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Types of Curtains
Box Pleated Curtains
Box pleated curtains give a very tailored look and drape into deep folds down the full length of the curtains. The box shapes line up next to each other which creates that formal, pleated look. They are ideal for more formal rooms like the lounge, dining or study.
Goblet Pleat Curtains
If you are looking for very formal curtaining to suit a grand room in a traditional home with very high ceilings, the goblet pleat curtain is perfect. The pleat at the top resembles a wine glass. To keep the goblet pleat looking full and rounded, they should be shaped with interlining or wadding.
Pinch Pleated Curtains
Pinch Pleating gives curtains a decorative finish at the top, and although it gives quite a more formal finish than rod pocket or standard gathering, pinch pleating will work with most fabric types. There are five types of pinch pleating – the one shown here is called a three finger pinch pleat. There are also two finger pinch pleats, three finger pinch pleats, four finger pinch pleats and five finger pinch pleats. With more pleats, the size and fullness of the pleat increases, and so does the amount of fabric needed to make the curtains increases, and the cost.
Eyelet curtains, or Grommet curtains are ideal for light to medium weight fabrics and include silver rings at the header that a rod weaves through. The curtains hang easily and freely making this style ideal for kids bedrooms as they are easy to open, close and maintain. When made with a more formal fabric eyelet curtains are a great option for a modern bedroom or lounge room as their no fuss design is very contemporary.
Tailored Pleat Curtains
Tailored pleat drapes are similar to a Pinch Pleat, but the pleat starts at the top of the fabric and falls from there. Some people also call this a Euro pleat. For some people the tailored pleat, is a less fussy more stylish pleat, but it is personal opinion. Tailored Pleat Curtains work best when made with a substantial fabric, lighter weight fabrics definitely will need lining to look good if being made into curtains with a tailored pleat.
Cased Heading Curtains, also known as Rod Pocket Curtains
A simple cased heading is used mainly for nets and lightweight fabrics that are not to be opened and closed frequently. A casing sewn across the top is left open at the ends. These need to be hung on a slender curtain rod that threads through the channel and fits onto hooks or into sockets at the sides of the window. Because the curtain rod gap is a tight fit, these curtains are best used in rooms that are used less frequently, like a formal sitting room.Sheer curtains bring a lightness to any window as their sheer fabric allows a little privacy while still filtering in light. Sheer curtains are often hung as secondary curtains or over blinds. This means the primary curtain or blind can be used to block out light and then pulled back to reveal the sheers which allow light in while still minimalising visibility into the room. Sheers often have a tab top design but can be custom made into other curtain styles, keeping in mind the delicateness and light weight properties of sheer fabric. Suitable for almost every room, sheers can be made more formal when the curtain top is encased in a pelmet, concealing the curtain rod and wall joinery.
Tab Top Curtains
Similar to eyelet curtains, tab top curtains have fabric loops on the top and can only be hung on a rod. An easy, informal style of curtain, tab tops are suitable for all weights of fabrics as they hang evenly and have a repetitive, folded appearance.
Sheer curtains bring a lightness to any window as their sheer fabric allows a little privacy while still filtering in light. Sheer curtains are often hung as secondary curtains or over blinds. This means the primary curtain or blind can be used to block out light and then pulled back to reveal the sheers which allow light in while still minimalising visibility into the room. Sheers often have a tab top design but can be custom made into other curtain styles, keeping in mind the delicateness and light weight properties of sheer fabric. Suitable for almost every room, sheers can be made more formal when the curtain top is encased in a pelmet, concealing the curtain rod and wall joinery.
Pelmets and Valances
Pelmets are a decorative framework used to conceal the curtain fixtures at the top of a window casing. Pelmets are flat and box like in shape however they can be shaped to add decorative detail. Often made from chipboard and covered in decorative fabric, they are a fantastic decorators trick for concealing multiple curtains rods (used when you hang multiple layers of curtains like a sheer and block out curtain) in a modern and aesthetically pleasing way. Valances are made for the same principals but are much softer in appearance with a gathered or pleated heading.
Different curtains require different hanging needs. Curtains with rings, loops or tabs need to hung on a curtain rod while more formal curtains like the box pleat or cased heading curtains include curtain tape which runs along on a track. Whether you want to achieve a formal or informal look, the length of the curtains will make a big difference. Curtains that are longer than the window will pool on the ground, called "puddling". When done properly, this creates a formal and grand look. The trick is too make sure you are using a medium to easy weight fabric as if the fabric is too light weight it won't puddle nicely and can look messy and unfinished. For a more modern look, curtains can be hung so they drop down to just a few centimeters above the ground, creating a crisp and tidy appearance. You also need to consider how high above the windows the rod or track will sit. Hanging your curtains high above the window can make the windows look larger which is a great design trick.
Types of Window Blinds
Vertical blinds have individual slats that run along a track at the top of the blind. Depending on the style, vertical blinds either open from side to side, or by parting in the middle. These blinds are a popular choice for patio doors and floor to ceiling windows. But, they can still be used over smaller windows as well.
Mini blinds are very similar in operation to Venetian blinds. But, they feature slats of a smaller width than traditional Venetian blinds. The slats are usually about 1” thick.
Panel blinds are another popular choice for patio doors, as well as very large windows. Panel blinds feature sections which move along a track, which allows you to open and close them.
Cellular shades look similar to pleated shades and are also made from similar materials. However, unlike a pleated shade, cellular shades are made of two different pieces of material. The front and back sections of cellular shades are open in the middle, which creates a pocket that provides insulation. Cellular shades are available in a variety of different cell sizes designed to fit the needs of different windows. These shades are a great way to help your home stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Cellular shades also provide sound insulation, as well.
Outdoor shades are usually made from heavy duty, weather resistant materials. Outdoor shades are used on patios and decks to reduce the amount of sun exposure and heat that’s entering the area. Outdoor solar shades are especially popular.
Venetian blinds are the most popular style of blinds. They feature horizontal slats which attach with string or strips of cloth known as tapes. As Venetian blinds are raised, the bottom slat is pressed into the slat above it.
Micro blinds are an even tinier version of mini-blinds. These types of blinds feature slats which are ½” thick.
Pleated shades feature a piece of material that’s pleated so that the shade forms an accordion-like pattern which can be raised or lowered. These shades have a similar look to Venetian blinds, while also “softening” the look of the window. But, they cannot be adjusted from side to side, like blinds. Pleated shades are usually made from fabric or paper.
Roman shades are a very traditional window covering made from fabric or materials like jute or seagrass. There are several different styles of Roman shades available, but they all share one thing in common: As a Roman shade is raised, it folds into itself, similar to how a Venetian blind operates. Since the fabric of a roman shade continues to fold into itself, it can create quite a large stack of fabric at the top of the window when they’re raised completely. So, while Roman shades offer a beautiful and timeless look, they do remove a portion of the viewable space of your window when raised.
Roman shades are available both lined or unlined to suit different needs. The linings often offer additional features, like blackout and thermal linings.
Skylight shades are available in many different styles including roller, pleated and cellular. These shades are designed to cover difficult to reach skylights. Cellular shades are especially popular for skylights because of their insulating properties. Skylight shades usually feature a largely removable rod that’s used to raise, lower or adjust the shade. Sometimes, skylight shades are raised or lowered with a handle instead of a rod. Automatic versions are also available.