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