It’s curtains for you: Eight ideas for stylish window dressing

Best in Class: Creative and functional drape, curtain and shutter options for your home

Drawing the drapes in  Oakhurst. Photograph: William Waldron

Drawing the drapes in Oakhurst. Photograph: William Waldron


To dye for

The nights are closing in and it’s time to draw the drapes and shut the world out. One way to do this is by ensuring your curtains make a strong style statement so that they bring colour into the room when you close them. The custom dyed designs pictured above were made for a property in Oakhurst, New Jersey, through architecture and interior design firm Ike Kligerman Barkley, which has offices in both New York and San Francisco. The same fabric that was used in the curtains also features on the wall upholstery, which helps knit the soft furnishings together in a very polished way. The fabric was made by New York fabric specialists Zak + Fox. Using fabric on the walls will also help dim down ambient noise and make the room seem really restful.;

All you can pleat

HD Best in Class drawing the drapes Brabbu

If you want privacy but still want some light to filter through, these inverted pleat curtains, made using voile, make an elegant style statement. Curtain Traders in Blackrock can recreate this look in a wide range of fabrics, from super sheer to linen look colours, with prices from €30 to €80 per double-width metre. However, owner Ciara O’Leary suggests opting for this style only if you want the curtains to stay closed, as pictured, as they don’t stack back well when open. A curtain of a similar size, about 4.5m wide with a 2.5m drop, will cost between €1,000 and €1,750, depending on fabric choices. The Saari sofa, €6,630, and Naj armchair, €2,270, are both by Brabbu, while the Turner floor light, €2,370, is by Delightfull and the Eden centre table, €12,780, is by Boco do Lobo, all Portuguese sister companies.;;;

In the frame

HD Best in Class drawing the drapes Nicky Dobree

Curtains can help reinforce a sense of symmetry in a room even when closed. This pair of wave pleat drapes with neat matching box pelmets help to frame the bare brick chimneybreast and were designed by London-based decorator Nicky Dobree for a chalet at swish Swiss ski resort Klosters. Rock Hill Interiors, the newly opened Blackrock store owned by husband and wife team Paula and Colin Campbell, who also operate design shop KA International a few doors down, can make something similar. Their curtains, made using a double width fluid-style polyester fabric at €55 per metre, will cost about €1,759 per pair, with two wave-heading poles costing another €440 and a pair of lined pelmets an additional €980, totalling €3,179.;

Swish fulfilment

HD Best in Class drawing the drapes Moons

Big swishy curtains remain one of the most elegantly efficient ways of keeping the heat in, especially in period homes. Adding one to the inside of the front door will arrest any heat leeching out. Velvet curtains can look rich and hang really well but so do checks and plaids. British furnishing fabric house Abraham Moon’s legacy collection, pictured, offers very traditional options that will work well with wide Georgian doors. Some people even use old blankets to keep draughts at bay, using Ikea’s curtain wires to keep them in place – it’s a very simple but effective solution. The Dignitet wire costs €12, while the curtain hooks with clips cost €4 for a pack of 24.;

Suite dreams

HD Best in Class drawing the drapes Shelbourne

The Princess Grace Suite at The Shelbourne, the hotel’s presidential suite, was refurbished last year and its glamorous makeover by Guy Oliver – of Oliver Laws, the established London design company – includes very simple curtains that frame that most charming of benches, the window seat. The curtains have been swagged using curtain ties, to add dramatic effect. Donnybrook-based Kevin Kelly Interiors can supply serious swishy holdback designs, including a range from Maytrim that costs from about €100, but if you like something far less fussy then check out the magnetic varieties. Amazon sells a wide range with prices starting from about €15 for a pair. For something more seasonal-looking, try Next Ireland, which is selling a pair of antler holdbacks for €28.;

Bay watch

HD Best in Class drawing the drapes Laura Ashley

You can buy a wide range of curtains off the shelf, but the way these eyelet pleated designs have been styled within a bay window really draws attention to its proportions and allows you to still look out while blocking out neighbours to the right and left. A privacy curtain, a half curtain that will obscure the outdoors from about waist height down, also affords concealment while still letting light through. The woodblock leaves print, in a denim blue, costs about €24 per metre, or about €160 per readymade pair from Laura Ashley.

Shutter delight

HD Best in Class drawing the drapes Shutterly Fabulous

Irish homeowners have embraced the idea of shutters, with plantation-style designs often completely replacing traditional curtains in period homes. While most people play it safe and opt for white or a variation of the neutral, shutters can also be viewed as another way to bring colour into a room, like these red designs by British firm Shutterly Fabulous. Shutters of Ireland also offers a custom coloured option.;

Great divide

HD Best in Class drawing the drapes Zoffany

Curtains can be used to divide open-plan spaces as long as you tone the fabric choice to its surrounds. Boleyn is a rich range of fabric by Zoffany that includes this kaleidoscopic ombré effect, Belvoir, a viscose, cotton, linen and polyester mix that will really work with stone or concrete walls. It costs €114 per linear metre from Dún Laoghaire-based Brian S Nolan. Nolan suggests interlining the curtain to make it stiff enough to sit in place and double-siding the curtain so that it looks equally good from each part of the room. A curtain size that covers 120cm wide by 2.4m high will cost about €1,600. 

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.