If you want to refresh the look of your bedroom, a great place to start is the curtains. Drapes can transform the look of a room quickly, easily and for very little money. The best thing is that they’re available in so many different colors, styles, and fabrics, you can really let your imagination go wild and add a truly unique, personal touch to your sleeping quarters. Whether you want a dramatic pattern in a bold color scheme, an elegant finish in a refined palette, or a casual look in a laid-back design, the options are out there. That said, it pays to do a little research into the subject before investing any time or money into your new purchase.
Choosing the Right Fabric
When choosing the right curtains for your bedroom, it’s important to think about what function you need them to serve. Consider how much light you want them to block out (or conversely, let in), and how much privacy you need them to afford. While this is a relevant topic in every room of the house, it’s a particularly important one in the bedroom. Unless you’re the kind of heavy sleeper whose rest isn’t impacted by their surrounds, you’ll probably want to consider a thick fabric that blocks out the early morning sunlight. Cotton, linen, and silks all make great options in general (being available in almost unlimited patterns and colors) but all three can let through enough light to keep you from a peaceful slumber. If you do opt for drapes in one of these materials, make sure you look for a lined option. While it may compromise the loose, floaty feel these fabrics are renowned for, the lining will at least block out enough natural daylight to let you sleep through dawn (while also affording a degree more privacy than they would otherwise). As Russells notes, block-out lining is a great choice for the bedroom as not only will it reduce natural light and UV rays, it will also offer thermal and sound insulation benefits, guaranteeing a better night’s sleep than you may have otherwise.
Remember that light isn’t the only thing you want to keep out of the bedroom (at least during the night). If your bedroom overlooks the street or if you live in a particularly noisy area, you may want to consider how well the fabric will help reduce noise levels. While it’s impossible to block out all noise just through your choice of curtains, you’ll be amazed at what a pair of thick, heavy drapes can do at absorbing sound vibrations. If even the thickest type of curtains isn’t up to the challenge, you may want to consider doubling up on your efforts by introducing a blind into proceedings, Other fabric options that are naturally thicker and therefore ideal for the bedroom are velvets, suede, tapestry, and tweed. As Elle Décor notes, these kind of fabrics are also great for any rooms that are overlooked, or where you maybe a little more guarded about your privacy than you would be in other rooms.
Before leaving the topic of fabric entirely, it’s important to consider how much time you want to invest in the maintenance of your curtains. Linens and cotton both require minimal maintenance (an occasional clean, a run-over with the dust attachment of a vacuum cleaner, and a light ironing on a low heat may be all that’s needed. Linen has the added advantage that it’s naturally designed to have a “crumpled” appearance, so unless you’re particularly fastidious, you can even leave the ironing completely to one side). Silk tends to slightly higher maintenance and is more susceptible to both sunlight and water damage. You may also find you’ll need to clean silk drapes at the dry cleaners, rather than simply being able to pop them in the washer.
Think About Whose Bedroom It Is
We know by now that light and noise reduction are key things to consider when choosing your bedroom curtains, but before you get too carried away with introducing the thickest, heaviest curtains you can find, it’s worth spending a moment considering who will actually be using the bedroom.
- If it’s a child’s bedroom, choosing a curtain that blocks out as much light as possible is going to be crucial (unless you want to make bedtime an even bigger nightmare than it already is, of course).
- If you’re choosing curtains for your own bedroom, you may want to compromise slightly on its functional qualities if it means achieving the desired aesthetic.
- If you’re choosing curtains for a guest bedroom, you can ease up all round: given that it will be used on occasion only, consider the noise and light reducing qualities of the drapes a bonus rather than the deciding factor.
Choosing the Right Length
While the length of your curtains won’t impact on their function, it can have a significant impact on how they look. If you prefer a more modern aesthetic, keep the length of the curtains flush to the floor. If you’re keen on the traditional look, add a few extra inches to your measurements to allow the curtains to pool in an attractive puddle on the floor. If you would rather go for a “country” look, you can save some money by opting for a curtain that finishes just below the window line. On a side note, if the ceiling height of the room is on the low side, you may wish to give the illusion of height by measuring the starting point of your curtains several inches above the window top. The extra length will do wonders in creating the illusion of height.
Choosing the Right Color
While pattern and color are both very much down to personal discretion, you may want to consider what the primary use of the bedroom is before getting too carried away with bright, neon colors. Primarily, you’ll be using the bedroom to sleep, so you may want to consider colors on the more neutral side of the color chart to introduce a Zen-like, tranquil air of calm.