A New Homeowners’ Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Curtains
Are you buying a new home and planning your renovations? Or, maybe you’re looking to redecorate your home? If so, you’re in the right place. This article is all about curtains and helping new homeowners like you get thoroughly equipped with all the requisite information you’ll need about the types of curtains available, why curtains are needed, essential tips for choosing the right curtains, solutions for homeowners in humid climates like Malaysia, and even how to make use of curtains in different seasons.
Reasons Why You Need Curtains for Your Home
But first, why do we even need curtains for our homes? Can’t we just leave our windows bare?
Enhancing the beauty of a room, curtains are an important accessory in the house, as they help revamp your habitat. By using different colours, textures and patterns, you can make a room look rustic, modern or classic. Or, maybe you just want to feel tranquillity once you enter your home? Then, consider using colours that cause this effect, such as pastels and natural hues such as earth tones.
Thus, having curtains is a vital part of decorating or redecorating your home. What other important factors do curtains influence?
Curtains keep your home cool
A big result of blocking out sunlight is keeping the temperature low. In a hot country like Malaysia, good curtains can keep the air-conditioning bill low by keeping your home cool in the first place. Beat the heat!
Curtains keep out the dust
For proper circulation, it’s a pleasure to keep the windows open during the day. However, in the process, dust, bugs and debris can find their way into the house. Curtains are an obvious way to keep most of the coarse outdoor contaminants outdoors.
Curtains ensure privacy
Curtains prevent outsiders from seeing into your home. Drapes are the simplest, most common way of ensuring that you get to live your life in private, away from prying eyes and high-powered zoom lenses.
Curtains regulate sunlight
This is especially important in a climate like Malaysia’s, where the sun is bright and sunny all year round. Curtains keep out the heat and damaging ultraviolet light that can age skin and fade furniture. This is good for your health and beauty, and good for keeping your maintenance costs low.
Blackout curtains use special material to completely block out light, creating not just privacy but a completely dark room, if you so desire. This is especially useful for a home theatre, a bedroom or a cool meditation space. Being able to sleep in complete darkness is a luxury everyone should be able to indulge in.
Different Curtains for Different Reasons
As with so many things in our abundant society today, the multitude of options in curtains can make choosing the right one a daunting affair. The truth is, there are different types of curtains that serve different purposes. Understanding the various types and their functions will help you arrive at the right choice for each window dressing.
A valence is short and is mostly used on top of a long curtain. The valence helps to complete the design on a curtain, but it can also be used independently on smaller windows. If you have a window that you do not wish to cover fully, a valence can also serve well, as a beautifying top frame to your window.
Sheer curtains are light and partially see-through, and so they’re insufficient on their own, for privacy. Sheers provide a soft partition between the indoors and the outdoors. Being light, they also allow for air circulation while providing partial cover. They can also be layered with solid curtains to create just the right amount of concealment for different moods.
Solid curtains are heavy fabrics that are opaque and provide complete privacy when drawn. Additionally, curtains come in virtually any colour you can imagine, and in a myriad of textures, from soft and satiny to heavy and course. A silky touch might be suitable for the bedroom, while a heavier feel may be just what you’d like in a rumpus room or den where the family or friends can hang out together over board games.
10 Factors to Consider Before Purchase
Drapes make important interior design statements. The importance of curtains on a living interior is as great as your choice of flooring and paint colour or wallpaper. Thus, before making a purchase, it is key for you to know what you need in terms of length, material and design. These factors play a big part in determining the final outlook of the home. So, before making any purchase, you need to be certain about the following factors.
1. Quality and durability
You want to buy a curtain that gives you value for your money, and the more durable your curtain, the more value it provides to you over its lifespan. Factors that affect a curtain’s durability are its material and its stitching. This means that you want to shop for the best materials and workmanship you can afford.
Reputable European distributors engage labs like Labo-tex. Durability and performance of the fabrics are tested and certified according to ISO requirements. It is one thing to state a claim for quality, but the proof is in the certification.
2. Material and fabric
European fabrics have long been the standard of exquisite curtains. Now, you no longer have to travel to that continent to source for your curtains, when European fabrics are readily available within the country and even conveniently online.
You can check out the vast collections found in Acacia Fabrics Collection available to boutiques found across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
3. Price range
Before making a purchase, perhaps the biggest factor to consider is the price. That being said, the cheapest option is not your friend. This is because, with the global market being the way it is, products of questionable quality can be easily found for suspiciously low prices. What you want to look for is a reasonable price that does not compromise on quality, design and workmanship. Remember, this is a home that you want to be proud of, and feel pleasure at coming home every day.
