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You’ve made the decision to buy new curtains but not sure where to start? We’ve compiled this easy buying guide to walk you through the process. 

Firstly, you will need to measure your windows. This allows us to get an idea of sizing which is important for the decision-making process. While not every curtain comes in all sizes, we will find one to suit.  

At Pillow Talk, all our curtains are sold in pairs, with the size on the pack being the measurement of one curtain lying flat. One final tip – the more fabric the better your curtains will look when hanging! 

Curtains size guide

To measure up your window, follow these 3 easy steps. If you’re in need of more information, chat to our online customer care team or find your nearest store and our friendly staff can help you decide on the best curtains for your home.

Step 1: Determine the total window width, measuring from the outside of the window architrave on both sides. 

Step 2: Using the chart below, determine which curtain width will best suit.

Curtains size guide | Pillow Talk

This chart ensures the total curtain width (both panels added together) will be a minimum1 ½ x wider than the window width. This will allow enough fabric for the curtains to gather nicely even when drawn closed, creating the fullness that we all love. If you're in between sizes, we suggest you go up a size- you don’t want your curtains looking like a hanging sheet!  When you see curtains hanging beautifully in our catalogue or in imagery online, we’ve used curtains that are approximately 2 times the width of the window, creating a sumptuous full finish. 

Step 3: Check your curtain length

All Pillow Talk curtains have the same generous drop length of 250cm. This length accommodates most homes with high ceilings. It also works in homes with a standard ceiling height by raising the curtain rod well above the window architrave for added height. Ideally you will install your curtain rod after you have purchased your curtains so that you can adjust the rod height to suit the curtain length, ensuring the curtain drop finishes just above the floor.

However, if you have a curtain rod existing in your home and want to determine how long your curtains should be, follow the steps below: For a concealed tab top curtain, measure from the top of your rod to 1cm above the floor. For an eyelet curtain, measure from the top of the rod to 1cm above the floor and add 2cm. We add 2cm to account for the extra lip of fabric above the eyelet rings.  Alternatively, you may want to go for the ‘pooled’ look where the curtain falls into a puddle of luxurious fabric on the floor. For this you will need to add an extra 5-10cm, keeping in mind while this creates a dreamy, relaxed look it is likely to collect dust on the floor if not cleaned regularly. We don’t recommend this for blockout curtains as they have a more structured look and feel.

Determine your curtain rod size

We recommend extending your rod past the window – it’s a game changer.

Curtain rods | Pillow Talk

To determine what size rod is required you will need to measure the overall window width on the outside of the architrave and add 10 to 30cm on each side. Adding the extra width allows space either side of your window for the curtain panels to stack when open. It also leaves room for the finials which are not included in the rod size on the packet. The extra space ensures the entire glass window will be uncovered for maximum light and an unhindered view when your curtains are open. It also creates the illusion of a larger window, giving that sense of luxe space that we all love. Determining how much extra rod width will depend on how much space is available on the wall either side of your window – keeping in mind any obstacles such as cupboards or doors.

Shop Curtain Rods

Determine your curtain rod height

We recommend installing your rod well above the window architrave – you’ll thank us later.

Curtain rods | Pillow Talk

We suggest 2 methods of approaching the rod height:

  • Option (a) position the rod 5 to 15cm above the top of your window architrave.
  • Option (b) position rod halfway between the top of your window architrave and ceiling.

Both options involve installing the rod well above the window architrave. This creates the illusion of a higher ceiling and gives a sense of extra space and grandeur. Before you start any drilling we recommend sliding your curtains onto the rod, then holding the rod at the planned height on your wall so you can check that the curtain length is just right. Detailed curtains' installation instructions are included in our rod sets.

Types of curtains

Now that you know what size curtain and rod to buy, it’s time for the fun part, choosing your curtain! At Pillow Talk we offer a versatile range of curtains that are sure to meet all of your curtain needs – whether it’s to manage sunlight, privacy, styling or temperature control.

Sheer Curtains: Sheers are made of a lightweight semi-transparent fabric that allows light to filter through while still providing a moderate level of privacy and not blocking your view outdoors.

