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POSTED ON 05/27/15 | Share This Post
Choosing the Right Curtains | Cathedral Commons

Choosing the Right Curtains

Choosing the right curtains for your gorgeous windows seems deceptively simple. But once you figure out a color scheme for a room – and the decor style – it’s hard to decide what look you want to go with. Bold or neutral? Patterned or plain? And the fabric – that’s a whole other set of questions. How should they fall? Sheer or bulky? And don’t even get us started on the length.

It’s tempting to forgo the whole thing together and just go with blinds. But you don’t have to! Read on to learn all about choosing the right curtains to frame the windows of your luxury apartment in DC!

Step 1: Buy everything else first

Unless the sunlight’s absolutely killing you (and/or you’re a vampire), then you can wait on the window treatments. The last thing you want to do is rush into buying curtains that you later wish you hadn’t. When you buy them before you have an idea of the decor style and colors you’re going for, then you could easily end up with a pattern that doesn’t fit the room, or a fabric type that’s too formal or too breezy. Just wait – it will be worth it! As Alessandra Branca (of Branca Interiors) says, “Wait for the right thing! Otherwise you’re going to be living with those impulse decisions for a long time.”

Step 2: Fabric matters

Even if you find a set of curtains that perfectly fits the pattern or color you’re going for, you should still pay attention to what kind of material you need. (This is a principle that fits under step 4 as well). If you want to let the light into your beautiful living room, then you’ll want to go for that lighter fabric – from burlap to cotton. If you’re attempting to create a more formal atmosphere in your dining room, you’re going to want more dramatic drapes – these dove gray ones from West Elm are sublime – and just having a regal color won’t cut it. Spring for velvet or other heavy materials. They’ll “fall” better.

Step 3: Length matters

So if you’re not the measuring type, you should become that type if you want to get the right curtains! There are generally a few standard curtain sizes (obviously if you’re getting custom curtains, these are irrelevant) which are:

  • 63 inches
  • 84 inches
  • 95 inches
  • 108 inches
  • 120 inches

If you have a window that is shorter, you can either go long (but not puddling-on-the-floor long) or shorter (to match the sill). The latter will give you a more casual look – but keep in mind it may look strange to hang shorter curtains near very long ones. The result will be unbalanced rooms.

Step 4: Ensure they’re functional

Dilemma 1: those blackout curtains in the living room match perfectly, but you hate waking up to a dark house. Solution? They’d be better suited in  your bedroom, helping you get a good night’s rest and regulating your room temperature. Dilemma 2: the bright tangerine curtains you bought are fading into an atrocious shade of pink with every sunrise. Solution: switch them out for neutral colored curtains. Even if you have the most chic curtains in the world, you’re not going to be happy if they’re not functional. Functional is a word that here means: easy to open/close, make sense where they are, and make you happy. (OK, so the “happy” part isn’t necessarily a crucial part of functionality – but it helps.)

Step 5: Choose your hardware/hanging style

This might be the final step, but it’s just as important as the first. The en-vogue way to hang your curtains is above the top of the window by at least two inches.  Your hardware finishes off the look, whether it’s serene polished brass, or loud colorful wood. And the way you hang the curtains does the same. If you choose to drape one long panel over one rod, it’s going to be rather hard to close it for privacy. If you choose to hang heavier curtains, but forget the tie backs, you’ll be frustrated by their constant return to the middle. Speaking of the middle, pay attention to the middle of the rod – is it sagging? Go for a heavier metal.

Once you’ve hung your last panel, it’s time to relax and enjoy the ambiance you’ve created in your gorgeous apartment in Cathedral Heights! Looking for an apartment you can get excited about decorating? Get in touch with us at Cathedral Commons and apply today.