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When it comes to decorating your home, the curtains you choose can really set the tone. Expert decorators know that curtains can really make or break a room. So, how to choose the right ones? 

The fabric of your window curtains is an important consideration – not only for aesthetics, but also for functionality and durability. It’s best to go to a showroom and really play with the fabric beside a window to see how it falls and drapes. Pleat the fabric at the top and see how it hangs at the bottom. 

Next, consider the window in question. Does it get a lot of sunlight? If so, the light may fade the fabric colour over time, so avoid bright colours. Neutral shades are safer. An added benefit? Neutrals suit many different home décor schemes. 

Take measurements carefully, too – especially if you’re splurging on luxury fabric. Do you want a traditional look, where the drapes hang in a slight puddle on the floor? You’ll need enough fabric for this effect, which is beneficial in rooms where you want the light to be truly blocked out. The more modern way is to have the bottom fall flush at the floor. This may mean some light creeps in, though. 

When choosing curtains for living room windows, function comes first. Do you need blackout drapes, or will something sheer do? For a cohesive look, make sure all the drapes in the room are of the same height and length. The style you choose depends on how formal you want the overall effect to be. Tailored or pinched pleated drapes, for example, look far more formal than relaxed ripple folds. When it comes to fabric design, bold patterns work best in a room with few windows. Otherwise, they’ll dominate the room. If your living room already includes exotic furniture, take it easy on the drapery patterns. 

Kitchen curtains can often be more cheery. Think gingham for a farmhouse kitchen; or bold blue stripes for a nautical look.