Few home decorating decisions can cause as much soul searching as curtains and blinds! It's a long term investment which can make or break your room. We ask the experts for advice on choosing the right curtains and blinds.
Curtains, Interiors

Firstly, how can you tell a good curtain?
The most indicator of quality is in the tailoring and the making of the curtain. The heading should be crisp, clean, beautifully sewn and tailored so that the curtain will hang softly and beautifully.. A good quality curtain has a heading of 6 inches and uses a properly tailored buckram heading. A cheaper curtain has a heading of only 3 or 4 inches and uses a tape heading which is pulled and therefore will be slightly puckered rather than crisp and impressive.

Second to that, look at the quality and hang of the fabric, the quality of the lining and the general tailoring of the make.

Have you any advice on hanging curtains?
What curtains hang on and the height they hang at can make or break a curtain and a room. For example, curtain rails work beautifully and are trouble free but when placed in the middle of a wall above a window, they don't look attractive. . However by putting them right up to the cornice, the curtain rail is nearly invisible and the curtain sweeps from the ceiling to the floor. In modern houses that works well because the ceilings are lower anyway.

Have you any tips on choosing a fabric?
A lot of houses now have plain painted walls and a wooden floor. So when it comes to the curtains, rather than having a plain curtain too, homeowners choose either a texture, a stripe or a smallish pattern.

My advice to clients is to take time with their samples before making a decision. I leave samples with the clients so they can live with them day and night under all lights and circumstances..

Energy bills are on everyone's mind now - any tips on using curtains to cut costs?
Yes, use a thermal lining which makes a hugh difference.. It's a sort of invisible backing on the lining so the curtain and the lining don't actually look any different.

The old question - is it better to hang curtains all the way to the floor or just to the window?
From an interior design point of view, long curtains to the floor always look better than short curtains. If you want to put long curtains where there is a radiator, then fit a roller blind as well in the window which can be pulled down in the evening for privacy. When the room has heated, pull the curtain. The radiator behind the curtain will then keep the room warm.

What's your advice on choosing made to measure versus ready made?
For rooms that are frequently used such as living rooms, a tailored curtain will make the all difference. For children's room and less important rooms, ready made, curtains, judiciously used and hung on good poles or rails can work well.

What's a typical cost for a made to measure curtain?
For a standard double patio door, expect to pay between 700euro and a 1000euro for a really nicely made, lined, curtain. That would give you a wide range of fabrics, including silks too.

What's the most common question people ask you?
Usually, people come to me with technical difficulties because they don't have the experience and knowledge that comes with doing this job every day. Deciding the best way to dress a window depends on many factors such as the shape of the window and the clearance at the side of the window.. An expert can also suggest options like roman blinds, the modern panel system and the wave system that the customer might not have considered otherwise. Each room is different and each case has to be looked at individually.

Contributors

Interiors, Sandyford, Sandyford, Dublin 18

About Us

At Interiors, we believe that you can get designer quality and unique interior decor without paying expensive design fees. We also believe the process should be easy so we bring the store to your door with thousands of samples of soft and hard furnishings.

The curtains are beautifully made. But you're not paying the astronomical prices some of the stores are charging.
Clio Mitchell from Cabinteely
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