How to choose the perfect curtains – our essential guide

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • If window treatments leave you confused, follow our guide on how to find the right design for you

    From the latest style ideas to the curtain tips and tricks from the experts, we’ve got it covered.

    Keep it in proportion
    Choose a treatment that suits the proportions of your room. For example, floor length curtains look elegant at tall, slim windows in a high ceiling room. Short curtains can look skimpy, but a bold panel draws the eye to the centre of the curtain instead of its length.

    Glam up plain fabric
    Give plain curtains a twist with a border in something more decadent. For example, pick out the background colour of a statement wallpaper design for your curtain fabric.

    Update with accessories
    Use striking holdbacks to dress up inexpensive cotton drapes, or fit a plain pole, then just swap the finials when you fancy a new look.

    Go for a formal look with showy designs
    Disguise a tall, narrow window with full-on dressy drapes. Layer two complementary silk curtains, and sweep them both to one side for a fuller, more luxurious look.

    Brighten up a bay
    Try teaming patterned curtains with sheer coloured panels at a bay window. Curtains can be open during the day to let in light, while the splash of colour keeps the wide expanse of window from looking too bare.

    Choose the right curtain hanging

    Pencil pleat
    Create with the heading tap sewn on the top edge of the curtain, with the cords pulled in to make neat gathers. Perfect for a relaxed bedroom scheme, and suitable for tracks or poles
    and for medium to heavyweight fabrics.

    pencil pleat curtain - housetohome

    Eyelets
    An unfussy heading with a soft, wide fold, this looks good in contemporary settings, and is a great way of showing off a boldly patterned fabric. An eyelet heading is suitable for most curtain fabrics, though generally not sheers.

    eyelet curtain - housetohome

    Pinch pleat
    Created with heading tape that forms a fan effect. Gives a more tailored look than pencil pleats – good for more formal living or dining rooms.

    pinch pleat curtain - housetohome

    Tab tops
    Loops of fabric are stitched to the top of the curtain and slipped onto a pole. Suitable for sheers and light to medium-weigh curtains, and good for an informal setting, but can catch on the pole
    when opening and closing.

    tab tops curtain - housetohome

    For more decorating, craft ideas and cleaning hacks don’t miss our dedicated DIY guide.

    All the latest from Ideal Home