It’s all about location, location…
Beautiful custom made curtains evoke images of co-ordinated colour schemes, stunning fabrics, and long flowing drapes which bring a sense of identity to a space. It could be sheer curtains puddling slightly on the floor to offer the room a relaxed feel, or a more traditional pleated curtain offering a level of formal sophistication and style.
One aspect of custom made curtains that we often see being overlooked, or not being fully considered, is the installation, and in particular where exactly the curtain is fitted.
Where the curtain and track are installed will have a huge impact on the end result both aesthetically and practically.
Maximum height. Maximum impact
Top fixing provides a clean look which minimises the visability of the track and brackets. It enables the curtain to hang fully from floor to ceiling, helping to elongate the room and create a soft yet dramatic feel.
We would generally only recommend top fixing if the ceiling is square set, as oppose to having a cornice running around the room. A cornice would push the track further into the room requiring more floor space for the curtain to hang, and would result in a gap when fitting upto an adjacent wall.
The first approach is similar to top fixing, in that the aim is to set the curtain and track as high as possible to elongate the space. We would recommend fitting the track direcly under the cornice to achieve this. If there is no cornice in place, we would suggest top fixing to the ceiling.
The second approach is used when a Designer or Feature track is to be utilised. In this instance the track itself is an integral part of the overall look. Fitting the track directly under a cornice would not make best the best use of the track visually, and fitting directly to the architrave could make the curtain and room appear ‘stubby’ (depending on the type and style of window). We would generally choose a point between the architrave and cornice to highlight the design elements of the track, whilst maximising the curtain drop. It’s also important to take cues from other features, structural lines and aspects of the room when finalising this height.
Maximise the light
To prevent this, curtains and tracks should be made and installed wider than the window opening. Stack back is particularly important when curtains are being fitted over a patio or sliding doors. If there is insufficient stack back, the curtain could get caught in the door when it’s opened and closed, resulting in it becoming damaged or dirty.
Wall to Wall
Use it or lose it
If there is no specific purpose for the space, or it is too small to be functional, it may be best to lose it, and extend the curtain all the way wall to wall.
This gives a dramatic feel to a space, creating a beautiful, relaxing haven that instantly softens the space as the farbic texture fills the whole wall.
We’re here to help
We’ve been creating custom curtains in Melbourne since 1978, so you can be confident in our knowledge and experience. We will guide you through the design process, looking at all the factors to be considered, so that we can best advise you.
Style and decor of the room
Your window furnishings should work with your home to enhance its character and feel, whilst delivering a solution that is both practical and beautiful. Whether you have a preference for neutral shades, or you are looking for a ‘jumping off point’ for a new colour scheme, we will provide you with the very best design advice.
Should the priority be on light control during the day, or privacy at night
Sheer curtains are currently the hottest trend in window furnishings. They immediately soften a room, and provide a level of relaxed sophistication. They reduce excessive glare and provide privacy during the day without blocking out your view.
If additional light control and night time privacy is required, we would suggest pairing the sheer with either a blockout / blackout roller blind, or using a double track with a lining curtain fitted behind the sheer. We take the time to fully understand your light control and privacy needs before advising you on the best solutions available.
What type of header - pinch pleat, S-Fold, gathered etc.
The curtain header refers to the top band of the curtain where it is hung from the track. There are various headers available with each providing a different look and finish. Some headers require a specific track, whilst others can be used with standard tracks and hooks.
The image above shows an S-Fold header, sometimes also referred to as a wave fold. This requires a special header tape to be fitted at the top of the curtain, and utilises a specific track to create beautiful flowing curves. We can advise you on the most appropriate header options for your curtains, based on the style and look you want to achieve.
Where should the curtain stack - one way draw or centre part
Traditionally curtains open in the middle of the window, and slide back to their respective ends. This is called a 2 way draw, or centre part.
A one way draw means the full curtain slides back in one direction only, either to the left or right. This enables a single curtain to flow across the full opening, providing a seemless finish. However a one way draw, results in the full amount of the curtain needing to stack on one side of the window, which can appear unbalanced, or block too much of the window if not correctly fitted.
We look beyond the dimensions of the window when identifying the best way to stack a curtain, so that our recommendation will always maximise the light and space available.
Where should the track be fitted - wall, ceiling, architrave
Curtain tracks are usually fitted to the wall at a certain height above the window being dressed. When assessing this height though, it is important to check around the room for any structural or decorative elements which may need to visually line up with the track height. Likewise there may already be other window coverings in the room which will need to tie in.
Fitting a track to the ceiling creates a sense of drama and gives the effect of increasing the ceiling height by elongating the wall. This is currently one of the fastest growing trends.
Who uses the room, and how is it used
This is an important aspect which can easily be overlooked in the desire to achieve aesthetic perfection. Long flowing sheers look beautiful, but in a play room used by toddlers – probably not the best choice ! Similarly a roman blind made with a designer fabric – probably not an ideal choice for a kitchen sink area.
We will discuss with you how the room is used, and who uses it, so that we can fully assess the need for light control, privacy, durabilty, cleanability and of course we still want it look wonderful !
Are pets a consideration
Do you have a dog that likes to look out of the front window ? How about a cat that likes to climb curtains ? We’ve even had a customer with a rabbit running around the house.
As pet owners ourselves (2 whippets, 1 cat and a blue tongue lizard at the last count) we understand that pets are an integral part of the family. So we will take the time to discuss your furry friends with you, and see if there are any particular habits that we need to consider when making our recommendations.
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