Curtains have a key role to play in country decorating schemes. Falling in gentle folds from a pole, they bring softness, colour and pattern to a room. They are practical, too, absorbing sound and making the room comforting, especially in the colder months.
The trends in country fabrics are for natural materials – and wool, cotton, silk and linen all drape beautifully. Look out, too, for delicate embroidery, toiles in neutral colours and dramatic botanicals.
There are no hard and fast rules regarding curtain length.
Floor-length is a favourite for tall sash windows and bays, and can puddle casually on the floor, while cottage or dormer windows suit curtains to the windowsill.
If you have a wonderful country vista, extend the track or pole beyond the window frame to allow curtains to swish right back and make the most of your view.
Here are six great ways to make the most of the windows in your country home:
Choose a timeless floral fabric
For curtains that won’t date easily, choose a classic floral in soft tones of one colour, such as Cabbages & Roses’ ever-popular linen prints. Some designs are now available from John Lewis, where you can either buy the fabric by the metre or use the seven-day curtain-making service.
Curtains, Constance linen, col Blue, £65 m, Cabbages & Roses.
Be generous with fabric for a luxurious look
Extra-long, full length curtains will create a luxurious, but relaxed look. A bold botanical design captures the latest trend for country curtains and keeps out draughts.
Curtains, Joelle, around £40 m, Harlequin at John Lewis.
Try combining curtains and blinds
Double up on window dressings with a versatile combination of curtains and Roman blind. Filter the light with the blind and choose a curtain fabric with subtle embroidered leaves and flowers to provide delicate country-style decoration.
Curtain, Mellor, around £31 m; blind, Abbey, around £18 m, Clarke & Clarke.
Go for handcrafted finials
Forged fittings are a smart addition to any window treatment and are available in finishes including matt black, beeswax, polished, old gold and ivory. Choose a rustic shape like a shepherd’s crook or pick a simple button, ball or spear.
Forged iron finials, from a selection, Jim Lawrence.
Add a finishing touch with forged metal fittings
Finials or holdbacks in organic shapes, made in the traditional way, look fresh and contemporary right now. A swing design, enabling a holdback to hang flat against the wall when not in use, is practical where space is tight.
Swing holdback in beeswax-finish, from a selection, Jim Lawrence.
Focus on curtain headings
Your choice of curtain heading makes all the difference to the mood of a room. Triple pleats often look formal, but with a subtle print in a gentle hue, they feel more relaxed. To frame a view, or to make a window look deeper, ask your curtain maker about having a shaped pelmet made. A flop-over frill is a very soft look, and looks pretty with a ticking stripe in a colour picked out from the main fabric. Clean and simple, inverted pleats show off detailed pictorial patterns beautifully.
Curtain with triple pleats, Paisley Ground, £45 m, Vanessa Arbuthnott.
Pelmet and curtain, Cow Parsley, £45 m, Vanessa Arbuthnott.
Curtain with frill, For the Love of Rose; (edge) Pretty Maids, both £48 m; (frill) Simple Ticking, £45 m, Vanessa Arbuthnott.
Curtain with inverted pleats, For the Love of Rose, £48 m, Vanessa Arbuthnott.
Tip – to prevent expensive mistakes, put up the pole or track before measuring up for the curtains.
Get even more inspiring decorating ideas from Country Homes & Interiors.
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