ASK THE EX­PERTS Our team an­swers your ques­tions on win­dow dress­ing, bring­ing the out­doors in, mak­ing your own seat­ing and lawn­care

House Beautiful (UK) - - CONTENTS - Sara Lane,Perth

QI need cur­tains or shut­ters for my win­dows but don’t know what to choose. Are bespoke prod­ucts good value for money or are there other op­tions?

AFirstly, con­sider how long you’re likely to stay in your home – if you’re not look­ing to sell in the near fu­ture, then bespoke cur­tains or shut­ters are great value for money, as you’ll en­joy them for years to come.

For cur­tains, se­lect a neu­tral colour and pat­tern, should you de­cide to up­date your room. If you’re con­cerned about bud­get or fancy a bolder style that you may want to change in fu­ture, con­sider ‘dress cur­tains’. Like full cur­tains they frame the win­dow, but don’t close fully so use less fab­ric. They’re more suited to non-street fac­ing win­dows, how­ever, be­cause they don’t of­fer the same amount of pri­vacy.

Al­ter­na­tively, choose sheer, un­lined cur­tains – which are bet­ter value than heav­ier, lined fab­rics – paired with black­out roller blinds. Or even bet­ter value would be un­lined cur­tains with a sim­ple pen­cil pleat head­ing. They’re good if you don’t want an overly for­mal look, as they use less fab­ric than pricier twin and triple pleat va­ri­eties.

Shut­ters can be ex­pen­sive, es­pe­cially on large win­dows, but they have a time­less ap­peal and, fit­ted cor­rectly, should last for decades. Con­sider the width of the slat: smaller ones suit cot­tage-style win­dows while wider ones are bet­ter on larger Ed­war­dian-style win­dows. If your bud­get is tight but you like shut­ters, pick half-height café-style de­signs. Or choose a wooden slat blind – with slats 50mm or wider and with tapes rather than strings – for a sim­i­lar look at a frac­tion of the cost.

Other op­tions in­clude re­plac­ing clear glass with an etched glass panel or buy­ing DIY win­dow film (try purl­frost.com). It’s a great choice for darker rooms as you won’t lose as much light. You could also buy ready-made cur­tains on­line, which can be al­tered if nec­es­sary, and fit­ted by you.

If you’re happy to make a long-term com­mit­ment, shut­ters are a good in­vest­ment with time­less ap­peal

SAL­LIE CHATER Founder and di­rec­tor of her own in­te­rior de­sign com­pany, In­te­ri­ors at 58, Sally be­lieves in creat­ing lux­u­ri­ous, el­e­gant and orig­i­nal schemes at af­ford­able prices

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