Yes, the curtain has fallen on the word “curtain’: the accepted expression now is window treatment. Regrettable English, but a term that implies that it’s time for a second opinion on the stuff that’s covering your panes. 

October 30, 2017

It’s time to rethink those bumph-lined, full-skirted, heavy fabrics and start again. Think evening dress: the desired look is 1930s body-skimming rather than 1980s flounce. Slim and sheer is the way to go. Window treatments can never be too thin.

There has always been an element of couture in curtains. These days the slimmer the silhouette, the better. Keep the details ultra-simple, with no unnecessary protrusions. The best windows wear super-sheer blinds that let in the light and fabrics that fall lightly and straight: linens, linen-blends, cotton silk, fine wool, cotton voile and muslin, shiny or sheer, patterned or plain. Forget anything assertive or that could double as upholstery. This is not the season to match your curtains and sofas. 

Curtains should blend with the walls. That means no pelmets or ostentatious curtain rods, no frills, no bumph linings, no pinch-pleats or pencil headings. Ripple folds are the way to go: the fabric should barely ripple in an S-formation along an unobtrusive track. 

You’ll be in good company. Murray turner of Turner Bros has been ripple-folding the window treatments at John Symond’s waterfront mansion and Lindsay Fox’s Boomerang as well as a 500-room hotel-casino in Macau.

The result is simple but modern, relaxed but just formal enough. If you want to dress things up a bit more, consider covering the walls in the same fabric. But remember, elegant restraint is the aim. Think Nicole Kidman on the red carpet rather than Jennifer Lopez and you’ll get it right.

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