So, we have made it through another year of living in a restrained manner due to the ongoing pandemic. It would be safe to assume that most of us are already accustomed to the ‘new normal’: Occasional bouts of having to work from home, school closures, or dealing with post-vaccination side effects.
The fact that our home has become a safe haven where we are spending a lot of our waking hours has not changed. As such, it only makes sense that, instead of investing in new wardrobe pieces or even something like a car, more people are prioritising home improvements above all else.
Of course, there are a myriad of ways to give your home a facelift. Even something as simple as painting the walls could make a space feel completely new. But if you are looking for a way to add variety and beautify a space without breaking the bank, you may want to consider new sets of curtains. After all, they are not referred to as window dressings for nothing: Curtains are, essentially, an ensemble of sorts for windows, doors, and the room as a whole.
It does not really matter if you have (or have not) replaced your curtains within these couple of years – as our living and working environment change, new needs or conditions may crop up. For instance, you may have set up a home office in a corner of the living room. You have it nicely partitioned, there is adequate lighting, and you get all the privacy that you need. But renovation works have commenced on the house next door and all you hear these days are the intrusive sounds of drilling and hacking.
Also, as human beings, we are in need of constant stimulation. That is why it is exciting to see, feel, hear, or touch something new. Unfortunately, unlike the outdoors where there is an abundance of varying sights and sounds, our homes are relatively static by comparison. Furniture, fixtures, and fittings are costly and time consuming to replace. Curtains, on the other hand, can potentially change the look and feel of an entire room. And it can be cheaper as well.
So, without further ado, let us dive into the curtain designs or styles that will likely top the popularity charts in 2022.
Truly, minimalism – a design philosophy that focuses on stripping things down to bare essentials – is something that never completely goes out of fashion. In other words, minimalism seeks to make things as simple as possible without sacrificing an item’s form or function – and in some cases, combining the two.
Curtains, by its very nature, serve several functions: It helps to regulate the lighting, provide privacy, and act as an insulation against sound and heat. Its form or how it looks can affect the ambience of a room, thus, affecting its occupants as well.
Because minimalist curtains tend to be simple, they will work with almost any interior decorating scheme: Whether your house is modern, eclectic, shabby chic, or bohemian, minimalist curtains can fit right in. At a time – such as currently – when practical considerations and utility value are being coming up tops, one cannot go wrong with minimalist curtains.
One of the key elements that separates minimalism from other styles is the rejection of complex structures or superfluous components. This means that pleats, ruffles, tassels, or loud prints, for example, are probably not the sort of details that you would pair with minimalist curtains. In terms of colours, neutrals are a natural choice.
Some curtains, by virtue of its design, would naturally fall under the minimalist category. This includes the single-pleat curtain. The name refers to its heading – the top part of the curtain that is attached to a track or a rod. There are many different types of headings. Nevertheless, no matter how elaborate or plain the heading is, it will determine how a curtain drapes and folds.
There are many types of pleated headings but none is simpler than the single pleat. As its name suggests, these curtains are made by creating a single fold at the top. When it is fully drawn shut, the curtains look almost flat with subtle, straight lines running down the front. And when it is drawn apart, the folds stack in a uniformed and neat fashion. It provides the clean, understated aesthetic that is the hallmark of minimalist design.
As for the fabric, single pleat curtains work best with most light- to medium-weight cloth. Some popular options include cotton, linen, silk or faux silk. You may also be able to splurge a little because this style requires less fabric than the others. In summary, single pleat curtains offer a modern look without requiring much fabric and stacking space (when it is drawn open). These advantages make it especially suited as a window dressing option for very large windows.
Another style that can be placed under the minimalist category are wave curtains. Also known as the S-wave and the ripple fold, wave curtains do not have pleats, gatherings, and bunchings across the header. It simply curves in a continuous wave or “S” pattern across the length of the curtain, creating fluid folds that drape sinuously. Viewed at some angles, it may even appear as though the wave curtains are suspended and floating in air.
Wave curtains work in a variety of settings including the living room and bedroom. If you have large and tall windows or doors that open up to a panoramic view, the elegant wave curtains will be a perfect complement, granting you an unfettered and beautifully framed vista when it is drawn open.
With regard to fabric, almost anything can be used for wave curtains although lighter and softer materials such as cotton, linen, voile, and silk produce the best effects. Stiffer materials and most prints should be avoided.
Another option that seemingly never goes out of fashion are sheer curtains. It was a sought-after choice in the last couple of years and it does not look as though its popularity will be waning anytime soon.
The reasons for its continued use in homes are obvious. Firstly, sheers look great everywhere – it suffuses the light and provides an airy, well-lit, and ephemeral atmosphere. It is great for living rooms, home offices, bedrooms, kitchens, and nurseries. Secondly, it is one of the best options for layering – it can be layered under (or at times, over) most styles of curtains or blinds. Apart from that, sheers can act as an additional layer of insulation against sunlight, heat, or sound.
