6 Latest Trends In Curtain Designs
by SY LU
Elevate your home and accentuate your stay-at-home lifestyle with these fashionable choices for curtains
As more people are housebound these days, the home has become an even greater sanctuary for the entire family. For one, it is doubling up as offices for people who have to work from home or nurseries and classrooms for children who are learning remotely. And, in some cases, it has even become an experimental space for those who are learning new skills or picking up new hobbies.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense that many people are looking for ways to refresh the look or functionality of spaces in their homes. According to The Wall Street Journal, the pandemic has driven people to desperation for home improvements now that they are forced to spend so much time at home.
And while it is tempting to tear out entire spaces and rebuild them to entirely new specifications — and one may well do so if they are financially able — most are seeking easier and budget-friendly solutions to revamp their living spaces. As an indication, shares of do-it-yourself companies in the US such as Home Depot and Lowe’s have seen gains since the pandemic hit last year.
Sheer Bliss / Collection
While there is almost an infinite number of things a person can do or purchase to revamp their homes — giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, getting new cushion covers, or rearranging the furniture — something that would make an immediate and lasting difference is changing the curtains.
Consider why this is the case. Firstly, window coverings are one of the key elements that control the volume of light in a particular space. As homes have to multitask these days, it may be important to darken or brighten a room according to a space’s new function. For example, if a room is doubling up as a workstation where frequent video conference calls are being made, curtains that let in adequate light during the day are important.
Secondly, curtains are also instrumental in ensuring that the occupants of a house receive adequate privacy. Perhaps certain rooms that were underutilised before the pandemic had valance curtains, for instance. Thus, if the room is being used much more now, homeowners may want to replace it with curtains that can cover the window fully.
Vela / Collection
And as some quarters have observed, open layouts that have been so popular in the past decade can be problematic these days. So, if there is a need to partition these spaces, curtains may serve as dividers if other options are not available.
Another reason for installing new curtains is the fact that they also act as insulation. As people are staying at home for much longer periods at a time, utility bills tend to be higher as there is a need for the heater or air conditioning to be turned on more often. Curtains can serve as a way to either keep the heat out — especially in sunny rooms — or retain the heat. Curtains can also help to partially filter out sounds. If a house is situated in a noisy neighbourhood, homeowners may want to consider thicker curtains, for instance.
Lastly, there is also the obvious fact that the use of certain fabrics or designs can instantly give rooms a facelift and it is more affordable and easier to implement than changing the fixtures or furniture. Read on to find out more about the latest trends in curtain designs that will help you decide on which fabrics, colours, designs, and prints to go for.
South Face / Collection
Colours are big but so are neutrals
In terms of colour, saturated palettes are one of the leading choices right now. These refer to bright and bold colours that have not been toned down with whites or shaded with blacks. So, it is a colour that is at its full intensity. These bright splashes of colour can enliven any area and the preference for it may have something to do with the need for more vibrance in our lives.
However, using these colours requires a deft hand and it is often not easy to incorporate such strong colours into an existing interior scheme. Therefore, if the rest of the room is dressed in neutral shades such as white, grey, or beige, it will be easier to add a pop of colour via the curtains and you can go absolutely wild with the colour of your choice.
If a room already contains several elements with strong hues — a sofa in bold teal, for instance — you may want to choose a complementary colour for your curtains. If you refer to a colour wheel, these are colours that are on the opposite ends of each other. Some examples include orange and blue; yellow and purple; and red and green. A number of these combinations exist in nature: A field of red tulips surrounded by green foliage, for instance.
Dolce Vita / Collection
Nevertheless, the use of complementary colours have to be executed with caution as it can be visually jarring if used carelessly. If your walls are already painted with a saturated colour, it would be best to avoid curtains in another strong colour — too many bold colours will make a room feel closed in and it can also create a visual and psychological discomfort.
Conversely, the other colour trend runs in the complete opposite direction: Earthy tones. These are muted and neutral colours that draw from the natural shades found in rocks, soil, and trees. Examples of colours in this palette include warm grey, brown, tan, and sienna. Some shades of green such as moss and grey blues are also considered an earthy colour.
The resurgence of this colour trend may be driven by our desire to return to nature and a slower, more authentic way of life. Most earthy colours are soothing and welcoming and have the added benefit of being extremely versatile. For this reason, new curtains in these hues will probably have no problem blending in with most existing interior styles. It is suited for use in rooms that are colourful, for one. It can also be used to accentuate a rustic setting or maintain a clean, minimalist style.