Different fabrics serve different purposes. As we talked about in the section above, form should follow function. For example, when choosing curtain fabric for the living room, select curtains that allow natural light and brightly coloured fabrics as they bring life into the room. However, in private places such as the bedroom, the drapes can be moderately dark and calm; this provides privacy and a sense of rest.
5. Pattern and colour
Once you’re clear about the function of each window dressing, then it’s time to express yourself with pattern and colour. Allow the function to guide you, but remember that rules are made to be broken sometimes. For instance, children’s rooms are usually bright and cheery, bedrooms are usually placid and peaceful, and mancaves are usually dark and heavy. But this is your time to experiment with colour (natural, neon or pastel?), pattern (solid, lines, checks or prints?) and texture (satiny, heavy or coarse?).
6. Temperature moderation
It is imperative to consider the temperatures of the house and the surrounding region as well. It is one of the reasons why consulting an expert is good as they help to identify the best textile. For instance, homeowners in Malaysia should consider fabrics that suit the yearlong humid and hot climate. Therefore, people in this region can select curtains made of linen or cotton that help to moderate the temperature and keep things cooler. In areas such as Europe where temperatures fluctuate, suede or velvet can be used to keep the temperatures higher when it is cold.
As we’ve talked about, form needs to follow function. Thus, for a workroom, you want to choose curtains that let in lots of light – this means brighter colours, lighter material and maybe even less fabric, such as dressing a window partially with a valance. For rooms that require darkness at times, go the other way with darker colours and patterns, heavier material and floor-to-ceiling drapes.
8. The hardware
Heavier curtains are best installed with large rods or runners, while light curtains and sheers are perfectly fine with decorative rods. When selecting the rods, consider other items such as lamps and chairs. You want to be sure that your curtain hardware matches the surrounding furniture.
9. Look and feel
Ultimately, the appearance of the curtain solely depends on the taste of the homeowner. Depending on the image of a display, one may consider the fabric of choice to select from. For example, if one desires the décor to have a simple yet sophisticated look, velvet can be a splendid choice. An instance where one wants an elegant look, silk is the best option to take.
10. Ease of maintenance
Bear in mind that different types of curtains require different care. Velvet fabrics would require special dry cleaning, while cotton may be machine washed at home. So, heavily a curtain is used must also be taken into consideration when you’re choosing your window dressing. The drapes in your guest room will need much less cleaning than the curtains of a front room that face a road, for example.
Taking all these factors into mind should help you in your purchase of curtains. At the very least, they will provide you with a plan of discussion with your significant other, your interior designer or renovation contractor.
Malaysian Tips: Dealing with the Haze and Humidity
For homeowners in Malaysia, which experiences occasional haze, they need to be equipped with extra strategies on curtain deployment. Below are some methods that Malaysian homeowners can use to ensure their houses are protected from the haze and hot temperatures.
Use fabrics that can trap dirt particles
Malaysian residents are used to donning protective masks and turning on their air purifiers. In addition to using this gear, it is crucial to protect your household by installing curtains that help trap dirt particles. Consider that a silk fabric will be less helpful for this purpose than a heavy linen material. In addition, remember to change the curtain more frequently during the haze season.
Keep the curtains closed
Changing curtains is simple, but it is more complicated to replace entire household items that collect dirt, such as carpets, throw pillows or even sofas. To help keep your entire household free from the haze, keep your curtains closed as much as possible during that season. For this purpose, floor-to-ceiling curtains would be ideal.
Where to Buy
Which brings us to the crucial question of where to source for your curtains. The 21st century has come with many developments, and interior design is one of the sectors that has received a lot of increase in popularity as people are increasingly informed about what to look for in terms of quality and appeal, when it comes to their homes.
Use this Curtain Search Tool to find the nearest Boutiques and Shops that carries Acacia Fabrics’ vast collection.
With the increasing demand for quality home décor, home furnishers have set up not only physical stores but online stores. The online stores are not left behind and offer a wide variety of fashionable window dressing and give new concepts and design trends as well. Online shops also allow homeowners to access their desired designs across the globe, making it easier for you to find exactly what you want.
Putting It All Together with an Interior Designer
You could be an avid do-it-yourself enthusiast. Or you could do with a little bit of help. It may be useful to arrange for a consultation with an interior designer who can help you decide on the curtains that you need for your beloved home.
In any case, now you’re equipped with a framework to plan out what you require. Going through the items in this article together would be a great way for you to start to nail down exactly what you want in your home.
It’s your home. It’s where you’ll launch out from every morning. It’s where you’ll return to at the end of every day. So, don’t be afraid of getting down into the details, because that’s where the difference between excellent and merely okay usually lies. Tiny details in texture of fabric, quality of material, vibrancy of colour and tastefulness of pattern can make or break a cherished dream home, so take your time, spend wisely but boldly, and remember – never compromise on quality.