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It can be so easy to make a window dressing design look amazing, why do people get it wrong? 

When we start working with a new client on a window dressing design project, we offer a free initial consultation. One of the team from SW Design will head out to a potential client and discuss the project in detail, to understand what they are looking for. In speaking to our Head Designer, Sarah there seemed to be some really simple things she sees regularly that people get wrong when hanging curtains. In our blog this month we wanted to share some key things to look out for.

1. Listen to the client’s window dressing design brief

One of the key things we need to do on our initial design visit for any new client is to listen to what they are asking for. If the brief is to make their child’s bedroom as dark as possible to help them sleep better, we are keen to do that. This might mean installing a black-out blind if they want blinds. Alternatively, if they are looking for curtains, we need to ensure they are hung correctly with a return, so the curtain sits flush against the wall. We may also need to add vine eyes so you can pin the curtain to the wall, ensuring light cannot creep in through the sides.

2. Poles may have been installed in the wrong place or the wrong length

When clients buy a new property or work on a renovation project, they often ask builders to help them with some of the finishing jobs. Builders can sometimes put the curtain pole brackets in the wrong place, meaning that the curtain does not hang correctly or frame the window in the best way. It is important to aim to get the window coverings off the window a little at either side so that when you draw the curtains fully, you get maximum light into the room. If you put the bracket in line with the edge of the reveal, it is impossible to fully expose the window, as the curtain is always partly covering it. It is the same thing with Roman blinds, to get the maximum light into the room, don’t put the blind in the recess of the window. 80% of available light comes through the top 20% of the window, so if you fill it with fabric, you will always have a gloomy room.

3. Not using the right heading on curtains

 If you have a handmade heading on a curtain, they will always push back neatly and you don’t have to faff with the curtains. If you buy curtains with the tape that pulls up the pleats, you will never be able to dress the curtains tidily.

4. Hang the curtains in the right way

 If you decide you have hung the pole in the wrong place it is always better to move it and aim to hang the curtains under the pole. If you decide instead to put the pin mid-way in the heading it will not hang correctly. The best way to make a hand-made heading is with buckram, because it is sturdier. It also has glue embossed into it so it has a stiffness to it, don’t forget, it is always best not dry clean your curtains, this process may wash out the glue. 

5. Roman blinds that have been made the wrong size

If you have to fit the Roman blinds inside the recess, you should take off a half a cm from the width, so that it fits as well. We often see blinds made with 1 cm off each side, leaving more of a gap and space for light to creep through, it will look like it does not quite fit. When making a bespoke Roman blind it is easy to adjust later on if needed. 

6. Pleats in a Roman blind are not the same size

There are two types of Roman blinds, flat fold where all the pleats should line up at the bottom and cascade fold, where one comes down then the next one comes down a little further. The amount they hang down should be consistent, if not hung well they don’t look right. At SW Design we recommend 2cm at each fold. 

7. Stiches in curtains and blinds need to be symmetrical and consistent

When curtains are hung and in place, it is easy to see if they are wrong and not in alignment.

8. Comply with the 2014 Child Safety Legislation

This legislation has been put in place to help protect adults and children from hurting themselves on the pull for a Roman blind. The legislation is specific about chain length and does not necessarily need to be attached to the wall. They should also have a plastic clip which can easily come undone in the eventuality that a child was choking. There are lots of different products on the market that have different ways they comply with this legislation, your designer should know which one works best for you and your brief.

In summary

We hope that sharing some of our tips on things to look out for on your next window dressing design project has been useful. If you would like some help in working on your next project, please get in touch to arrange a FREE initial design consultation. We have a range of exciting summer fabrics with a sustainable focus that we would love to share with you.

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