Curtain Panels: Time to Notice What’s Hanging on Your Windows!

Think about the Cape Cod house with the billowing white cotton curtain panels. Stays in your mind, doesn’t it? What about the beautiful, heavy curtain tapestry panels that hung in castles? (No, you don’t have to remember why – the cold winter drafts!) Another curtain favorite of many: the door curtain panel softly belted in the middle.

The only time we usually notice the curtains on windows is when they’re really outdated or ratty. That’s sad – for all the time, money and effort put into choosing curtains they should at least be noticeable.

What’s the point? Just this: if we remember some of the bad curtains it’s because we really love some of the good curtains. So wade past those bad memories and discover your true loves of . . . uh, curtains. Well, you get the idea….

So what’s the problem with curtains? Maybe we should look at it another way: what’s right with great curtains?

Think about, for example, those billowing Cape Cod curtains. They’re perfect year-round in warm climates and the look is easily created. For those colder climates this curtain look can be used in just the warmer months when heavier insulated curtains can be taken down for the season. The secret to a really great Cape Cod look? Be sure the fabric is semi-transparent and flows well – a lot of synthetics fabrics don’t.

That brings up another point: don’t be afraid to change out your curtains each season. Why not? It’s a quick, refreshing way to bring life back to a room in the spring, and a warm, inviting way to welcome the holidays and winter in the fall.

Let’s pick another example – a harder one. How about your bath? You want privacy, right? And it should match or complement the décor. What style are you going with? Here’s a non-traditional thought for a traditional, elegant bath style: why not try a curtain tapestry? It will totally pull your look together like the crown jewels at the ball!

Okay, now let’s go right to the source of contention: the living area. Usually the room’s windows are the largest in the house which also means those sheets of glass are the most expensive to dress. Since there aren’t many affordable, interesting curtain panels out there when you’re looking for miles and miles of them, it’s hard to find anything really great. And once you find something tolerable it usually stays hung on the window long past its due date.

So what can you do? This will take some thinking outside the box, as they say, so start looking for ideas outside the curtain and drapery section. Like in the bedding section. Bath section. Even flooring! Another favorite non-curtain place to look for curtain help: the women’s accessories department. Here are some thoughts to get you going:

• Bedding. Have you seen some of the great bed sheets today? Can you use them as valances or window scarves?
• Bath. There’s nothing like a great bath sheet to cover up with . . . and that’s exactly what your window’s thinking!
• Flooring. Check out some of those area rugs. You may just go home with your next curtain panel!
• Women’s Accessories. So many scarves, so little time. Hang them over the tops of your curtains, use them as tiebacks. Hit the clearance rack for sparkly earrings and hang them like stars on your curtains.

Okay, it’s your turn – time to brighten up your windows with new and interesting curtains. Go for it – see how your windows turn out!


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