Everything you need to know before you buy curtains
For a first-time buyer, purchasing curtains can be daunting as there are a few steps to consider. Here is a coherent guide to help you through the process.
At Gardiner Haskins Interiors, we measure your windows for you as part of our Made-to-Measure Service, so you don’t have to. We only offer a measuring and fitting service at our Bristol Store so, if you are doing it yourself, here is how to measure accurately…
- For width, if you already have a curtain pole measure the length of this, in between the decorative ends. If you have a track, measure the full length of this. Do not measure the window.
- Always add extra for overlap for when the curtains are closed.
- For measuring the length for pencil pleat curtains or curtains that have rings, measure from the rings down. For tab or eyelet curtains or track rails, measure from the pole or track down.
- At the bottom, if you want your curtains to hang above the window sill measure 1.25cm from the sill. For curtains to hang below the window sill, measure 15cm below the sill. For your curtains to hang to the floor, measure 1.5cm from the floor.
Download our FREE Measuring Guide PDF to help you along with the process.
Firstly, think about which room your curtains are for as each room has different requirements.
- For your bedroom, you might need blackout curtains. You also might want them to match your bedding.
- For your living room, you want something that is stylish and classy to blend in with your décor. You will want lined curtains to keep in warmth and keep our road lights.
- For your kitchen, windows are usually above a sink and are therefore shorter. They could also get dirty so make sure the material you choose is washable.
- For children’s bedrooms, you want fun and colourful patterns. You also want them to be black-out, so they sleep well and to keep the room cool in summer and warm in winter.
- For your door, you need a long curtain to keep out the draft.
- For your bathroom, you want curtains that are waterproof and resistant to mildew.
Tracks and poles
The main difference between the poles and tracks is that poles are visible. They are part of the style and feel of the décor. They come in a variety of finishes like matte or shiny and a variety of materials like metal or wood. Choose stylish finials for the end of the pole to add to the feel and design of your new curtains. Use poles for eyelet and tab top curtains.
Tracks, on the other hand, create the impression of curtains seamlessly sliding on an invisible pole. Use tracks for pleated curtains.
Have a look at our tracks and poles page.
You might be feeling overwhelmed about the number of styles of curtains there are out there. So here is a quick summary of some of the headings that are available to you…
Eyelet curtains – these are simple and modern. The pole is fed through metal eyelets and this creates large and even folds.
Pencil pleat – These can be attached to tracks or rings and a pole. The pleats can range in width. This is a more formal styled curtain.
Tab top – This is a loose curtain with fabric taps threaded onto a pole. This is a modern and relaxed look, perfect for children’s bedroom.
Box pleat – This has more of an elegant, modern look. The pleats are tailored into boxes and can be single, double or triple pleats.
Pinch pleats – This has a structured tailored look and is elegant and formal. The top of the hem is gathered and can be pinched into a single, double or triple gather.
Goblet pleat – For elegant and formal curtains. The pleats form a round ‘goblet’ style shaped. They are stuffed to appear fuller.
If you see any other style you like, at Gardiner Haskins we can create whichever pleat you desire as part of our Made-to-Measure Service.
Depending on the feel of the room, you need to choose which material matches the look you want to create. You can get heavier fabrics like velvet, velour, chenille, velveteen, corduroy or wool. These will create a more statement, imposing or warming and are excellent for a grand living room or bedroom.
For a lighter, airier feel, go for timeless linen which is matte and textured or sheer voile.
To see our selection of fabrics, have a look at our brand page.
Lining – Light, heat and noise absorbing
When choosing the material, you also need to think about how insulating you want them to be. The heavier the material, the less light, heat and noise comes through.
To add more insulation from the elements, you can add extra lining into your curtains or choose specific black-out curtains. In our Made-to-Measure Department, we can tailor this to your specifications.
Dressing and accessories
When buying curtains, don’t forget the additional accessories that will complete the look.
Tiebacks – these are fashionable and functional. They keep the curtains tidy and let light stream through while framing the window.
Pelmets – these are a piece of decorated or upholstered wood or fabric skirt that covers the top of the curtain. This can be very stylish and finishes off the curtains nicely.
Make or buy
Once you have decided on these aspects you can then buy your curtains. But to create your dream curtains that fit perfectly and emulate your vision, allow us to make them for you. We tailor the curtains to mirror your vision and create stunning bespoke made-to-measure curtains, that you will enjoy for years to come.
This is the last stage of the curtain buying process. At Gardiner Haskins we also offer this as a service, so you don’t have to fit them yourself.
If you are interested in Made-to-Measure curtains, fill out the form below visit us in our new showroom.
If curtains aren’t what you’re looking for have a look at our ‘How to Buy Blinds’ buyer’s guide.