When you mention curtains to some people, the first thing they think of his grandmas heavy old drapes and crusty net curtains which when pulled back would most likely leave a cloud of dust for you to choke on. Back then the choices were limited regardless of whether it was that style of fabric or the other options available for window furnishings. 

Recently curtains have been making a resurgence into the window furnishings market. They are not so much the traditional blockout curtain with a sheer behind them, but being used more in a combination with the various other products that are available to transform a room and give the desired look and feel.


Sheer curtains can be used in a huge variety of ways giving a room that soft light airy feel of elegance combined with daytime privacy. Some combinations that can be considered are;

  • Blockout blinds for privacy with sheer curtains in front.
  • A double track system with sheers on the front and a lining on the reverse track.
  • Using a sheer as the main curtain with a blockout or light filtering lining attached.

The range of sheer fabrics available today is huge. You can have plain, patterned, textured with a spectrum of colours, and if you really want, we can still get the lace curtains you may remember from years ago.


Creating a block out curtain is generally done in one of three ways;

  • You can purchase a fabric that already has a blockout coating on the reverse side of it. This is often a very cost-effective way of getting curtains, however, when it comes to cleaning, these can sometimes cause problems as the backing tends to stick to it self and can peel off the fabric leaving it with a patchy look which is rather ugly.
  • An uncoated fabric tends to be softer than a coated fabric, therefore hangs in its pleats more easily. Most uncoated fabrics will need an attached lining to give the blockout effect and protect it from sun damage.
  • As mentioned above, using a double track system with a blockout lining on the reverse track will also cut out the light for you.
  • As a fourth option, there are fabrics known as triple weave available which can be used by themselves without a lining and do not have a coating on the reverse side.


The key to giving your new curtains a long life is protecting them from the harsh sun, and regular maintenance, e.g. giving them a light vacuum with an upholstery brush to remove any dust. Linings will protect your curtains from the sun, however, which one you choose will depend on the type of situation you are trying to create. 

In a bedroom you may be trying to create is much darkness is possible, in which case you want a lining with a blockout backing on it. If it is a living area where the blockout is not as important you may consider an uncoated lining which will hang more softly. Other factors to think about are whether you are trying to create an insulation or sound barrier, in which case a heavy lining, or perhaps even a bumph lining could be used. There is also a large number of colours to choose from with your linings which will change the look from the outside of the window.


With blinds and shutters, when they’re installed look good and serve the purpose of covering your windows which are generally rectangular in shape. When it comes to curtains the creativity can run wild! They can dramatically enhance the whole look of your room, or, they can just blend with your existing colour scheme and soften the look of some of the hard lines which may have been created by other window furnishings and structures in the room.

Some of the things to consider, and this is certainly not an extensive list, include; 

  • Full length floor-to-ceiling curtains creating a look of height
  • Curtain bottoms off the floor, touching the floor or puddling on the floor
  • Covering a window where you may have furniture immediately below the windowsill
  • Hand drawn, cord or wand drawn to avoid handling the curtains
  • Returns at the ends of the curtains and overlap in the middle where they join
  • Decorative rods, rod tracks, motorised tracks.
  • Style of pleats and how much room for stacking. 
  • Plain fabric, pattern fabric, textured fabric, colours
  • Padded pelmets, swags and tails.