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raise the curtain

From Habitat magazine - issue 10

Boring beige is out, bold patterns are in as curtains fabrics become more adventurous.

For many years curtains have been the quiet cousin of interior schemes, blending in with the neutral beiges and creams on our walls. But that trend is over. Plain on plain is out. It’s time to inject a little life into your window dressings.

Metallic thread curtains
European style curtains
Photo (with darker wall): Resene Curtain Collection Intercept: Metallic thread highlights and an embossed surface. Photo (with lighter wall): Resene Curtain Collection Diva: Stunning sheen effect with European-inspired woven contemporary design.

Colour is coming back, as are patterned fabrics, and this time round they’re bold – stylised florals and damasks, shot with metallic threads, and with exciting new textures too.

Most colours are still fairly soft and gentle, with flashes of brilliance for the brave, and the patterns are simple and classic. A little conservatism is not a bad thing when it comes to your curtains, as you’re unlikely to change them again in a hurry.

Wynne Brewer, sales and design manager for furnishing company Mollers, says we change our curtains about once every seven years. Because of this length of time, we tend to choose conservative drapes, letting bursts of colour in the room come through in paint, duvets, cushions and other accessories.

Light reflecting curtains
Classically woven curtain design
Photo (with neutral wall): Resene Curtain Collection Axiom: Dramatic, stylish design woven into a light-reflecting fabric. Photo (with lamp): Resene Curtain Collection Liberty: A linen-look update of a classic woven jacquard design.

But both Wynne and her colleague, production manager Trish van Bussel, are very excited by what they see ahead in curtaining trends. “The amount of pattern coming through is great,” says Wynne. “It adds interest and you can express a lot more personality.”

Although the trend towards patterned fabrics has been growing for a few years now, the patterns are now becoming larger and bolder, and textured fabrics are coming to the fore.

“Fabric designers around the world have been playing with the finishing of yarns and fabrics, adding patterns and designs through different finishing processes, such as pleating, permanent pressing, crushing, overlays, double weaving and the addition of metallic yarns, etc,” says Trish. “These processes are often layered to create a unique look and feel.”

Grainy textured curtains
Botanical design curtains
Photo (with red wall): Resene Curtain Collection Balance: Grainy textured surface for contemporary homes. Photo (with beige wall): Resene Curtain Collection Metaphor: All-over botanical design in a subtle blend of toning shades.

On top of this, printed patterns are added, which creates even more depth and interest.

The colour trends are exciting too. No longer stuck with only beige and taupe, the fashion colours range from black, warm charcoals and chocolates to mocha and warmer beiges. There are creams and greyed duck-egg blues, through to fresher greens, whites, soft grey and vanilla, with red, coral and apple green as accents.

Trish divides our tastes into two main looks: opulent and natural.

Contemporary metallic curtain design
Faux silk effect curtains
Photo (with dark wall): Resene Curtain Collection Ignite: Contemporary design printed in the newest metallics. Photo (with light wall): Resene Curtain Collection Ambiance: Classic narrow stripe in a faux silk effect.

The opulent look is one of classic elegance. Sometimes traditional, it encompasses rich colours and metallics, although these are now softened rather than shiny. Opulent colours are greyed plums, purples and mauves with soft metallics – dulled gold, silver and copper.

Opulent patterns include the curvy waves of Persian glamour, stylised damask effects and, a local favourite, stripes. Taffeta is still very strong, but now has a drier look and incorporates woven designs, says Trish.

In contrast, the natural look is light and fresh. Often referencing leaves and vines, the natural look lends itself to linens and soft greys, with colours like fresh green and coral often used as accents.

A fabric making headway in the natural look is linen, which can feature either woven or printed patterns. Linen hasn’t traditionally been used as curtaining fabric as it tends to break down in the sunlight, but when it is blended with a more robust fibre, you get the look of linen but with increased durability.

Perfect partners

For the DIYer, one of the big challenges when it comes to interior decorating is being able to find the right curtains to match the paint you’ve chosen, or vice versa. Now there is a supremely simple solution for those embarking on decorating projects: Mollers, in partnership with Resene, has developed a range of curtain fabrics, available in Resene ColorShops and selected curtaining stores, designed to match Resene’s popular paint colours and a number of feature colours.

“Up until now you had to go into a paint store to buy your paint and a curtain store to buy your curtains,” says Wynne Brewer. “As the two products ultimately end up in the same room, Resene wanted to make the process easier and have the key components of a room designed to go together and available in one place.”

Mollers and Resene started with around 100 different fabrics and refined them down to a range of 29, which incorporates a variety of styles – traditional and contemporary, residential and commercial.

Some of the fabrics come in a number of different colourways – for example, the Resene Metaphor curtain, with its simple leaf motif on a lightly textured background, is available in Naturalle (rich cream), Mocha (warm brown) or Bud (soft green), which is proving a particularly popular choice.

And to make the whole process supremely simple, each curtain sample comes with a how-to card which details the matching paint colours for that particular curtain.

Although you don’t have to stick to what the card says, it does offer a number of different paint options for each fabric, for example the Resene Diva curtain in Charcoal (a luxurious sheen curtain with a tone-on-tone woven contemporary design) suggests a choice of two neutrals – Resene Half Napa or Resene Half Stonehenge – or the deep charcoal Resene Jaguar, for a more dramatic effect.

To see the curtain range either visit your local Resene ColorShop or find your nearest curtain specialist that offers the Resene Curtain Collection.

words: Mary Searle

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