Think simplicity and add curtains and you will probably come up with the traditional ħasira. But fashion and styling fads for interiors are constantly evolving, so the chances are that you may want to be slightly more unique in your choice of curtains.
Even with the best of intentions however, you may still find yourself eyeing curtain shops with caution – curtains cost so much that many are put off from changing their windows’ dress more often. However, curtains needn’t break your bank if you try to be inventive.
• Try banner curtains. These are simple, fun and inexpensive to make. Let’s consider a kitchen window. Depending on its size, buy two or four large kitchen towels that come in a nice, unique design. (You can even invent your own, using scraps of material for creating appliqué themes that match your kitchen’s character.) Sew a hem into the upper part of each towel. Pass a chord through each hem and attach each end of the chord to one side of the window. You now have a cute, banner curtain. Banner curtains can also be made for bathroom windows, but instead of using kitchen towels, use lightweight and longish face or hand towels.
• Try patchwork curtains. These are especially suited for smaller windows. Just select some pretty scraps of cloth of the same thickness, cut in squares or rectangles of the same size. Sew patches together and ‘create’ two panels to be used as curtains.
• Revive your old curtains by cutting away the bottom quarter and replacing with a fresh segment of cloth in an alternating colour. Otherwise, lengthen existing short curtains by adding a new contrasting coloured cloth at the edges, forming a border.
• Remove curtains altogether and replace with a number of strategically hung sun-catchers. You can make these very simply. All you need is two straight and strong twigs or sticks of wood that are long enough to fit into the width of each window pane. To which you can hang a number of ribbons, chains and chords.
To these you may attach charms, bells, glass beads. Centre and hang the finished sun-catchers at each window pane.
• Smaller windows will look fantastic with ribbon curtains. Simply get hold of all the ribbons you can find, or buy a wholesale quantity of ribbons as these will turn out to be cheaper. Cut in identical lengths or in differing lengths and attach one part to a pole – you can simply make a loop at one end of the ribbon and slip the pole through or tie a loose knot around the pole. At the lower dangling end of the ribbon you may attach a bead to allow the ribbon to hang better.
• Another alternative to having curtains is to have potted plants placed on shelves running across your window, especially if it’s a window you don’t open much. South-facing windows are best for this, and you can create a lovely greenhouse space to screen the world with, especially if the window looks out onto traffic or a plain dull wall.
• Get hold of old doilies and even if they are in different shapes and colours, as long as they are all small, they will do. Get hold of plain cotton fabric that is not flimsy. Cut in the exact size of each side of the window so that if you have two identical window panes, you will get two identical stretches of fabric with enough extra to make a hem, a border on either side, and a wider slot to hang the fabric from.
You may choose to slip fabric through a pole or to hang in a conventional way with hooks. Then you must iron the doilies carefully and place them onto the fabric to form a nice pattern or as haphazardly as you wish. Pin each doily where you want it and then sew each doily carefully onto the fabric. The end result will be a lovely mix of sheer and non-sheer effect.
• Get that old tablecloth out and use it fruitfully. Old tablecloths can make lovely quaint curtains and some of the daintier ones can even be used in a bedroom.