Set Your Home’s “Stage” with the Perfect Curtains

Set Your Home’s “Stage” with the Perfect Curtains

curtains_buying_guide

Who thought that curtains could be such a big eal in your home? While it may seem like an afterthought to some sellers, curtains frame a room in the same way a good haircut frames a face. The right choice of curtain can change the look and feel of a space, and help your home sell faster.

Sometimes, the wrong curtain choice could make your home look older than it actually is, dating it for potential buyers. Even worse, homes without curtains look drab, especially if your blinds are the simple metal kind.

If you’re thinking about buying curtains, keep these 12 things in mind.

1. Length. The length will depend on what else is near the curtain. If your bed is under a window, you might want shorter curtains so they don’t get in the way. If the curtains go behind a couch, maybe shorter is better, too. If it’s a curtain for the kitchen window over your sink, you’re obviously not going to want it to go to the floor!

2. Style. There are several different options and it pretty much just depends on the look you want for the room. If you’re wanting a light, airy look, you probably won’t want heavy drapes. If you have a privacy issue or don’t want the sun waking you up in the morning, you won’t want sheers.

3. Fabric. This is a really important point, especially if you have kids or pets. My family room/dining room curtains are silky and they’re hard to spot clean – not a great choice for the dining room. I didn’t think of that when I bought them. I cringe sometimes when my niece walks by!

4. Dry clean only or machine washable. I made a big mistake when I bought our family room curtains – I didn’t check the fabric content and they were dry clean only! When we first got them, each panel was horribly creased. But because they were dry clean only, I couldn’t throw them in the washer. I also couldn’t toss them in the dryer because they required low heat. So I ironed EACH AND EVERY PANEL – 4 of them in all – on a low heat setting. It took 10 minutes per panel! I’ll never do that again!

5. Rod. Keep in mind that curtain rods can eat up a big part of the budget. There are many different types, whether it’s simple metal rods or fancy, carved wooden ones. If you’re putting your home on the market, I suggest something simple not garish.

6. Rod color. If the grommets in your curtain are brass, you might want a brass rod. If all the metal in the room is chrome, you might want a chrome rod. It doesn’t bother everyone if the metals don’t match, but it may be the difference in a buyer finding the look appealing.

7. Cost. Definitely look to the clearance rack. I’m a fan of Bed, Bath & Beyond, but you can also look at other shops like Target, Macy’s, etc.

8. Tie Backs. If your curtains slide open, you’re good to go. But if you want to tie them back, don’t forget to purchase tie backs or hold backs. Currently, we just slide ours back. It’s easier plus it doesn’t block our great view.

9. Additional window coverings. If you have blinds or shades, you can buy “cheater curtains” which cover the edge of the window and don’t actually close. You can also add a valance to the top of a small window to add some extra panache. Sometimes blinds look harsh and these types of window dressings can warm things up.

10. Window size. Don’t guess – ever! That rarely turns out well. Measure the width and the height of the windows.

11. Number of panels. When we bought our family room curtains, we tried to get by with two panels on the extra wide windows but that wasn’t enough. We went back and bought six more panels which is what we should have done in the first place. Most of the time you’ll need at least two panels per window.

12. Color. If you can, take pictures of the room, including the colors you’ll be matching to, and take those with you. It helps you get it right the first time! One thing I hate more than shopping for curtains is taking the wrong curtains back! If you have an iPhone, I strongly recommend a new app called Adobe Kuler. It won’t just extract the color from your pictures, but it will also give you handy complimentary colors! Too cool!

Buying new curtains is a lot more complicated than it seems, right? Now, it’s time to go out and pick out your own, and hide those dreadfully boring blinds!

What’s on your windows?

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