Build 101...curtains

Today in Build 101 we are talking curtains, or window furnishings as the decorators call them.  You may think all you need to do is choose the fabric, but as always, there are more than a few other decisions to be made.  

Design decisions I would make again
  • Ceiling mounted S-track or ripplefold track system
  • Double curtains: unlined linen in front, black out curtain behind
  • Floor to ceiling generous curtains always always always
Decisions to consider:
  • Curtains should not block door openings when stacked open.
  • Make sure curtains that get a lot of sun are fully lined, are made from sun resistant fabrics, or can stack right off the window.
  • Should curtain tracks be recessed or mounted directly onto ceiling
  • Treatments to block light out when you want to sleep

We have a modern home with wide floor to ceiling windows and door openings.  Wide floor to ceiling openings mean that curtain rod systems have to be ceiling mounted.  In a traditional home there are many options for rods, tracks and blinds.  Decision 1 you never knew you would need to make.

Curtains in traditional rooms stack to each side of the window, this means your curtain rod can have a center support across a wide opening.  In our modern home I wanted extra wide curtains to stack against the walls on a single side of the room.  This means the curtain panel must be able pull right across the track.  Another reason that a ceiling mounted track is more suitable.      Decision 2.

I wanted the curtains to stack off the windows where possible.  Sustained sunlight is not good for fabrics, especially silks and linens.  Window stacking space is really something to consider when the house is being designed.

I also knew I wanted linen, great swathes of linen with the sunlight glowing through them.  Such a romantic look.  But I need my bedrooms to be dark, I don't love light when I am trying to sleep.  Our curtain company came up with a great solution.  They suggested a double ripplefold track with two separate curtains.  An unlined linen curtain in front, a black out curtain in white behind (see images above).  Its perfect, the linen curtains can be drawn when I want a soft dappled light or privacy, and the blackout curtains are closed at night and are an extra thermal layer in winter.  The double curtain system was only marginally more expensive than buying lined curtains and I love they way they function, build dollars well spent.  Decision 3

The ripplefold tracks are neatly mounted onto the ceiling, very unobtrusive, and curtains can be pulled from one side right across the opening, and also stack on a single side.  We could have recessed the tracks into the ceiling by dropping the ceilings slightly, creating a shadowline that hides the track mechanism.  To be honest I didn't think about it at the time, its something I would consider in the future if there isn't a large cost and you don't lose much height.
If you lose to much height I wouldn't do it, a high ceiling will win out every time in my book.

See what I mean about all those little decisions you have to make?

For more in the Build 101 series click here, where I share my experience to make your build just that little bit easier.

1 comment

I love all your comments so let me know what you are thinking if you have a moment.