However, the fact that it blends in so well can also make curtains in earthy shades look bland and an interior scheme driven by this palette may fail to maintain a visual interest. One way to prevent this is by complementing it with textured interior fixtures, furniture, or decorative items. Flooring, shelves with an interesting wood grain, cabinets with latticed doors, or rattan furniture are all ways of adding texture to a room.
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Curtains for both form and function
There are two major trends in design right now. One of the buzzwords is biophilic design, which derives from the word biophilia — a love of nature. Hence, the trend for curtain designs in 2021 is inspired by simplicity or forms that allow people to feel closer to nature.
The other is the the Cottagecore movement, which embraces the charm of the English countryside and rural lifestyle. Aesthetically, think Anne of Green Gables: Charming doilies, floral prints, eyelets, vintage table wear, and so on. Anything that evokes nostalgia for the simple, bucolic lifestyle of the good old days is absolutely on trend right now.
There are only so many ways that curtains, drapes, and blinds can be sewn or designed but if you bear these two major design schemes in mind, it will be easier to make a decision on how best to dress your windows. There are, however, a few notable trends.
For one, sheer curtains are back in full force. Made out of lightweight materials that include cotton, linen, and polyester, sheers are translucent and diffuses the light. Spaces that feature sheer curtains have an airy, cheery, and elegant vibe. It enables a room to be naturally-lit during the day, which reduces the need for artificial lighting.
Sheer Bliss / Collection
However, although sheers can provide privacy during the day, it may be possible for people to look into the house if a light is turned on during the night. Therefore, it may be more suited for spaces such as the living room or kitchen in comparison to a bedroom where there is a greater need for privacy.
Another curtain design that is experiencing a surge of popularity are sliding Japanese blinds. As its name suggests, these are made of large, flat, vertical panels that slide on a track system to stack neatly behind one another.
It can be made using a variety of fabric including silk, polyester, and linen that are transparent, translucent, or opaque. For an extremely minimalist or rustic look, the panels can also incorporate a light wooden frame, which makes it reminiscent of traditional Japanese sliding doors. Apart from windows, Japanese blinds are also used as room partitions or exits to patios and terraces.
For kitchens, cafe curtains — so named for the curtains of old roadside cafes — are also seeing a resurgence. Hung partway up a window, it provides privacy while allowing light to stream in at the top of the uncovered window. This goes perfectly with the Cottagecore trend — it makes a kitchen look cozy and these may be the exact type of the curtains that your grandmother may have admired while having a cup of tea.
Eclipse / Collection
Go big or go vintage in your choice of prints
While we may have been kept away from that tropical beach vacation, people are now bringing the vacation, or at least, semblances of it into their homes. If exotic prints had a moment, this would be it. Plants, animals, wildlife — or their abstracts — are all the rage right now. If you ever dreamt imbuing your interiors with some excessiveness, now is the time to do so.
Some of the more popular motifs are leaves, flowers, birds, and animals such tigers and monkeys. Although it may sound gaudy, these prints are very modern-looking and are hardly something you will find in a thrift store or someone’s attic. And going with the saturated colour trend, some of these prints feature very bold colours.
Hence, moderation is also the key in using such prints as curtains. As a rule of thumb, if the rest of the room is plain, anything goes. If anything else in the room — wallpaper, for instance — is patterned, it will not be prudent to pit one bold print against another. Exotic prints are best used as standalone statements.
Fiesta / Collection
If all of this is too audacious for your taste, the other option is to go for vintage floral prints, which are the mainstay of country style. If you are going full Cottagecore, the idea is to make it look lived-in and cosy. Therefore, colours and patterns that look slightly faded are ideal. In some ways, these are more easily incorporated into an existing room than bold prints. However, it may also look out of place if your home is minimalist and modern.
Whatever your choice is — and there are plenty to consider — you should pick the ones that are most suited for your personality and needs. And since curtains are not as easily replaceable as high street fashion, go with the ones that will continue to spark joy even when the trends die down.
Dolce Vita / Collection
Lufkin, B. (2020, April 9). Five tips to look your best on video calls. BBC.
Sindreu, J. (2020, September 18). The pandemic has become one big extreme home makeover. The Wall Street Journal.
Gunn, C. Energy efficient window attachments. Energy Saver, U.S. Department of Energy.
Mastroeni, T. (2020, November 18). Everything you need to know about saturated colors, the new year’s trend. My Move.
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