Good Questions: Top Design Curtain Advice?

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Hello AT,

I’ve done my best to help answer other ATer’s Good Questions and would love it if they can now help me with one of my own! I’ve been agonizing over what window treatment to use for this terrace door/window area...

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I would like to use ceiling-mounted hospital track spanning the entire niche so when open, the drapes are primarily in the small area of wall on either side and don’t obstruct the view. But what kind of fabric should I use? I’ve been considering:

-White sheers, but I’m afraid they won’t provide enough light control or heat/cold insulation;

-A textured oatmeal-colored linen;

-Steel gray shantung silk or velvet;

-Rougher-textured, oatmeal colored linen;

-Tan or gold-colored silk;

-“Pieced” drapes in one of the above colors like these.

-A more graphic black and white pattern like this one from Harry Zarin: but will a pattern clash with the Woods wallpaper?

As you can see from the pics, the curtains would be a major element in the living/dining area where I spend much of my waking hours, plus I know these drapes are going to cost a fortune, so I do want to get this right. And keeping them bare forever isn’t an option, while I don’t need blackout drapes I am concerned about sun damage to my furniture as well as added heating and cooling costs. Thanks so much for your help and feedback!

Thanks so much for your help, Elaine/eeeck.

Dear Elaine,

Our favorite fabric for this exact situation was a cotton/silk mix that we once found at Home Works on Broome Street. While we don't expect they will still have it, we would find this type of thing somewhere else.

The weave was tight but the fabric thin so that there was a feeling of translucency. The silk gave it a touch of glowing white shine and a luxurious drape. AND we suspect that - being silk - the thermal quality wasn't bad.

In short, we'd go for light white curtains that are solid but allow light to pass through and float through your space. The better the material, the better.

BTW, you home is way nice, what else can we help with?

Anyone else?

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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