How to dress windows

Windows are the new stars of the home - they can be dressed to frill or to thrill, or kept simple and chic. There's now a wealth of choice in treatments from classical swags to minimalist breaths of muslin and even curtains made from suede or leather.


Stephanie Hoppen author of The New Curtain Book, which includes inspiring advice and stunning examples from top designers, says “If you can’t afford new curtains there are a number of things that can be done to give your windows a face-lift. A new border of contrasting fabric stitched to the leading edge and base of a curtain will frame a window in a whole new way."

Here are a few more insider secrets from leading interior designers...
Nicky Haslam says: “I think people have begun to think of windows as works of art. A window is like a modern painting and curtains compose the frame. If you take them up as high as you can, they give visual height to a room and draw attention to the ceiling.”



Nina Campbell says: “You can get pattern and excitement from cushions and upholstery, but I think the expanse of curtain fabric needs to be more restful. I love the feel of fabrics: damask, velvet, chenille and printed linen. I also love floaty fabrics that let the light come through such as sheer linen or silk taffeta, which I often use unlined.”

Kelly Hoppen says: “The way I think about curtains has changed. Years ago it was about using masses of fabric to cover windows, whereas today it’s about light. People are more aware of light now, they want curtains that are sheer and translucent, not lined and interlined. I’m definitely not a pattern person, but I will border fabrics and make bands across them. An expensive silk can look wonderful bordered with grey flannel or wool.”

TIP: Use one colour for a curtain but several different fabric textures such as silk and leather to make plain curtains look interesting.

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