Hi, I’m Sarah, and Kathryn has kindly let me share some of my vintage ideas and DIY types regarding window treatments and measuring for curtains.
Windows are a tricky part of your home to transform, but you can easily add a vintage look to them without having to install new ones. This is cheating a little, but the idea is to transform your curtains by adding vintage style window treatments to them. Here are some ideas on how to go about this as well as a measurement guide to help you out.
There are two ways to create a vintage look to your windows, one is by adding wooden shutters to your window, the other is adding curtains. Let me go into more detail to explain. Wooden shutters work well, as you can give them that white-washed look by applying a thin layer of white to them. The aim is to cover the wood but to still be able to see the grain of it through the paint. Alternatively, you can use a charming pastel blue to cover the shutters. This gives you an old Europe vintage look.
If you’re more into a vintage look which gives homage to a particular period such as the 50s or 70s, then curtains are the best option to provide you just that. It needn’t be that complicated either as you simply need to look out for some curtains with strong patterns and colors which were popular to that period. Here’s an example of some 70s style curtains. The Hamilton Pewter swirls give homage to the very strong designs of this period, and the different shades of brown are similar to the ones frequently used all over the home in the 70s.
Measuring the material for your curtains can be a bit tricky, and small mistakes can have very large consequences, so if you’re a novice at measuring curtains, then it’s best to consult a measuring guide, just to be sure that you haven’t missed anything. I find this guide very useful:
The black square represents the window, and the pole with the round circles are, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, the finials (or decorative ends) of the curtain pole. The width of the curtain is the first measurement, which needs to be made, and the one where a small mistake results in some difficult consequences. Many people measure the width of the window, when in actual fact curtains need quite a bit extra material to ensure that they cover the window and hang correctly.
If you have a curtain pole already in place, then simply measure said pole remembering to include the finials. If you are using a track, then simply measure the track but remember to add the length of the overlap of the track to the measurement.
The length of the curtains gives you more leverage to play with. Be sure that you work out an absolute minimum length beforehand, which is guaranteed to cover the window. Remember to measure from the curtain pole down, and not from the window.
Then you have three traditional lengths to choose from, which are displayed in the diagram as A, which is full length meaning the curtain is about 3cm off the ground, B in which the curtains sits above the radiator and C where the curtains end just after the window sill.
Full length is most suitable for a vintage look, but by no means compulsory.
This article was written by Sarah Oxley on behalf of Custom Curtains, providers of quality curtains you can buy online. Take a look at their measurement advice at http://www.custom-curtains.co.uk/. Sarah is a home improvement and craft enthusiast with a weak spot for everything vintage.