I was just looking at this gorgeous image (top) from stylist Atlanta Bartlett’s website (I think “The Relaxed Home” was one of the first decorating books I bought) – and I love how the curtains puddle on the floor – however, not hugely practical when sweeping or mopping! I’m also a huge fan of roman blinds, so classic - and unlined sheer white curtains, when you don’t need the privacy but just want to diffuse the light or hide a view (both images from Silent Gliss) – anyway, if you’re contemplating which window treatments to use, here are a few thoughts…
Though they were considered dated at one stage, curtains have recently made a huge comeback – this is partly due to the ever-increasing range of gorgeous fabrics available. From hand dyed organic hemp to synthetics created by the latest technology – the choice is enormous.
I still prefer the natural fibres – linen/cotton blends for a relaxed style – and copious metres of pure silk pooling onto the floor for opulence. The downside in using natural fibres is they will eventually disintegrate in the sun – so protect them well with a good lining.
Curtains are perfect in the bedroom, as they not only create a lush, cocooning ambience, but they also provide the best window coverage and are capable of blocking out all external light (very important in summer with our lack of daylight saving!).
We often think of wooden shutters as very French – but in actual fact, shutters have a long history of use in Queensland homes. Originally they were used externally on verandas but now are more commonly used internally.
Fresh, white shutters look just superb – especially against a deeper wall colour – and they can be manipulated to provide excellent shade whilst still allowing cross breezes through and the view in (the bigger the blade the better the view).
The downside to shutters is they can be expensive – blinds may be a more affordable option.
Rollers and Romans
In a contemporary home with clean lines, roller blinds work well as the tracks can be matched to the wall or architrave colour, or even recessed into the wall or ceiling cavity, so as the window treatment is as unobtrusive as possible.
The fabrics available range from translucent to block-out – so you can choose the appropriate amount of privacy and light required. Rollers are not suitable for bedrooms, (unless layered with a curtain), as slithers of light always come through.
Romans particularly suit a more traditional home and look fabulously elegant but relaxed in linen or cotton. All blinds should be custom made for a clean fit.