Are Drapes Outdated and Out of Style?
Blinds and shades seem to be the go-to window covering of the era. Due in part to their budget-friendly cost and their functionality, they are an easy solution to most window-covering dilemmas. But because they are structured and quite architectural in design, they do not contribute to the warmth of a room like fabric does; it is their main disadvantage when designing a room. The position that curtains are outdated can be tempered when the advantages of curtains are examined.
Curtains serve specific functions; they can block all light from entering a room when lined, and they can reduce heat loss and heat gain in a room as much as twice as effectively as a blind. Motorization of curtains removes the problem of moving large curtains by hand, or installing curtains on high or hard-to-reach windows. Some windows are too large for off-the-shelf manufactured blinds. Some windows do not lend themselves well, style-wise or functionally, to blinds and shades, such as oversized sliding glass doors or wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows. Only custom-made shades can be used on some of these excessively large windows, and the cost of them could be much more than a fabric curtain.
The design aesthetic of this century is “less is more,” and it manifests in curtain styles that are simpler than in past years. Even as recently as the early ’90s, swags, ruffles and multiple layers were common window treatments. However, classic design and superior workmanship allow the fabric to be the star of the treatment. Just like a short Chanel jacket, classic pleated drapes never go out of style, can be dressed up or down, and never lose their functionality. Overdressed, overlayered curtains that match the overused wall borders are, indeed, outdated.
Advancements in fabric manufacturing have produced easy-care, man-made fabrics that look like expensive natural-fiber fabrics such as dupioni silk or textured natural linen. The new fabrics hang well, are easy to clean, have budget-conscious price tags, and are often resistant to sun-fade. Some have built-in blackout properties, removing the necessity of a separate lining.
Used in conjunction with manufactured blinds and shades, curtains typically provide additional coverage while adding decor panache. A sparsely furnished room is instantly warmed with the addition of curtains, either as functioning window treatments or as side panels for decoration only
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