My favorite type of window curtains are sheer, and I hear a lot of people ask me what the best sheer curtains are. Where should they hang — on the wall or the ceiling? Should they reach to the floor? And what color should they be? What material should they be made from? And what color? Let me answer your questions with my opinions! Often, these questions can be hard to get right, but I hope you find my advice helpful. I’ve never seen so many different types of sheer curtains! But I find them to be my first choice (alongside roller blinds) when designing homes for clients. So let me share some of my knowledge with you to make this selection process easier.
7 Questions to Consider when Choosing a Sheer Curtain
1. Sheer Curtain Heading Styles: S-Fold, Eyelet or Pleat?
This is a good place to start because the heading of your sheer can make or break the overall look of the curtain. There are four main heading styles to choose from:
S-Fold Curtain Heading
This is the one I run with the most when working with design clients. It has an ‘S’ shape, and curves back and forth on the rod it’s attached to. It has a modern and sophisticated look to it. The rod it’s attached to can be barely visible, and it has a somewhat minimalist look that will work in any style home.
Eyelet Curtain Heading
Eyelet curtains curve back and forth in a way that’s similar to an S-Fold curtain, save for the rod at the top. You slide the rod through each hole in the top, which has a metal eyelet attached to protect the fabric. If you want something more traditional, this is the style you need.
Pleated Curtain Heading
This is the oldest and most common sheer curtain style. The pleat provides more detail on the curtain’s opening, because the fabric bunches up more. There is also the potential for more bunching when the curtains are open. Pleated curtains are attached to a rod or track using small hooks or rings. As with all styles of fabric, there are different types of pleats. Ask your manufacturer if one pleat is the best style for you.
2. Best Sheer Curtain Colour and Material
When you know what kind of curtains you want, it’s time to think about the fabric and color. There are tons of colors and fabrics to choose from, so let’s explore some main options.
Clients often choose white or light coloured curtains. This is so the room feels inviting and soft. They also help filter light. So when choosing a sheer curtain colour, you need to consider the tone of your walls and flooring. You’re not looking to use an overwhelming colour that makes too much of a statement. If you want a soft, subtle ambiance, choose white with a white wall. If you want to create a bit of contrast, go for grey with a white wall.
Sheer curtains come in a variety of materials and colors. On the lighter, smoother, and more transparent end of the spectrum, you have a Voile which is a blend of cotton, linen, and polyester. These curtains are great for a variety of design styles and are usually the more affordable option. However, some prefer the slight heaviness and texture of linen curtains as they’re not as light, transparent or simple in their look. If you like traditional homes with one of these styles or if you want to add some warmth to an industrial space that feels cold and sterile, this might be your material. There are options in-between these two materials on the spectrum, but it’s best to ask your supplier to see the options in person. Still, always hold the curtains up in front of a window because what they look like against a table will be different when they’re hanging in front of it.
3. Should You Fix Sheers to the Wall or Ceiling?
There are a few things to consider when deciding on how to install sheer curtains. Firstly, what type of cornice do you have? If it’s a modern square-set cornice, the sheer curtain can either be installed on a track from the ceiling or halfway up the window frame. I prefer the latter, as it gives the room a more contemporary feel. If you have a decorative cornice, you should always install the curtain track on the wall, not the ceiling. If you install the track on the ceiling with a decorative cornice poking out from underneath the sheers, it looks very odd. I would only reserve ceiling-to-floor and a wall-to-wall arrangement for larger spaces with lower ceilings.
4. Should Sheer Curtains Sit On or Off the Floor?
We all want our windows to look beautiful. You can accomplish this by choosing the perfect curtains for your home. There are many different options, including off-the-floor curtains, or those that sit on the floor. The modern approach is to have them sit about a centimeter from the floor so that they do not rub against the flooring, carpet, or tile. I’ve found that 90% of the time in a modern home with hardwood floors, this can be done. It’s simple, clean and modern. If you are doing a traditional Hamptons style home, then we chose curtains that pool onto the ground about 10 cm. It brings a sense of nostalgia and formality with it, but be aware that sheers will tend to get dirtier over time if they are white.
5. What Track Colour Should You Choose?
There’s no one right way to approach curtain color. It really depends on what look you’re going for. If your goal is to draw the eye to the window, you want to choose a color that stands out. If you’re going for a more traditional home with a more subtle look, you can go with a color like chrome or silver. Brass is also an option, but it might be too bold depending on the home. Black curtains can be nice in homes where drama is a priority. Regardless of what color you choose, make sure it complements the flooring and walls so that the sheer curtains can work with the walls and floors and not compete against them.
6. What Direction Should the Sheers Open In?
When you buy sheers to cover a window or door, you should think about the function and the look. For example, with simple blinds that open with a string — you’ll want to hang it somewhere in the middle of the window, with fabric stacks on either side when it opens. For a back sliding door where it opens from one side, you’d need to hang them from that side too and have fabric stacks on the other end of the frame. There are new contemporary styles too like stacker doors, where it opens from one side. You’ll want to hang them from the same side as well and make sure you have enough wall space for fabric to stack on the other end.
7. Hand-Drawn or Cord-Drawn Opening?
I guess the other thing to think about is how you would like to open your curtains — either hard-drawn or cord-drawn. There’s no right answer, it’s all about preference.
Sheer Curtains from Country Blinds
These top quality sheer curtains from Country Blinds are the perfect way to add a touch of luxury to your home. Made from the finest materials, they are sure to provide you with years of enjoyment.