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    Your guide to the different types of curtains

    More than a means to block out the sun, curtains add privacy and style to your space

    Hannah | Oneflare

    With the wide variety of colours, patterns, textures and materials out there, it can be overwhelming to shop for curtains for your home. Before you start shopping, it helps to do a bit of planning first to help you determine exactly what to look for. Here’s a round up of the different types of curtains available.

    Lace curtains

    These classic curtains are extremely lightweight, so they won’t filter out glare entirely. They can soften light and add privacy though. They’ll also add an air of elegance to even the plainest room. Because of their lightweight design, lace curtains are usually paired with an under curtain, which can aid in blocking glare.

    Sheer curtains and voiles

    Sheers are made of transparent, lightweight fabrics and can be used alone or with an under- or over-curtain. They’re thin enough to bring in plenty of light and give an airy, breezy appearance. Voile curtains are made from slightly heavier cottons, but are still lightweight enough to keep a room looking cool and airy.

    Curtains can make an elegant addition to the decor of your space / Source: Ryan Linnegar Photography

    Block outs

    As the name implies, block out curtains are window treatments that are designed to stop the stream of sunlight and heat from entering a room. Made from very heavy, tightly woven and opaque fabric they come in a variety of colours and textures – and can be as elegant as they are utilitarian.

    Block outs also offer insulation – preventing the heat and chill from entering a room – and noise reduction.

    French pleats

    These curtains are triple-pleated and pinched in, so that they fan out in lovely, voluminous folds. They’re often used in more formal rooms but, depending on the fabric, can also be used in decorative casual areas, such as the kitchen. They require a specific type of curtain rod to keep their pleats looking crisp.

    Source: Ama Studio Interiors

    Tab tops

    One of the most common curtains, tab tops are versatile and economical. These curtains have large, matching fabric tabs at the top to help hold the curtain rod in place. They come in every colour and fabric and can add a real designer look to a room – easily blending in with many home styles.

    Tab top curtains are one of the most economical options you can choose as they require less fabric than pleated or gathered styles. Because the rod is left exposed, remember to factor this into your styling choices – perhaps making a statement with a brass, copper or timber rod, paint the rod the same colour as your walls to make your curtains the focal point.

    Café curtains

    These curtains are perfect for the kitchen or a breakfast room and can soften light and provide privacy, while adding a decorative touch. Café curtains are positioned inside the window frame and usually hang from the window’s mid-section, although you can add a valance on the top for additional coverage.

    Panel curtains

    These straight-hanging curtains, which are also known as pole top, casement or rod pocket curtains, have at least one pocket at the top through which the curtain rod is threaded. Because of the complexity of their design, they work better when placed where you don’t have to draw them very often.

    Panel curtains are available in a variety of colours, and the style easily blends into many decors, such as modern, country, casual or beach. They can be easily adapted to many different sizes of windows, as well as a device for hiding shelves or dividing a room.

    Source: MLD Studio


    For a funky retro look to your home, beaded curtains may be just the thing. Today’s beaded curtains aren’t just made from acrylic or glass beads; they’re also made from bamboo, mirror pieces, seashells and faux gemstones.

    Wrap up

    Look at the style of your room — is it contemporary or period? Is it formal or casual and airy? By determining the style of your room and its primary colours, you’ll be able to choose curtains that will provide privacy and insulation and also enhance your overall décor.

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