Choosing Bedroom Curtains with Decoberry
I've joined forces with my friends at Decoberry to share my 5 step process for choosing bedroom curtains! We are talking sizing, functionality, style, and how to get those decisions right!
My totally honest opinion:
No other decorating element makes or breaks a room like curtains! When you get it right the whole room shines and feels elevated. When you get it wrong everything in the room feels off! Yes, curtains ARE that important!
I know finding and choosing curtains is a hassle. There are SO many fabrics and styles to choose from, it gets expensive, and then there is the measuring and hanging to figure out. This decorating decision gets daunting quick!
Where do you start?
Where do you find affordable options?
And how do you get it right?
Today, I'm sharing my process for choosing bedroom curtains to take some of the guess work and hassle out of this decorating decision for you. The bedroom is such an important place to get the window coverings right. Not only do they contribute to the mood and overall look of the space, but curtains are also pivotal for creating privacy and blocking light, so you can relax and sleep in comfort.
We recently embarked on a guest bedroom renovation project for a room that was in desperate need of help. I'm talking peeling outdated wallpaper, stained carpet, and old broken furniture! Yes, really that bad! I am almost ready to reveal the finished room, but I just couldn't wait to share some of the projects going into the re-decorating like these gorgeous blue and white curtains from Decoberry.
When the team at Decoberry reached out to me to introduce their ready-made curtains, I was so excited to learn about this brand of quality curtains that are affordable yet design savvy. The fabric selection is premium with cottons and jacquards and lots of different patterns and color options. I also really appreciate that they thought about the versatility of the top treatment. Many of the curtains are designed with rod pocket and tab headings, so you can decided how best to hang the panels, and Decoberry also has custom drapery options.
For our newly painted yellow guest bedroom, I chose the Emily Leaf curtain in blue and white. The room's color scheme is yellow and blue with bead board walls painted in a soft buttery yellow (BM Squish Squash). The style of the room is Grandmillennial with a heavy dose of French Provençal and the feel is casual yet romantic. The leaf pattern of the curtains perfectly complements the bold floral chintz I've used in the bedding without overdoing it, and I love the way the blue and white contrasts with the wall color.
Ok, let's dig in to the process for choosing bedroom curtains and getting it right!
My 5 Step Process For Choosing Bedroom Curtains
Measure Your Windows
Start the curtain choosing process knowing how much space you have to work with! You need to measure:
- Window width from outside of trim to outside of trim
- Window height from outside of trim to outside of trim
- Space between the top of window trim and ceiling or bottom edge of crown molding
- Space between the bottom of window ledge trim to floor
- Full height of your walls ceiling or crown to floor
Now that you know how much space you have to work with you can eliminate some options and start focusing in on what will work best for your windows and the overall space.
Using my example:
Because there are only 10 inches between the top of the window and the bottom edge of the crown molding, a cornice board or valance would be too much for the space, so I can eliminate using those treatments. Furthermore this means I will use a curtain rod that is visible, so it should be aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the look of the room. Check out Designer Drapery Hardware for stylish rods.
I also know I will want two panels to cover the width that are at least 40.5 inches wide, and that I will need curtains with a length between 92 inches and 84 inches. How did I decide that? I like to hang a curtain rod between 2 - 8 inches above the top of the window trim and 2 - 6 inches away from the trim on the sides of the window.
Never hang a curtain rod even with the top window trim. This truncates the window and brings the room height down.
I prefer full length curtains, and I like when the curtains gently brush the floor or pool on the floor for a dramatic look. Be sure to take your preference into account when deciding on length.
Next think about the purpose of the curtains for this room and how you need them to function.
- Are they merely decorative? Or do they need to provide privacy and filter light?
- Do you plan on using blinds or screens for privacy and light filtering?
- Do they need to be easily opened and closed?
- Do they need to help insulate the room and provide warmth?
The answers to these questions will help you further narrow down what type and style of curtains or window treatments you need.
For our guest bedroom, I knew I wanted to use a cellular shade on the windows for privacy and light filtering. The room gets bright afternoon sun, which you can see in the photos, but not early morning light, so I wasn't worried about needing a blackout lining on the curtains. I do appreciate that these Decoberry curtains are lined with cotton.
If you don't want to add shades or blinds to the window, then you need curtains that give privacy and have light filtering capabilities, so you might want to consider a blackout lining or perhaps a double layer with a sheer and a top curtain panel. The right light filter can be key to optimal sleep, so be sure to think about how dark you need the bedroom to be.
