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Bedroom with large window, venetian blinds and a roman blind

Window dressing, by Malcolm Duffin


Less is more

If you have just had new windows fitted, it is only natural that your thoughts will turn to curtains. Or it may be that with this year’s spring clean you want to give your windows a treat with new blinds or drapery. But before your imagination runs riot with the latest trends for jungle prints and high florals, my advice – less is so often more.

Kitchen diner with patio doors out to the garden

Don’t hide the view

Curtains do not make a room. How often have you walked into someone’s home and the first thing you do is look at the view from their window? I see this happening all the time.

So first and foremost, never hide your outlook on to the world, especially after everything we have all been through over the past two years. If your new windows have brightened up your home and let the light flood in, don’t get distracted by over-elaborate swags, pelmets and frills.

Blue and white living room with large windows and pattered curtains
Bedroom with white window and floor to ceiling curtains
Living room with french doors out to the garden

Privacy and comfort

Essentially, curtains, drapery, or blinds are fitted for screening. They screen out the cold and miserable weather, and they are there for your privacy and comfort. So, start by thinking about why you want curtains and what level of screening you require. Then take a tailored, methodical and even minimal approach to styles and patterns.

A simple but beautiful roller or roman blind can have the least impact on your décor while providing the privacy you are looking for. I’ve worked on homes where this first step not only creates a lovely uniform look to the home from the outside but also creates the foundation to start to build out design ideas on the inside.

If you have a 1950s, or 60s home look to the architecture for inspiration. If yours is a modern house, keep the fabrics and styles clean and restrained. I love the elegance of the translucence of voile for its minimal impact on the room. Linen, too, is right on trend for its simplicity. A period home allows you greater scope for more flamboyance and here velvet is definitely the new ‘luxury’ fabric when it comes to window dressing.

Living room with large windows and floor to ceiling curtains

To truly embrace that view, however, go for curtains that match the wall.

Always remember that curtains can enhance a room, never make a room. Make sure your curtains blend effortlessly into your interior.