A passion for beautiful fabrics means that curtains are among my favourite things. Choosing them, designing the details of the styling, making them up and then installing them. There are many reasons to enjoy each stage.

The choice of fabric depends on lots of factors. I take into account first of all the desired ‘look’ - traditional, contemporary, modern, mid-century etc. Next would be the colour combinations - a palette of neutrals or glorious vibrant colours, or even somewhere in between. Then, we’re in the realm of textures and prints, choosing various grades of fabrics like prints, embroideries and weaves in linen, cotton, silks and wool or newer man-made fabrics and eco fabrics made from bamboo or recycled plastics.

The choice has never been more vast. I personally love the natural fabrics and the way they handle in the making up process. Wool for cosy, solid, blankety comfort; Linen for relaxed informality; Cotton for airy freshness; Silk for pure luxury!

So…pattern or plain?

There’s a big question! Both can be beautiful in the right scheme and in the balance of what else is going on in the space. For instance, if you have very bold artwork, you might want a plainer curtain or blind at the window, or if the walls and furniture are fairly plain, you might want to liven things up with a cheery printed fabric or embroidered design.


The Details

A well finished curtain treatment should last for years, so I take great care in the finishes. That can be the particular heading we choose in order to create a style of drape (how they fall in folds) or piping, bordering or trimmings to elevate from nice to stunning.


There are fabulous braids at the moment, which are gorgeous on a plain textured fabric. Tiebacks are not as popular right now, but when needed can be very effective. There is also the option of a little hinged metal tieback which is modern and discreet.

Making up in a professional workroom is a great benefit to achieving good results. The space for long tables and good machinery, lighting and skilled hands, and having the knowledge of how certain fabrics and linings behave together and patience when they don’t behave!

When the make up is right then installation has a head start. Pelmets or poles, blinds and tracks are a science in themselves and attaching them to walls can require some experience in a good fitter.

Taking time to pleat and dress the fabrics at the time of fitting is important (more patience needed). So, it’s a great feeling to stand back and see a beautifully dressed window, perfectly fitted in just the right fabric choice!

Are you looking to dress your windows with some new curtains? Don’t hesitate to get in touch! We offer a service that includes design, supply and manufacture, and fit-out. We’d love to listen to your ideas, offer professional advice and make your home fit your needs and aesthetic.

Call: 028 2588 0012
Email: catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk

McMillan Interior Design
Bespoke Interior Design, Northern Ireland
February 25, 2022 — Catherine McMillan
Tags: Curtains