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How’s it hanging?

Pull yourself together (boom boom!) and read on for the best ways to frame that pane on a budget.

Something missing in your life? Feeling a little bare and exposed, are we? You’ll be needing new curtains then. But unless you’re totally minted (er, NO), you’ll know that drapes, like cars and designer labels, don’t come cheap and that nearly-new is a supersmart way to go, particularly if you’re kitting out a whole house.

My super-trendy Muddy Warwickshire editor Catherine (who rather annoyingly rocks a leopard print fur coat a lot better than I do) has spotted a place called The Curtain Emporium in the pretty hamlet of Shipston-on-Stour that I think you’ll want to put on your radar. It happens to have the biggest collection of posh new or newly new curtains in the UK –  over 500 pairs, for 50- 70% less of the original price from brands like Colefax & Fowler, Sanderson, Nina Campbell, Harlequin, Bakers, Clarke and Clarke, Jane Churchill, Villa Nova, Romo and William Morris.

If you’ve ever bought a pair of curtains you’ll know the agony of trying to work out peplums, height from floor, drape and fabric. Actually, just writing that sentence gave me a headache. So if your house is calling out for curtains read this advice first.


1. Choose Your Fabric First

Don’t defer the ‘fun’ bit of decorating a room once you’ve chosen your paint colours – it’s much easier to choose curtains first and then match one of thousands of paint colours to your dream drapes. Neutral colours tend to be more popular for rental properties. They are more likely to blend into a room’s existing decor but patterned fabrics are always sought after for a more personal look.

2. Light or Heavy-Weight?

When it comes to fabrics, linen, silk and velvet are some of the most popular choices as tend to hang the best. Some heavier fabrics can keep out the cold well – especially if they’re interlined. But a more contemporary space, full of light, can often benefit from a lighter touch.

3. Feeling a bit chilly indoors? 

Older homes look beautiful but can be draughty, particularly in halls and landing (or in my case throughout the whole house – basically my fingers go numb from November to March). The Curtain Emporium owner Alasdair Elliott has designed and patented Cosidor – basically a curtain rail (pictured) that can be fitted to any size door which allows the curtain to lift as the door opens. Actually it’s very clever, he’s even done a natty vid to show it off.

4. Don’t Forget Your Window Measurements

Quality curtain stores will help with alterations, poles, tracks and even fitting, but there ain’t no such thing as an average window and you have to pick up the tape measure lady! Bring in your window measurements and let the pros do the rest.

Find The Curtain Emporium and The Track House at Unit 24 Blackwell Business Park, Nr. Shipston-on-Stour Warwickshire, CV36 4PE,

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