Therefore, sheer curtains will still be on-trend in 2022. So, rejoice if you have had sheers installed in the last two years. And if you have not already, what are you waiting for? Also, if you are looking for a way to partition spaces, using sheer curtains is an inexpensive and versatile method compared to, say, putting up walls, partitions, cabinets, or screens.
Say “Oui” to Provence
On the other side of the fence, there are people who are rejecting minimalism for a style that is decidedly more ornamental. Or more specifically, a style that is inspired by countryside living in Provence, France, a place known for its lavender fields, pine forests, and lush vineyards. As you can imagine, the style of Provence-influenced curtains are markedly different from the minimalist designs we discussed earlier.
To give you an idea, this style places emphasis on handicrafts, one-off knick-knacks, and vintage or antique fittings. It is a style that is expressive, so you are free to make it your own. If you see a bauble that you like, you may consider using it as a finial (the decorative element at the end of a curtain rod) if it strikes your fancy.
Having said that, there are some unifying elements that can be found in Provencal interiors as well. These include natural fabrics and textures, small floral or plant motifs, and delicate pastel colours. If we were to describe the Provence interior style, it would be feminine, soft, quirky, and oh-so-pretty.
There are many ways to personalise or add a touch of quirkiness to curtains using trims, which offers a whole new world of things to experiment with. Fringes, tassels, borders, ribbons, dried flowers, embroideries, etc. – the list is pretty endless.
And if you are looking to create a cozy, Provence-style atmosphere at home, you will not go wrong with cafe curtains. Named after the curtains used in old roadside cafes, cafe curtains are best suited for the kitchen although it also works bathrooms, dining rooms, storage/laundry areas, and even, in some cases, living rooms as well. Depending on your preference, or the length of the window, you may opt for single or double panels.
Cafe curtains are hung partway up the window, covering only the bottom half. The idea behind cafe curtains is to provide privacy – by covering the bottom half, most people of average height would not be able to peer inside – but still allow plenty of natural sunlight to filter in through the top uncovered part. The curtain rod is usually adjusted to match the dividing lines of a window pane.
If you feel that there is too much light streaming in from the top or if covering only half the window feels unfinished to you, adding a valance is always an option. It need not be costly either; the most basic valances are simply a piece of fabric that is strung across the rod using rod pockets or clip rings.
Apart from that, valances can also be used on their own. When used appropriately, valances can add height to a room, soften up bare spaces, and frame views and windows. It can also serve as a unifying element if it is made using fabrics that share the same colour or pattern scheme with existing soft furnishings in a room. Alternatively, valances can also become a focal point if you choose a completely unique fabric, and voilà, there is your little piece of art.
If you are looking for something that will make your home look romantic and old-fashioned, Priscilla curtains are an excellent choice. It is made using two full stationary panels – each spanning the width of your window and attached to two separate rods – that overlap or criss-cross at the top when it is drawn open using tiebacks. A ruffle runs along the entire inner and bottom edge of the curtain.
It is hard to imagine what a finished Priscilla curtain looks like, which is why you may want to consider searching for some images online. One thing that is for certain, however, is that this frilly style may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
But if it sets your heart aflutter, the general rule of thumb is to use lacy or sheer materials. And to achieve the best effect, Priscilla curtains tend to look better with bigger windows or doors. Spaces that would go well with these flouncy curtains include nurseries, reading areas, and arts and crafts rooms.
And finally, though its name suggests otherwise, Roman blinds are also a great inclusion in a Provence-themed interior. It can be made using a wide variety of fabrics, which makes it a versatile choice. You could, for instance, use a fabric that matches the room’s soft furnishings or even choose the same textile that adorns any other item in the room for that extra coordinated look.
As Roman blinds are made from a piece of flat fabric that is lined at the back, you could opt to install it in areas where spaces are tight. It will also be perfect in bedrooms or extra sunny spaces as you could pick a blackout lining, which will help you to sleep better or increase your comfort level.
Tent flap curtains open at the side to admit air and light, or they can be let down for privacy and protection. The fabric can be printed with different designs on its two sides so opening the tent flap reveals an interesting contrast in shapes and colours.
Unknown. (2020, Mar 9). What are Priscilla Curtains? Home Decor Bliss.
GMBOEL. (2021, Jul 24). Provence Style Curtains: Types, Design Ideas (100+ Photos). GMBOEL.
Bartosch, K. S. (2021, May 5). Differences between Valances, Swags, and Cornices. The Spruce.
Chandler, B. (Unknown). How to Make and Attach a Border to Drapes. SFGATE.
Unknown. (2022, Jan 14). Interior Design Styles 101: The Ultimate Guide To Defining Decorating Styles in 2022. Decorilla.
Tomsa, I. (2021, Oct 12). Curtain Trends 2022: Stylish Ideas for Every Room of your House. Hackrea.
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