Shop Sheer Curtains

Blockout Curtains: Blockouts (also known as blackout) are designed to completely block sunlight when they are drawn closed. All our blockout curtains have a ‘3 pass’ coating, meaning there are 3 layers of acrylic coating behind the top fabric layer. To achieve the ‘3 pass’ coating, one layer of white foam is applied to the back of the curtain fabric, then a black layer, followed by another layer of white. The black layer blocks light and retains heat. The white layers mean the black colour won’t affect the look of the front fabric. 

Shop Blockout Curtains

Curtain Header

A curtain heading is the top piece of the curtain that attaches to a track or rod. All of our sheer curtains have a concealed tab top header and all of our blockout curtains have an eyelet header.

Concealed Tab Top

Benefits:

  • Easy to hang
  • Hides the curtain rod
  • Allows the curtain to drape more softly and naturally for a relaxed look
  • Suitable for curtain rod only (not tracks)

Concealed tab top curtains | Pillow Talk

Shop Tab Top Curtains 

Eyelet  

Benefits:

  • Easy to hang
  • Creates large even pleats
  • Sturdy metal rings that will support the weight of heavy blockout curtains
  • Suitable for curtain rod only (not tracks)

Eyelet curtains | Pillow Talk

Shop Eyelet Curtains 

Not sure if you need sheer or blockout curtains?

Light Control

Sheer or blockout? The right curtain for you, depends if you want natural light in your chosen room or a complete block from light. After filtered light? Opt for sheer curtains. Sheer curtains are perfect for diffusing the glare and brightness of harsh sun rays while still allowing natural light to filter into a room.

Light control with sheer curtains | Pillow Talk

After complete darkness? Opt for blockout curtains. All of our blockout curtains are finished with a high quality 3 pass coating on reverse ensuring no light can seep through the fabric. They are perfect for shift workers that need to sleep during the day or for a baby room. They are also great for media rooms to achieve that dark cinematic experience.

TIP: Some furniture, bedding, rugs and even flooring may fade over time if exposed to direct sunlight regularly. Curtains are a great solution for reducing that sunlight exposure, protecting and extending the life of those investment pieces. 

Temperature Control

Want to help regulate the temperature inside your home? Windows influence the temperature of a house in a passive but significant way. Blockout curtains help regulate this change in temperature. During the warmer months, blockout curtains act as a barrier between the window and the inside of a home, preventing the heat that seeps through the window glass from entering the home, ultimately keeping it cooler inside. Similarly, during the colder months, the heat you warm your house with becomes trapped inside the home, rather than escaping through the glass window. This means potential savings on your energy bill!

Privacy

Do you want a moderate amount of daytime privacy or total privacy? If you just require a light to moderate level of privacy during the day, opt for sheer curtains. Sheer curtains are ideal for providing some privacy from the outside during the day while still allowing natural light into the home and without completely obstructing views outdoors.  We specify ‘daytime privacy’ because during the night when a light is on inside a room it’s much easier to see through the sheer fabric.

If you require total privacy in your home, opt for blockout curtains. All our blockout curtains are completely opaque thanks to the 3 pass coating on reverse ensuring it is impossible to see through the fabric. They are ideal for any room that requires complete privacy.

TIP: Curtains are a quick and easy way of dividing spaces in an open plan home or studio. They can be particularly useful in ‘work from home’ situations to help separate the living area from a workspace.

Esta Blockout Curtain Pair | Pillow Talk

How to style your curtains

Are you looking for a relaxed, soft, natural or boho look? Sheer curtains are perfect for achieving that relaxed luxury look because of the lightweight fabric which creates a soft, effortless drape. Are you looking for a modern or classic look in your home? Generally, blockout curtains will give a more modern or classic look due to the eyelet header and heavy curtain weight. This creates large, even pleats which gives a more structured look. Love the look of sheers but need the practicality of a blockout? Use a double rod bracket to hang both sheers and blockouts on the same window, creating a more versatile window covering that doesn’t compromise on practicality or style. 

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Curtains Buying Guide