is 2,75m, most store-bought curtain drops are available in 3 standard sizes, which are either way too short or too long, leaving you stuck with having to lower your rails or hem your curtains.
In the same way, most off-the-shelf curtain drops are simply not wide enough to cater for anything other than a standard window. The result? You purchase two drops and place one on each side… even when you have a large window or door. Or, you haul out the sewing machine and sew several drops together, leaving a nasty hem where the drops have been joined.
Drapery workroom standards recommend that the width of your curtain should equal 2.5 to 3 times the width of your window or door, for proper fullness.
While it might be trendy to install curtains for softness and height (as opposed to using them for their original intent), you still want them to look like they’re functional, even if you choose to never close them.
Rules of scale for drapery: (1) Place rod just below ceiling, (2) Hang curtain over your wall, not over the window, (3) Curtain drops should be long enough to kiss the floor, (4) Curtain drops should be full and wide enough to actually close
#2 - Style trends
Despite the increasing popularity of wave curtains, most stores are still offering only eyelet or gathered taped curtains. Why? We honestly don’t know.
What we do however know is that wave curtains are indisputably our first choice for both modern as well as more classic interiors.
With its soft curves and relaxed fold, it stacks back effortlessly when drawn, helping to save space and revealing the entire window, while maximising the amount of natural light entering the room.
Usually, made from soft draping materials like cottons, silks, voiles and soft sheers, wave curtains are also jam packed with texture and movement, creating interest as well as a sleek, modern and elegant look.
It’s slim track (specifically designed for this style) can be either wall or ceiling mounted and it creates the illusions that the curtain is floating effortlessly, adding life to your space.
Over and above being the perfect embodiment of elegance and luxury (in our opinion), wave curtains are also easy to maintain, versatile (with the option to be hand-drawn, cord-drawn or even electric) and a great problem solver – lending solutions to windows with limited wall space on either side or above it.
Ready to hire a professional for the job?
If your budget is tight and you’re in a hurry to get curtains up asap (with less emphasis on fit and quality), ready-made could be a convenient option.
BUT, if you’d prefer to spend a little more time and money to find the style and fabric that will provide your home with a lasting and unique design, custom curtains are for you.
At DIYgirls INTERIOR, we offer a wide range of window treatments (curtains and blinds) for you to choose from. Our services include custom installations (Gauteng only) to ensure the perfect fit, leaving you with a beautifully tailored and bespoke product that will last, for longer.