A Guide to Creating Custom Curtains
When you’re looking for curtains that have the style and exact measurements for your home, you don’t have to break the bank to get them. High-quality custom curtains are available for any budget that will allow you to get the beautiful look you want and fit any window with precision.
Decide on Your Curtain Material
When choosing made-to-order curtains, one of the first aspects to think about is the type of material that will give you the look you want. Custom curtains are available in a wide range of fabrics to fit all decorating styles, including:
- Cotton: Cotton curtains can help block sunlight and have a clean look and stylish drape that can easily work with traditional or modern interior design styles.
- Linen: Linen curtains are versatile and durable yet light. The natural weave provides an airy yet crisp look.
- Silk: Silk drapes are luxurious and elegant. They can have a more formal look and a sophisticated drape, which makes them a great choice for dining rooms, sitting rooms, bedrooms, and home offices.
- Faux silk: Faux silk curtains can be a bit easier to care for than real silk, as well as being a bit more affordable when you want a sleek look. Embroidered and textured styles are also available.
- Velvet: Velvet curtains look polished and stylish with a flattering, graceful drape. Because they are a heavier fabric, they also help keep window areas insulated.
- Sheer: Sheer curtains are excellent for opening up a room and when you want a space to let more light in. You can also use sheer curtains along with other curtains to provide privacy even when allowing light in.
- Blackout: You can get blackout backings on many different curtain types. These are ideal for many rooms in the home where you want privacy, light control, and insulation.
Consider Color Palettes
Once you’ve decided on the curtain material that fits your windows best, you’ll want to take a look at the different patterns and colors available. Consider the way the room is used and how you want it to feel. A bold, solid color can make a strong visual impact while a lighter neutral color may help in making a room feel larger. Some colors, such as rich jewel tones, have a more elegant feel; others, like bright or neon shades, can have a more whimsical, playful vibe. Pastel shades can provide a subtle softening, making them a great choice for rooms designed for relaxation. Different colors can also evoke certain moods. Oranges and yellow, for example, are energizing, while shades like lilac or dusky blue can be calm and relaxing. Consider buying different curtain colors when they are on sale so that you can change looks with the seasons.
Patterns and Prints
Choosing a curtain style that’s done with a pattern or print is a great choice for when the window is a focal point of the room. If you have several decor elements that are different colors in the room, choosing a curtain in a print or pattern with multiple colors will help bring everything together.
As with color, you’ll need to decide the type of pattern that will work well with your design style. Some patterns, such as florals, can have a more classic appeal, while geometrical prints may be ideal for a modern decor style. Stripes can be casual or elegant depending on the fabric and colors. Embroidered curtains or damask patterns are ideal for areas where you want to create an upscale look. The many designs available means that there is an aesthetic perfect for any room.
Deciding on Your Curtain Headers
The next step in creating perfect custom curtains is choosing the right header. You can use any style of curtain rod you wish. If you are choosing the pole pocket, ensure that the rod is the appropriate size to accommodate the pocket. For pleated headers, you have the option of using a curtain rod with hooks with rings or a traversing rod (a rod that allows you to open or close the drapes with a pull cord). Options include:
- Pole pocket: These give curtains a natural, casual look that is easy to hang and works well for a variety of rooms.
- Pole pocket with hook belt: This two-in-one header style offers the option of a more informal pole pocket or a formal look by hanging drapes with drapery hooks.
- Pole pocket with back tabs and hook belt: This type of curtain header is most versatile, allowing three different ways to hang curtains to get different looks. Hang curtains either with the more casual pole pocket, with back tabs that have a more softly gather and slightly more tailored look, or with the hook belt for an elegant finish.
- French pleats: French pleats are also called triple pleats and are excellent for a traditional look.
- Parisian pleats: This is similar to the French pleat, but the top of the pleat is pulled in instead of the bottom, giving it a more contemporary look.
- Goblet pleat: This header style has a large, singular pleat and has a bold, highly formal style.
- Inverted pleats: This is a modern look that is pleated on the back, creating the look of vertical lines at the top of the curtain header.
Think About Curtain Linings
You also have some options in linings. As well as a standard lined backing, you also have the choice to upgrade to a backing style that is lined and interlined. The interlining helps block sound, insulate the room, and provides an extra layer of protection against the sunlight. An interlined curtain also has more body than a standard lining.
Measuring for Custom Curtains
Don’t be intimidated by measuring your windows for your custom curtains. With a few simple tips, you can easily measure the space and get curtains precisely made for your windows. Begin with a one-inch steel tape measure.
Measure for length
Start from the floor (or where you want the curtain to stop below the window) and measure up to where you will hang the curtain rod. However, this is not the finished length. Decide on your curtain break to get the right height measurement.
Now decide on where you want the curtain to break. You can have it end just below the window, but a more common look is to have them full length. If you want your drapes above the floor (known as floating (reduce your length measurement by about half an inch. Hovering or grazing drapes just barely skim the floor and will use your measure length to be precise. Add an inch or two to your length if you want the curtains to hang slightly on the floor. This is known as a trouser break and is one of the most common styles.
If you want the drapes to puddle, add to your length measurement depending on the look you want. Add one to three inches for minimal puddles, three to six inches for moderate puddle breaks, and six to eight inches for an opulent puddle. Moderate and opulent options are good for more formal spaces, while a minimal puddle or hovering drapes might be best for high-traffic or more casual rooms.
Measure for width
Measure the width of your window, and add four to six extra inches per side to accommodate the rod. This measurement will be your rod length. For flat panels, order two times your rod length for the right fullness. Pleated panels already have the fullness built into the design.
Ordering Your Curtains
Custom-made curtains are easy to buy once you know the basics. Find styles matched with great sale prices to have a collection of designs that let you create new looks for changing seasons, special occasions, or anytime you want to give your home a style update or refresh. Trying to decide between multiple curtain fabrics or colors before you buy? Think about ordering fabric swatches to check out the exact color and feel!