Inventive ideas for using curtains in your home

We have five interior ideas to start you thinking about the traditional window dressing in a different light

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Curtains needn’t be saved solely to frame your windows – using the ready-to-hang fabric in more inventive ways can transform the look and feel of your home.

1. Shroud your shelving
If your open shelving is cluttered and unsightly, securing a rail across the front of the unit and covering with a cut-to-size curtain will not only help hide the mess, but also transform what was previously a purely functional storage solution into a focal point. This can work particularly well in children’s bedrooms, to cover up boxes of toys, and could even be used under raised cabin beds to create a den.

2. Wall art
Found a printed fabric you love? Treat it as art and display it in your home by hanging a panel on one wall to create a feature piece. Draped floor-to-ceiling fabrics create warmth and an air of luxury in a room, and work well with extravagant Baroque and Renaissance interior themes. This is also a great way of covering walls with unsightly cracks or other visible damage.

3. Bed beautiful
If you have always dreamed of waking up each morning in a four-poster bed, you needn’t shell out a fortune to emulate the elegance of five-star hotels. Securing two rails to the ceiling above your existing bed and hanging rich and textured or light and airy fabrics – depending on your interior style – can transform your sleeping area into a heavenly haven. If your bed is positioned against a wall, hanging one curtain rail across the side will also help separate your waking and sleeping space in style.

4. Divide and conquer
Rather than light-blocking doors and walls, curtains can help divide space as and when you need it to. Hanging curtains from the ceiling a great way to define separate areas in a studio apartment, or to split large living/dining or living/sun rooms. Just think carefully before erecting a curtain divide near a kitchen space as the fabric may retain cooking smells and could even cause a fire hazard.

5. Mix and match
Of course, many of us also need curtains to fulfill their traditional purpose as window dressings, so if you are looking for ideas to help your home stand out on the street, try mixing fabrics and prints with different panels. Choose a large focal window that will accommodate one long uninterrupted pole and hang up to three complementary fabrics that look great closed as well as side-by-side when drawn.

So now you have the ideas, all that is left is to choose your fabric and poles – browse from a wide selection of ready-to-hang curtains and accessories at John Lewis.

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