Country curtains turn a room with bare, cold looking windows into an inviting space to sit and stay a while.
Country curtains come in many different design styles and fabrics.
The style you choose will be determined by your need for privacy, light control, your own personal design style and the function of the room.
Café curtains feature a ruffled valance placed at the top of the window frame and a set of panels that hang from the middle of the window to the bottom of the window frame, thereby leaving the middle portion of the window exposed. The bottom panels are shirred onto a tension rod and can be opened or closed depending on the amount of light and visibility you desire.
This is a charming curtain style that works well in any casual country space including a kitchen or breakfast area, child’s bedroom or a laundry room. Common fabric choices include gingham, lace, eyelet and printed cotton.
Rod pocket and tab top curtains
Rod pocket and tab top curtain designs are a simple way to add curtain panels to your home.
Rod pocket draperies feature a sewn in pocket that accommodates the diameter or the curtain rod you are using. The fabric is simply shirred onto the rod to the desired fullness and hung on the wall. Trim can be added to the leading edge of the curtains as well as along the hem for extra detail.
Tab top curtains have tabs or loops at the top of the curtain panel that slides over the curtain rod. This is a very popular style for country curtains. They can be embellished with buttons and other trim for a designer look. These curtains usually fall to the floor and can be stationary panels or functional draperies that open and close. However, the same styles can be used on smaller windows and made to fall to the bottom of the window sill in those rooms where floor to ceiling curtains are not practical.
Lace is a staple in country decorating. Vintage or new lace can be used to create simple window valances, café curtains or panels. It can also be used as a decorative trim on plain curtains. Lace curtains allow light in the room while providing some degree of privacy.
Lace panels create a soft and romantic look to any bedroom. They can be used on their own or hung behind a pair of drapes. They add a feminine touch to a young girl’s bedroom or nursery but can be used in conjunction with other fabrics in a little boy’s nursery as well.
You can find vintage lace by searching through piles of linens at local antique stores, flea markets, and garage sales. If it is badly stained or yellowed with age, bring it home and tea dye it for a uniform look or add color to hide the problem areas. A lace tablecloth, for example, will often provide enough fabric for curtains or a ruffled valance for a small window.
Don’t you just love the look and feel of kitchen curtains blowing in the wind? If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen window above your sink or stove, highlight them with pretty fabric. This will add color and pattern to your kitchen and provide privacy for those early morning coffee binges when you really don’t want the neighbors to see you in your nightgown.
Styles range from a simple ruffled valance or cornice placed at the top of the window to easy café curtains that allow you to control the amount of light and privacy. Choose easy to care for fabrics that are washable and require little or no ironing as these curtains will get dirty. The color and pattern you choose depend on your own personal style. You do want your kitchen curtains to coordinate with the other colors in the room. This would include any bar stool cushions, eating area furniture, accessories such as canisters and small appliances and artwork. Casual patterns include gingham checks, plaids, cheerful florals, and toile.
There are several choices when it comes to choosing a curtain rod for your country curtains.
- A simple tension rod is used for café curtains or a ruffled valance that is hung on the interior of the window molding. These rods are easy to hang and come in several different diameters and finishes.
- A pole rod is used to hand tab top or rod pocket curtains. Again, they are available in many different finishes, colors, and sizes to accommodate your window treatments. They are finished off with a finial placed at the end of each rod. These finials can be a simple round ball, a decorative metal piece, a blown glass globe, etc.
- A traverse rod is used to hang pinch pleated draperies. A two-sided pin is inserted into the pinch pleat and then inserted in the hole in the rod. This allows the draperies to open and close with a pulling mechanism that is attached. Decorative rings can also be attached and used with pinch pleated draperies for a more casual look.
- A curtain rod is used for those window treatments that are shirred directly on to the rod. These metal rods can be very narrow or very wide, depending on the style of your window treatments. They are attached directly to the wall and no hardware is visible.
Other uses for country curtains
While most curtains are hung at the windows there are other places to use curtains in a country home.
- A shower curtain is an obvious choice for tubs and showers that are not enclosed. You can choose any fabric you like and add a clear plastic liner to the back of it for a pretty decorator look in your bath. These are hung on a rod with plastic rings or simply shirred onto the rod for stationary panels.
- Create a cozy bedroom nook with curtain panels. Attach them to the ceiling on either side of a twin bed for a built-in look or create a canopy around the entire bed.
- Provide privacy to an area that does not have interior doors by hanging curtain panels in the doorway. When they are open they add some colorful fabric to the area but when they are closed they provide some element of privacy for overnight guests or just a way to hide “the mess” of a playroom, laundry area, etc.
As you can see, curtains are not only a functional item; they are a very important part of your overall decorating plan. Fortunately for us, there are many choices available, making it possible to find just the right curtain for your country home.