This is another key consideration when choosing curtains for a bedroom! Think about how close your house is to your neighbors and the street or sidewalk. Is the bedroom on the first or second floor? Do your windows look directly into your neighbors'? If so, you want window treatments that screen your bedrooms.
Finally, think about your habits. Do you mind opening curtains every morning and closing them at night? Do you need to let light in but still provide privacy? If your curtains snag across the rod, will that bother you? Your answers here should impact the curtain fabric and hanging style you choose (more on that below).
After considering your spatial constraints, sizing possibilities, and how you want the curtains to function, now you can more easily narrow down your curtain look and style. Your curtains should contribute to the overall aesthetic and mood you want to create in the bedroom. They should enhance the color scheme and complement the bedding.
Color is a key factor here! If your room has a clearly defined color scheme, use the curtains to further that palette. Floor length curtains give you a lot of spatial opportunity to tell the color story, so use them! In my blue and yellow guest bedroom, I choose a blue and white fabric for my curtains because the walls were soft yellow, and I wanted the curtains to stand out against the walls, but still work with the scheme. Use your wall color as a jumping off point. Do you want the curtains to stand out or blend in?
Here are my thoughts on choosing curtains for a few different design aesthetics:
Maximalist - go bold! Choose a fabric with a multi-colored pattern that works with the other textiles in the room but isn't a direct match. Think about stiff fabrics that will give the curtains shape.
Romantic - go delicate and wispy! Choose a soft fabric like linen or cotton in a light weight that has a delicate pattern with scrolling lines or old world florals.
Grandmillennial - channel tradition! Classic pinch pleats in a woven jacquard or silk taffeta fabric are the way to go. Choose a color and pattern that complements or exactly matches the bedding.
Serene - think soft and light! Choose solid colored curtains in a neutral or pale hue that closely matches the wall color. This way the curtains will blend in with the walls and create a low contrast more uniform space.
Once you consider the desired impression of the curtains and how they could contribute to the aesthetics of the room, it is time to make final decisions on the construction and material. The look you want to achieve in the bedroom design can be significantly enhanced by the curtain fabric as well as the heading style and hanging method.
This is the method of manipulating the fabric at the top of the curtain to hang it. You will also see this called the curtain header or heading. There are a variety of ways to manipulate the fabric from pleating and hanging with rings, to grommet holes, to tab backs. Explore the various styles in this helpful guide.
Pleats always feel traditional and can add drama to your curtain style. Pleating requires additional fabric and time in construction, so it is always more expensive. You will also need a sturdy rod to support the weight of the fabric and rings for the curtain rod. Note too that the use of rings can change the height at which your curtains hang, but the rings usually make opening and closing the curtain easier.
You can achieve a simpler version of the folding that results from pleating with a tab back curtain header where strips of fabric are evenly attached to the back of the curtain panel at the top. The rod then goes through these tabs. This is a nice solution that hides the rod and is still easy to open and close. The Emily Leaf curtain panels have this style heading, but I really wanted to use these beautiful wooden spiral rods, and of course the diameter was too big for the tabs, so I used drapery off-set pins to hook the curtain panels to the rings.
In my opinion grommet headers are gaudy, and you will never see me use these unless the top of the curtain is hidden underneath a cornice board.
A rod pocket can be used for a more casual look, but note that sliding the curtain open and closed can be more tricky. Also you must pay close attention to the diameter of your rod to ensure it will fit in the pocket.
The type of fabric you choose for your bedroom curtains is important. As I mentioned above in the section on "The Look," the fabric type contributes to the room aesthetic, but it also affects the functionality.
A thick fabric in a tight weave will filter light more completely. Just think about the difference between a velvet and a gauzy cotton. A thick fabric will also give the curtain panel more body, making it flair or stand out from the window and it will weigh more, making it important to have a sturdy rod.
A thinner more floaty fabric may give you the romantic casual look you want, but then you need to use another light filtering and privacy screening option like a shade or blind with the curtains.
A last consideration when choosing the fabric type is how and how often you think you will need to clean the curtains. Certain fabrics can only be dry cleaned while cottons and blends may stand up to at home machine washing.
My process for choosing bedroom curtains boils down to this:
Let the sizing possibilities, desired functionality, and overall room look dictate the design of your curtains. If you base your heading style, color, fabric, and light filtering capacity on the series of questions I posed, you will narrow down the endless variety of curtains to panels that will work for your space.
Be sure to check out Decoberry's ready-made curtain selection. I think you will be pleased with the choices, affordability, and quality.
I'll be sharing the full guest bedroom reveal soon!
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