After almost two years with no curtains or blinds in our ‘formal lounge’ (I use this description loosely here as our lounge certainly didn’t feel very ‘formal’ with bare windows and doors!), and a furniture campaign with John Lewis in the pipeline, it was time for me to focus my efforts on deciding on some curtains and blinds for the room. At the end of last year, I began my search and here is how I got on…
Due to the size of our french doors, I had no choice but to look at a bespoke option. I wanted my curtains to be full-length from the ceiling down to the floor and almost blend in with the colour of the walls so they literally gave just a soft, furnishing texture to the room.
I was recommended a small, independent, soft furnishings and Interior Design company called Bricks & Mortimer, based in London/Surrey. Claire, the founder, was an old school friend with one of our local friends and was in fact currently working on some curtains and blinds for their living room. It didn’t take me long to give Claire a call and as soon as we spoke on the phone we were bouncing ideas all over the place, firing Pinterest images back and forth and then meeting in person to measure up the room and to look at samples.
The first thing we discussed in detail was the look and feel that I wanted to achieve within the room and from the curtains themselves. The desired look was:
- Contemporary & modern
- Clean lines
- Simple & elegant
There were two key design elements that we needed to decide on which would impact the look and feel of my curtains. These were; the curtain head design and curtain length. Below are some illustrations of the available curtain designs and the length options.
Curtain Head Design
Alternatively, you can have them to the window sill or 15-20cm below the sill
I opted for a cartridge, single pleat design with the curtains brushing (or kissing) the floor. Together, they gave me the contemporary and stylish look that I was after.
The next stage of the process was to decide on the fabric for the curtains. As mentioned, I wanted a fabric that would blend subtly with the wall colour and give a simple and elegant look. Claire was excellent at helping me to decide on the right fabric for the curtains. She brought with her a wide selection of samples to the house for us to compare within the room and gave her advice on which fabrication would work best, based on my design and intentions for the room.
In the end, we agreed on a beautiful grey fabric from Harlequin called ‘Kanela Dove’ HKAN143161. It has a tight weave with a soft blue tint to it which picks out the cool tones in the paint colour and is light in weight so wouldn’t look too heavy and ‘flat’ against the walls.
Due to the position on the two French doors within the wall, the curtains couldn’t be hung symmetrically as normal curtains would i.e. sitting to the left and to the right. If they were, the left-hand curtain would obstruct the door, blocking accesses and light.
The decision was made to have a central stack and one to the right, using the wall space available. Although this meant an asymmetrical set of curtains. It also meant that we had to have a pole with passing rings to allow the rings to pass over the centre supporting bracket. The pole I chose was 38mm flint satin finish and made to measure (it had to be given it is over 4m long!) and sourced through Claire.
We had limited stack back space considering the width of the curtains is over 4m (the stack back is the space taken up by the curtains when open and therefore pushed back). The centre wall measures approximately 60cm and the right-hand stack back 40cm.
For this reason, we decided that using an interlining as well as lining would make the curtains too thick and bulky. So we opted for lining only but chose black outlining, not because the room needed blacking out but because the structure of blackout lining is stiffer than normal lining and would give the impression of thicker fuller curtains without the bulk of an interlining.
Cost-saving tip: If you can’t afford interlining but want to achieve full looking curtains, use blackout lining to give the impression.
The curtain installation was split across two phases; the pole fitting phase which included the final measurements and the curtain/blind assembly phase. Once up, the curtains were left drawn and wrapped for three days to keep their pleat formation and for the fabric to drop to the desired length. It’s not an exact science as all fabrics behave differently but on average, you should allow 2-2.5cm of drop movement. Man-made fabrics often don’t drop as much as natural fibres due to their makeup and linen tends to drop the most as it’s generally so soft and flexible.
The finished look
Next up will be my master bedroom which I hope to get Claire involved with. I’m thinking contemporary luxe meets hotel chic… stay tuned for more on this!
Thanks for reading x