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Any designer will tell you that window treatments can spice up a room – if done correctly. With summer just around the corner, we’re all looking for new ways to freshen up our windows.  

Looking back in history, up until the renaissance era, curtains were seen as a piece of cloth intended to obscure light and enhance privacy. Today, your window treatments are a vital element and ought be part of the design process when decorating, but selecting the right curtains can be surprisingly complex. We uncover how to give your windows that wow-factor.


When selecting colours for your draping, having a colour palette can be of great help with selecting shades that suite your decorating scheme. You’ll need to decide if you want the curtains to blend with the decor or to stand out. When trying to achieve a coordinated look, curtains that are the same tone as the wall or a few shades darker serve to blend your window dressing with the decor. Alternatively selecting a dominant colour in the room (a soft shade identical to your throw pillows, for example) can compliment your space.  Colour will work as an exclamation point if you’re looking to add some liveliness to your room.

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Great printed curtains for a room can lead to a flow-in-style. Compliment your patterned furniture with subtle patterned drapings for a hint of style and energy. A small, neutral print like dots or paisley work just as great. A large graphic print with a color that transmits to the existing decor is a bold move but can be remarkable. The right prints and patterns can turn any window into a stunning focal point.

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Whether you’re purchasing ready-made or tailor-made, it is advisable to first arm yourself with the right knowledge about fabrics and textiles. The fabric will dictate how well your curtains function and hold over time. Study the mood of the room and the tone you want to achieve. A formal area may suit heavy silk or velvet, which also works great as an insulator for warmth and privacy. For an informal and minimal touch, dreamy light linens or sheer based drapings bring a crisp, neat feel. This look is seasonless and great for enhancing light in a room.


Deciding on length and lining, custom-made or off-the-shelf, there are elements to consider before you take out your measuring tape. Choose how elevated over the frame you’d prefer your drapes to hang. There are no cut-out rules as to how long your curtains should hang, however hanging panels higher than the window gives a sense of elevation to your space. To get the length of your window displays, measure from the top of the window (plus the added inches of height where the curtains will hang from) to the floor.


Be sure to add those extra centimetres around the perimeter of your window frame to help block unwanted light. While custom window treatments may offer a lot of room for creativity, off-the-shelf may be an easier option. With these preferences, substantial price difference is something to consider.

Don’t slack off getting your drapes just right. Perfecting your curtains can be visually rewarding and will add the necessary finishing touch to your space.

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Gabriella Neumbo


 Gabriella Neumbo was born and bred in the semi-arid country of Namibia but adopted by the African rainbow nation of South Africa. She has an unwavering passion for fashion, good food and travel, but it’s the adventures with her other love photography that would truly put you through a 1000 words.



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