Look at your window and see what is covering it. For 9 out of 10 people, it is usually roller blinds.
You might have traumatic visions of questionable curtains your parents had or even worse, your grandparents! However, curtains are making a comeback in modern homes. If done right, they are an architectural highlight and become the finishing touch for your room.
The current trend in curtains is much more subdued than in the past. Simple neutral colours draped straight down is pretty much it. Here are some tips to get the look.
FABRIC TYPE - There is a multitude of fabric types to choose from. For a casual look, you could choose cotton. For a more sophisticated look, velvet would be great. Depending on the fabric, you might choose to add a liner to have a complete blackout of light for sleeping. The two layer look with a sheer in front is highly recommended because it will give your curtains a three dimensional look and add visual interest.
COLOUR - Curtains should be complementary to the room, not the focal point. Neutral colours work best. An easy design tip is to choose a few shades darker or lighter than your sofa.
PATTERN - My rules for degrees of separation applies here. If you have patterned furniture, stick with solid colour curtains. Solid colour furniture works well with patterned curtains or solids.
LENGTH - Curtains are great to accentuate the height of your ceiling. Maximise this effect by going floor to ceiling. There are two ways to have the curtain hang - just touching the floor or draping the floor (overextending by five to 10 cm) Touching the floor has a tailored look while draping has a more casual look.
WIDTH - The width of curtain should never be the same width as the windows. Rule of thumb is curtains should 1.5 to 3 times the window width. Use 1.5 only if you are never going to shut the curtains.
MOUNTING STYLES - Curtains are the magicians of interior design. They can make your windows look wider or higher. To create an illusion of a taller window, mount the curtain rod 10 to 15 cm higher than the top of window. Ceiling mounted is ideal especially if you have floor to ceiling windows.
Make a window look wider by having the rod extend at least 30 centimeters on each side. My favorite design trick is to create wall to wall curtains when there is a narrow window. It makes an otherwise plain wall a focal point.
TOP HEM - There are many types of top finishing details for curtains. From hooks, rod heading, grommet to tabs, it all depends on your design style. For a nice pleating effect, I prefer grommet style for wall mounted rods and hooks for ceiling mounted.
So try to go beyond the roller blinds!