How to dress a window

When it comes to decorating curtains are often overlooked, but changing them is one of the easiest ways to give a room a whole new look. Iinterior designer Gordon Whistance shares his advice on getting it right. These tips are featured on the TV series Britain’s Ugliest Rooms, which is exclusive to the Home channel.

How to dress a window

Deciding how to dress your windows is important to the overall look of your room, so whether you opt for curtains or blinds, ensure you’re making the right choices...

Consider your colour scheme
Whether using curtains or blinds, choose bold colours and tie them into your existing colour scheme with the use of accent cushions and accessories. Still not sure? Read our advice on choosing curtains

Don't scrimp on quality
When choosing curtains, invest good quality, heavy duty material which will insulate your windows and avoid looking cheap.

Measure correctly
Make sure your curtains are the right length. Short curtains will make your room look truncated. Long, curtains that fall in a pool on the floor look sumptuous and give the room a cosy feel. See our guide on how to measure curtains.

Create a statement
If you’ve opted to use blinds in a main living space then it is important to be adventurous in your choices to avoid your room resembling an office. Go for patterned, coloured or printed blinds that will give your room personality.

Be sensitive to your property
If you live in a period house choose lush, long curtains that make the most of your curved, bay windows. If you’re on a tight budget, an inexpensive but stylish blind will help to show off the window’s shape.

Consider shutters to hide an ugly view
Hand-carved shutters will give a room a Moroccan feel and filter light through in an interesting way. They also look beautiful and can be used to hide an uninspiring view (i.e the side of a neighbouring building) without blocking out light. If you haven’t got a Moroccan theme in your room, choose standard wooden shutters that come in all sort of colours and can be easily ordered to the size and shape of your window. Read our advice on how to choose shutters.

Use a sheer voile to protect your privacy
Use two poles which will allow you to hang curtains and sheer voile at the same time but allow you to draw them separately. This provides you with the ability to have privacy in the day whilst still allowing the light in, and cosy, thick curtains for the evenings.

Incorporate paterned fabric
Create curtains out of plain and patterned fabric. Use the plain fabric for three quarters of the length of the curtain and use the patterned fabric for the final third. If your windows are not full length, keep the curtains to sill height so that they hang properly and draw easily. Patterned panel curtains are another effective way of making the most out of a window with an uninspiring view.

Avoid net curtains!
Finally, as if you needed telling, net curtains are a real no no! They look cheap and are out dated. If you need privacy, do it with voile. They’re a stylish solution that can be co-ordinated to complement your existing colour scheme.

See more ideas for living room window treatments