Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Curtain tricks

To me good interior design doesn't have to be expensive. We don't all have huge budgets, the ability to spend £100+ a metre on fabrics and completely renew all furniture and fittings each time we decorate. Good design takes time and having a vision and sticking to it, it's one of the reasons that I use concept boards, even for my own projects. It helps me stay focused and stops impulse purchases that rarely work.

But on to curtains which can be a huge chunk of a room's decorating budget. Andrew says I'm a bit of a curtain snob! Unless they're lightweight summer curtains designed to filter the light and move gently with the breeze, curtains hang much better when they're lined. My  preference is for natural fabrics, particularly linen. I like the texture and they hang nicely but linen can be expensive and usually you need quite a few metres. Our sitting room needed 28 metres and when I was sourcing fabrics I fell in love with a rust coloured linen from de Le Cuona

It was the centre tie I loved

but at £70 metre (£1960 in total!) it wasn't going to happen. So I spent quite a time searching my suppliers and had several samples sent to me until I found a brick red dress linen at £5.99 metre, so a cost of £168.00. Now I will be the first to admit that the quality isn't the same but the colour is almost a match, it has the texture I like and, importantly, didn't compromise my design.

They are a tad darker in reality
Now I know that not everyone wants to make their own curtains so I have another trick up my sleeve, one I used for the guest room.

Again I wanted the softness and texture of linen but wasn't prepared to spend a fortune. A favourite place of mine for bed linen and curtains is La Redoute, they have a good range of colours, use a lot of natural fabrics and are affordable, particularly as they always have discounts. They have various widths and are long.

La Redoute curtains

For me the only downside is the headings, most of them are tab top or eyelet, both of which to me scream 'off the shelf curtains' (maybe Andrew is right I AM a curtain snob!)


I washed them first as dark colours have a habit of running and it will also take care of any shrinkage before cutting. Then I removed the eyelets.

I'm dangerous with a pair of shears
After hemming I pinned liner fabric to the curtains and hand stitched them on. If you really don't like sewing you can buy ready made curtain liners, I know that both John Lewis and Dunelm Mill stock them.

Lining the curtains
Finally I stitched header tape to the top.

Header tape
And then they were hung.

Ready to draw!
Two ways of getting designer curtains on a budget. If anyone wants a concept board designed for them then just leave a comment - I'd love to help!


  1. That looks wonderful but exhausting. I'm happier in the kitchen with that Nigel Slater you've got lurking on the table.

    1. Tsshhh Margaret! It's no more tiring than hours on your feet making marmalade, or cracking walnuts. Actually I prefer Nigel in the bedroom, the diaries are great to dip into before bedtime.

  2. Slight double entendre there, non.......?

  3. Ya you are right, most of time we spent much money to decor our home but we never use to think that which style of designer curtains looks better in the room and what type of fabric we should choose. We can also sew own home made curtains.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us. This is really very helpful share.