No matter how striking your room, it’s not finished until the curtains are in place. Here’s how to choose the perfect window treatment.


1. Use plain or subtle pattern sheers to add interest in a smaller room to create a feeling of airy spaciousness, suggests Stacey Nel of Volpes Linens. They’re great for allowing light in while maintaining privacy, making them an obvious choice for the bedroom. Alternatively, use them underneath or on top of block-out curtains or layered against curtains with a solid colour or print for visual impact.

2. Besides keeping out most of the light, block-outs help to keep out the cold. They’re especially effective during winter, reducing your reliance on heaters, but also keep rooms cool in summer. They also block out noise and protect your furnishings from sun damage.

3. Curtains or hard window treatments? Your choice must be guided by the overall impression you’re striving to achieve – but remember that in general, curtains are warmer than blinds. This is especially true in the bedroom, says Nel, where you’re not just looking to create ambience; the need for privacy and light and temperature control are also considerations.

4. In the living room and lounge, be guided by your priorities: Do you value aesthetics, light control or privacy most? Remember that bright colours tend to fade if they are exposed to a lot of natural sunlight, and this may start looking shabby unless curtains are replaced regularly. Neutrals will also blend in more easily with an existing colour scheme or décor theme.

5. To create a sophisticated atmosphere, choose neutral tones or self-prints, advises Ebrahim Mahomed of Curtain City. Colourful fabrics and bold textures are a better choice if you’re looking to create a dramatic statement, but they can make a room feel a little smaller.

6. In the bathroom, composition of the fabric is key, says Peter Gordon of St Leger & Viney, Cape Town. “Moisture is obviously a consideration here – you don’t want your 100% linen curtains to grow mould,” she says. She therefore recommends a 100% poly fabric that is machine-washable. Also, because bathroom windows tend to be small, choose a plain or patterned sheer to allow in as much light as possible and prevent the room from feeling dark and poky.

7. Don’t forget the hanging rods. Whether minimalist or opulent and gilded, the rods must be in tune with the overall style of the room, Mahomed says.

St. Leger & Viney

Featured images: St. Leger & Viney