Tips for curtains

- Aug 16, 2012.

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A place with an ambience to put you at ease is what most of us look forward to at the end of a work day. This makes the living room an important area, where we need to feel comfortable and relaxed. A living room should be furnished to suit our particular needs and decorated with things that are pleasing – nice furniture, soft lighting and perhaps a couple of framed pictures. These are all things that help us express ourselves and make us feel good.

Curtains
To match the colour scheme and the decor, one of the most important considerations are curtains to dress the room. Drapery has a unique role in creating the right atmosphere. There are fabrics and colours galore to suit anyone’s taste: traditional or contemporary prints, plain materials, checks or stripes, embossed weaves, woven textures, silky or lacy fabrics that diffuse glare from sunlight or heavy drapes that shield you from it and keep your privacy.

There are materials that insulate or soundproof a room and it all depends on personal tastes, needs and preferences. Other options include screens, etched glass, window films, panels or bead curtains, roller, roman or vertical blinds, and slats made of synthetic material or wood. Each serves a particular decorative or useful purpose.

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Mounting
The common factor between all these is that they all need to be mounted or held up. You may use rods or hooks and move them manually, or install cords or motorized systems to suit the size and shape of a room. Always add extra width when you shop for your curtains so that they still bunch together and have folds or pleats even when you draw them closed. You could also use rings and cafe rods, which make it easier to pull them.

Tell your decorator your preferences and make sure the mounts are not too close to the walls or that the ends have enough space to slip rings on and off. If you have existing racks that you don’t want to change, then you have to stick to hooks that fit into the sliding eyelets, which tend to be troublesome.

Pelmets
Pelmets are basically boxes that hide the mounting racks or rods that you have used to mount your drapes. They also protect the racks and the tops of the curtains from dust and you can double their use by having concealed lighting on top of them. They can be plain, painted to match the colour scheme of your walls, or you can cover them with textured paper, fabric or even quilted padding for a unique touch.

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Maintenance
Whichever fabric or material you choose to use, you need to think about how well they will maintain. The variation lies in how well they clean, how much they will deteriorate with exposure to sunlight, whether they will retain oil or dust and how flammable they are. Can you put them in your washing machine without spoiling them or will they need special dry cleaning? Who puts them up and takes them down? Some heavy drapes are beautiful to have and are wonderful sun screens, but their very weight could make them difficult to handle. Some silk or lace curtains add a delicate touch to décor but they need special care in keeping them clean. Each choice has its merits and it’s how they make us feel that counts. We wish you happy decorating.