You may not appreciate the importance of window dressings — which, in addition to looks, provide privacy and block light — until you move into a place with naked windows. Luckily, adding curtains is one of the easier — and less expensive — projects you can undertake to transform a room. To help you dress your windows with the least amount of headache, we turned to 10 interior designers for their favorite curtains, lots of which are surprisingly quite budget friendly. (If you’re shopping for curtains, you’re likely looking at rods, and this list has a bunch of expert-recommended options to choose from.)
Before we get to the blackout curtain— which include a range of ready-made styles in different opacities, colors, and patterns, as well as a couple of custom options — some quick guidelines for how to size the drapery you choose for your space. When it comes to measuring your windows, Megan Hersch, the owner of Studio MG Interiors and online interior-design service RoomLift, says you should measure 12 to 24 inches beyond the window on either side to determine how wide each curtain panel should be, so that you have some gather. In determining the length of your curtain, Hersch says it depends on how formal you want them to look — and how much cleaning you want to do. “I typically measure the drapery so that it just ‘kisses’ the floor,” she says. “This way, nothing is dragging and trapping dirt, but you are sure they don’t look too short.” For a more formal look, she suggests adding an extra 1.5 inches so the drape just “breaks” on the floor. The most dramatic look is to have the panels “puddle” on the floor, which means adding anywhere from 8 to 12 inches to the length of the curtain (the type of fabric, whether stiff like taffeta or soft like velvet, will also determine how naturally it gathers on the floor).
A sheer curtain is a great choice if you want a little bit of everything from your window treatments — privacy, light, and looks — without having to commit too heavily to any one of those needs. As Megan Huffman, a designer with the online interior-design service Modsy, puts it, sheer curtains “provide the ability to allow natural light into a space and
are “a super-functional” detail that negates the need to buy curtain rings, and makes opening and closing them easy.
For faux linen blackout curtain, these are Mulhearn’s go-tos. She likes that they’re affordable, come in a variety of neutral colors, and are available in various lengths, from 63 inches to 108 inches. They also have a grommet top, which means you don’t need to get additional curtain rings to hang them from a rod.Take note of the word parted. Beyond the myriad practical aspects, window treatments, from simple to elaborate, offer us moments of communion, as human hands—whether your own or those of Lady Dudley’s housekeeper—adjust them at will. There are aural pleasures too, from the clicking of curtain rings to the swish of fabric to the creak of shutters to the whir of roller blinds. Literally, the beauty of geometric blackout curtain is an open-and-shut case.