Style My Space: Curtains

Welcome to the Style My Space July feature.

One of the ways to update a home when you have a minimal budget is to focus on accessories or accent pieces especially in a lounge/living room setting. Adding some curtains, mirrors and greenery is one of the ways I believe can really rake up a room’s confidence. Today’s post will focus on curtains and next week’s post will share details with regards to the other two.


Window treatments are very important in a space, they are not only functional but they are decorative too. Without the correct one, windows often look bare or feel heavy in a room. A good rail and suitable curtains can go a long way.

Found here: Decoist

Here are some curtain rules that may be of assistance:

  1. Materials   

Always buy a piece of fabric (perhaps a metre or an off cut) to stick in front of your window to see how that fabric will function in the space and how much light gets through.

  • Questions to ask yourself: Do you want more or less natural light in this space? More light often means less privacy so in your bedroom, you’d want less light, but in your lounge, you’d like a little more.

In spaces that require less light, opt for heavier fabrics in your curtains that may be attached to block-out. Heavier fabrics to be considered are velvet and suede,

In spaces that require more less, opt for a sheer or a light fabric such as cotton or linen. These allow the room to be flooded with light. Keep in mind that the more sunlight a room gets, the more natural your colours need to be. Bright colours fade easier the more sunlight they get.

For a calm space, keep your curtain colours neutral. If you love patterns, choose one that complements your colour scheme.

2. Measurements

I know this seems obvious, but often people just have curtains made off a basic window size. The way your curtains sit in your room can really enhance the look and affect the size of your space. Personally, I like to have a lifted curtain rail that is really close to the ceiling and for the curtains to stretch in width and touch my walls. A longer drop (length) makes your room look like it has double volume ceilings (adding height to your room) and a larger width makes your window look longer and your room appear larger.

Tip: If you extend your width, make sure that the curtain that is available on either side of the window completely covers the wall. It should not be curtain > wall > window > curtain, but instead curtain > window > curtain. By keeping your walls covered,

Measure and draw your window

Before buying a curtain, I always draw and measure the window as well as the wall I am working with. These measurements aid the person making your curtains in determining how best to structure your curtains. I also measure the usable portion of the rail. I then draw this on a piece of white A4 paper and submit it as a note for the seamstress.

Window and Curtain Measuring
How to measure for the curtain
  • Length

For the sleekest and cleanest look, measure your drop so that your curtain will be about 2 cm above the floor to avoid grazing your floor. If your curtains touch your floor, expect them to get dirtier far easier. Your drop will be the total from the top of your rail right down to 2cm above the floor.

  • Width

P.S: I know making your curtains touch your walls can end up quite expensive with that extra length, so don’t feel under pressure. Instead adding 20 cm on either side of your window, should give you enough space to manouver your curtain around your window.

3. Gathers

  • Full Gather

The gather (how tightly packed) of your curtain is important. The more gathered your curtains, the fuller your curtain looks. A 1:3 ratio when deciding on gathers usually works well for a full/heavy gather: the fabric you need to buy is usually 3 times the length of usable space in your curtain rail.

Remember also that your curtains must balance, so you should try to use an even number of curtains in a space e.g. 2 or 4. After multiplying your fabric by 3 (for the full gather), you then divide it by 2 to get the width of each curtain (piece).

  • Medium Gather

A 1:1.5 ratio is used for a medium gather.

Remember to multiply by 1.5 then divide by 2 to find the width of each curtain.


Some more resources on measuring curtains:

We’re in Stitches



Here you can find more information on ready made curtains as well how to measure types of curtains such as eyelet curtains.


#StyleMySpace #BudgetDecor


P.S: Posts come out every Wednesday during the afternoon (South African time) and on Monday or Friday expect a moodboard; something about traveling or sharing some insightful nice to knows. 🙂

Posted by:Buyi Joy

2 replies on “Style My Space | Curtains, Mirrors and Greenery

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