A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Country Curtains for Your Windows
Ask any home decorator or interior designer to expound on the importance of choosing just the right country curtains, and you’ll probably end up with some variation of the same answer. There’s a good chance it’ll sound something like this:
1. When it comes to choosing a window treatment, there seems to be an almost endless assortment of patterns and designs to choose from. That can be overwhelming.
2. What’s more, there are quite a few detail-specific elements to consider as well, such as length and hardware.
3. Nevertheless, a perfect window treatment can be just the thing to perfectly tie together a rustic, country primitive space. Assuming they’re put together just so, your country curtains will become a room’s indistinguishable focal point, and all the effort will have been more than worth it.
So with all those decisions to make, where’s the best place to start?
The Pattern, Color and Style of Your Country Curtains
Before choosing your curtains, it’s worth spending some time thinking about the effect you want those curtains to have. You may want your bedroom or living room curtains, for instance, to blend in with your existing furniture or décor. The curtains in your kitchen or bathroom, though, may require more of a fun and colorful look. You’ll also want to consider the thickness of a curtain: Do you want the sunlight to easily shine though? Or should the curtain work to keep your room as dark as possible?
Country Valances and Tiers
Valances are the short curtains that are often seen covering the very top section of a kitchen window, especially the window that sits over a kitchen sink.
Valances tend to radiate more of rustic country ambiance than nearly any other curtain style, and they tend to be used with especially small windows — in bathrooms, for instance — and in spaces where it’s not possible for a curtain to hang all the way to the floor.
A tier, meanwhile, is simply a tiered valance, with one short curtain hanging from the top of a window and a second short curtain covering the bottom half. Our 24-inch Burlap & Check Black Tier Curtain, for instance, is shown in the photo at the top of this post.
Many of our country valances and tiers are patterned with checks or stripes, both of which lend a very distinctive rustic and homey feel to a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. Our new Burlap Apple Lined Valance is ideal for a kitchen where the cozy scent of baking is ever-present.
For something a bit more subtle — and perhaps more suited for a family room or living room — consider adding a deep solid-color curtain, like the Arlington Lined Valance. Regardless of the textile or design you choose, a wise rule of thumb is to use patterned designs in rooms with solid-color furniture, and simpler country curtains in areas where furniture and other accessories are busy and colorful.
Swags, Fishtail and Prairie Curtains
Swags are similar to valances in that they’re not designed to cover an entire window. Instead, they frame — or drape — the top and sides or a window, and tend to convey a flowing and rather elegant look.
Swags are designed in a wide array of styles, and we have more than a few to choose from. A rustic home with Victorian elements would be a perfect fit for our Prairie Gathered Swags, especially those curtains from the Burlap Star collection.
Country fishtail swags are more at home in rooms with modern or even contemporary elements. Fishtails literally frame the top and sides of a window but cover very little of the window itself. If you’re looking for an addition to a window that already lets in a good deal of natural light — and assuming you’d rather not block that light — a fishtail swag might be just the thing.
Drapes and Panels
The items on offer in our Country Panels and Drapes collection have always been some of our most popular, and for good reason: These tend to be the designs that come to mind first when we talk about traditional home curtains.
Panels and drapes are generally hung from a rung, sometimes with decorative hardware on either side. And although the curtain fabric is designed to hang, or “drape,” over the entire length and width of a window, the curtains can also be tied back on either side with a sash.
The look is probably best described as casual-modern. Take a look at our 84-inch Middletown Check panels at left, which are shown here on display in a cozy reading room. Yet if it’s a distinctively rustic or primitive look you’re going for, you’ll probably find that panels work well in nearly every room of the house, as long as the windows you’re working with are suitably long and not terribly wide.
For something a touch more sophisticated, consider one of the many panel styles that can draped into an elegant hourglass shape, such as the Tea Cabin Lined Plaid Panels, or the playful Vintage Star Drapes.
Lace and Sheer Curtains
Our Country Sheers, which give off a soft and relaxing ambience that’s also rather romantic, are especially popular in master bedrooms.
Our Lace Curtains, meanwhile, which convey a very classic country style, look particularly nice in guest bedrooms, spare bedrooms and kitchens. (That’s our Sheer Divine Door Panel lace curtain at right.)
Still not sure which style of country curtains will look best with the decor in your home? We offer a huge selection on our website, PiperClassics.com, where all curtains are organized by both style and collection. Happy browsing!