Curtains soften window edges and can add colour and texture to any decor. Some curtain styles lend themselves better to a particular decor style. For example, a tailored French or pinch-pleat curtain works well for a formal, traditional room. Curtains come in both custom-made and ready-made varieties. Ready-made curtains often cost considerably less than a custom design. Aside from adding a decorative component to a room, some curtain types provide privacy and block light.
Used in very casual environments, tab-top curtains consists of loops of fabric (matching or contrasting) sewn to the top edge of a fabric panel. A wood or metal pole is threaded through the loops to hang. Curtains can be lined or unlined, depending on privacy and insulation needs. Simple installation and a variety of ready-made fabric and colour choices make this a versatile curtain. Custom-made tab-tops are easy to construct and require less fabric than most other curtain types. All weights of fabric work appropriately for tab-top construction, and curtains can pool at the bottom or be tailored to hang right above the floor.
Similar in construction and design to the tab-top type, grommet-top curtains use grommets or eyelets at the head of the curtain. A thin wood pole or metal rod threads over and under the fabric into the regularly placed grommets. These curtains fit nicely in a contemporary space.
Pleated treatments offer the most formal look. Pleat types, including French or pinch, pencil, box and goblet, all create a tailored appearance. Traditionally, pleated curtains are lined and constructed from classic patterned or solid fabric. Pleated curtains require a special rod and hardware used to keep the pleats together.
Known by a variety of names (rod-pocket, pole-top and panel) and more decorative than functional, casement curtains work well with windows that are not frequently opened and closed. The top of the curtain is sewn to form a pocket, through which a rod or pole is threaded. Casements left in place can hang as panels on each side of a window or be drawn back with tie backs. Constructed easily, the casement curtain can be quickly sewn for a custom look or purchased in one of many ready-made colours and fabrics.
Contemporary and romantic interiors lend themselves well to sheer curtains. Sheers consist of lightweight fabrics and give a see-through appearance. Used alone, sheers provide little privacy. They soften the overall look when placed beneath other types of curtains, such as a set of side panels affixed to a decorative rod.