Textiles: almost any textile will work for curtains provided it has enough fluidity (our Archie linen, for instance, is too stiff), so you can go for light and airy sheer linen (such as Imogen), deeply cosy velvet and wool, or a mid to heavy-weight linen (like Hugo, Chloe, Harry or Linara at Neptune) for something in the middle. Pattern works well too, but if you don’t want to go fully patterned you can also have the leading edge or bottom section made in a different plain or patterned fabric.
Lining, interlining & fullness: how full your curtains are will largely depend on the lining and interlining. Even a lighter linen such as Imogen will have a heavier look when fully lined. We’d pretty much always recommend a regular lining – it’ll give just enough body and protect your face fabric from the sun – but there’s also the option of blackout lining with our service. Interlining adds a luxurious fullness and extra thermal properties, so we recommend it for draughty houses and doors. Use standard interlining for heavy fabrics like wool and velvet, and a thicker interlining for the likes of linen. Fullness is also, of course, determined by how much fabric makes up your curtains. If you’re going for a lighter face fabric and lining combination, then definitely have your curtains made with more fabric, otherwise they could look scant.
Length: in short, always go full length. Curtains that stop at the windowsill tend to disrupt the proportions of the room (like trousers cut unflatteringly short). We usually make our curtains so they just graze the floor, but longer curtains that puddle slightly can be very romantic.
Headings: there are all sorts of ways you can head a curtain but the three we think are both smartest and most timeless are cartridge and pleat headings. Cartridge is the most contemporary and is great if you want a minimal look – the fabric is simply stitched into soft folds. Double and triple pleat headings are a touch more traditional although still crisp and tailored. We’d recommend double pleat for smaller windows and triple for larger (although the latter isn’t suitable for very thick curtains).
Poles: generally speaking, we prefer a pole to a pelmet. No matter how simple a pelmet, it’ll always feel very traditional and we just think a pole is a more timeless option. A pelmet does work well though when you have an odd gap between the top of the window and the ceiling but you want your curtains to go to the ceiling, as it’ll hide the gap (we can make bespoke pelmets as part of our Home Design Service, but not our normal curtains & blinds service. All our fabrics are available by the metre though, in case you want to have one made yourself). When it comes to poles, choose an understated finial and finish (something we’ve already done for you with our own options) so they won’t date. And we’d definitely consider the lined rings of our premium poles if it matters to you that they draw quietly. Finally, glider poles are a good option if you don’t want to see the pole at all or you want to hang your curtains from the ceiling.