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Curtains are usually hung for privacy, but they’re grand decor pieces as well. They tend to make a big impression simply due to their sheer square footage—if you have many windows to cover, that’s a lot of real estate. Curtain fabric can be sheer, a linen, cotton or polyester blend, tweed or luxurious velvet. Many styles have blackout lining, which helps block light and protect the fabric from fading in the sun. This lining also helps to regulate temperature by keeping out external cold or heat.
When it comes to length, the curtain should be long enough to reach the windowsill—any length beyond that is entirely personal and a matter of what looks best in the room. Linen or polyester drapes that run just to the windowsill or tiny bit beyond is a tidy look. Our Classic Voile Sheer Drape looks like a breath of fresh air just grazing the floor, while rich velvet drapes with a swathes of fabric tumbling onto the floor, and then some, is a romantic look that leans gothic.
Hanging curtains is a cinch, and there are three mounting options to choose from. A ‘trim mount’ is when hardware is attached directly to the decorative moulding above the window. A ‘wall mount’ is when the hardware brackets are attached to the wall above the trim, giving the window a fuller look. Or there’s the ‘inside mount’ where hardware is attached to the inner frame, leaving the mouding (or trim) visible.
Before deciding what mount is best, measure the window diagonally from the top two corners to the bottom two corners. If there’s a big difference, the window isn’t exactly square and a wall mount is the better choice.
Also keep in mind that when planning a window treatment, it’s easy enough to take measurements, but there are a few considerations that aren’t as obvious. For instance, if choosing the wall mount method, the curtain rod will need to be 6 inches (16 cm) longer than the window. And if finials are part of the look, those can add up to 4 inches (10 cm) on each side, so it’s important to make sure there’s enough clearance.
Roman shades are a handsome and practical option for window treatments. They can be used on their own or paired with curtains for an easy way to gain privacy without having to draw the drapes. Pottery Barn Roman Shades are typically made from cotton or linen, or a blend of the two. Some feature blackout lining for superior light blocking and can help with temperature regulation—perfect for windows with southern exposure—or a light-filtering lining that allows in some of the sunlight for a natural glow.
Roman shades are traditionally operated using cords, which can pose a safety risk for families with young children (a crib should never be placed where cords can be reached by an infant). But parents don’t have to worry about that with many Roman shades from Pottery Barn—our exclusive design is completely cordless for the safest choice.
Curtain rods, wall brackets, finials, curtain rings, clips, holdbacks—these are the pieces that hold curtains in place, and accent window treatments like jewellery. Choose from finishes in cast-iron, antique bronze, rubbed bronze and antique pewter in styles that ranged from understated to more ornate. It’s also possible to get double rod sets that come with two curtain rods and brackets for layering two styles of drapery over the same window—consider pairing light sheer drapes with heavier textured linen panels for a clean yet blowy look.