Curtains, your options

When you move into your own place you’re going to want some privacy.

Rental properties typically come with something at the windows, but if you’ve just bought a place this job will more than likely be down to you.

Your curtain options depend on a number of factors, mainly cost/budget.

Here are some possibilities:

  • Custom made curtains
  • Off the shelf curtains
  • Home made curtains
  • Up-cycled curtains

Custom made

In most cases, this will be the most expensive option.

To start with you’ll need to find a curtain maker in your area or an interior designer, they’ll usually come to your home and measure up then send you a price for making them or getting them made. At least this way you won’t be wasting time or wasting fabric through incorrect sizes as the designer/curtain maker will be responsibly for getting the right measurements.

Remember to factor in the cost of hanging the curtains or blinds if you have only been quoted for making them.

Usually curtain makers will have someone they use or recommend to put up tracks and poles etc. but this will also incur another cost.

Off the shelf curtains

Off the shelf curtains or blinds are a ready-made solution, you can just choose the ones the ones you like from a store, or online.

For this option, you’ll need to start by measuring the window carefully. It’s good practice to measure at least twice just to be sure. When you’re making note of the measurements be sure to clearly mark which number is the width and which is the length so that when you find the curtains you want you get the size that fits your window.

Make sure to match the length as best you can. Never go shorter than your length measurement; otherwise the curtains may awkwardly hang above the floor/window sill.

Read the curtain packet carefully regarding the width. Curtains need ‘gathers’ (bunched material) therefore the width measurement needs to be longer than you think otherwise you might be hanging a flat piece of material at the window. Adding a third to the width is relatively standard practice. If you double the width this will give a fuller look. Anything less than a third will typically look a bit thin.

Ready-made curtains usually come in pairs but make sure you’ve got two curtains and not a single panel when ordering, especially online, as this isn’t always clear/obvious.

Tip – The packaging can be confusing. Sometimes they advertise the size of the un-gathered curtain panel and sometimes they advertise the gathered finished size and sometimes they tell you both. Be sure to know your measurements and know what you’re looking for.


If you have the time and are looking to save money you can make your own curtains and blinds. You’ll need to have access to a sewing machine and a flat clean surface to lay out the fabrics etc.

Follow this link for how to make curtains.


Obviously, the cheapest solution is to go on auction sites such as eBay etc. There is an element of risk because typically you won’t see them in the flesh before you buy, plus you’ll need to know your measurements well to know exactly what to look for.

Tip – If the colour or design doesn’t work when you get them home you can always sell them on after, it just may be a slight hassle.