Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Pole stars add final touch to curtains

Yorkshire Post - 12th Aug 2009 - Life & Style Section : Homes


It's not just the drapes which make the window. Poles, tracks and pelmets are vitally important, as interior designer Jamie Hempsall explains

It is the attention to detail that makes the difference. This is particularly relevant when you are deciding on the design of your curtains and looking at how to hang them.

The final piece of dressing for any curtain is the pole, track or pelmet that is being used, combined with any method to drawer the curtain away from the window. It is no use just sticking with what was there in the first place – you need to consider your curtains and make bold design decisions.

A pelmet will cover the track and the top of the curtain, ideal for a plain heading. They can hide a variety of sins and add a significant decorative feature. We favour hard pelmets which keep their shape well over the long term. A simple design is preferable. Pelmets are best padded and upholstered in either the same fabric as the curtains or something that tones (for instance a plain fabric which picks up the feature colour from the main pattern).

Decorative headings such as pinch pleat or goblets work well with either a substantial pole (a minimum of 19mm diameter is essential) and rings, or the more decorative track systems available. The pole or track will be visible for the majority of time that the curtains are open, so the design is as an important a consideration as the fabric. Ensure you have enough hanging rings on a pole or gliders on a track to support your chosen design; there is nothing worse than seeing curtains hanging irregularly at the top because someone has stinted on the rings!

If opting for the modern curtain eyelet design the pole is definitely your only choice. Colour, pole width and eyelet size are important considerations. Never opt for less than 40mm rings and a complementary size pole, to ensure a substantial look. Nickel or gunmetal colours in a satin finish work best in modern schemes.

Eyelet curtains should hang straight to the floor, but other heading finishes benefit from the use of curtain tie-backs or hold-backs to sweep the curtain away from the window and create a dramatic feature. Tie-backs usually incorporate a loop that goes around the curtain and is then attached to a hook on the wall, where as a hold-back is fixed directly to a wall with curtains pushed behind it.

Many manufacturers produce co-ordinated ranges of poles & tracks that allow you to match finishes and finials with tie-backs or hold backs for a complete look.

The Soho range from Houles (see main picture) is very modern and super chic. It includes co-ordinated finials and tie-backs in rich, tactile finishes combined with a range of opulent colours to complete your look. Prices from £226.75 for a 180cm pole or £119.25 for a tieback (http://www.houles.com/ - 020 7376 4430).

The Bradley Collection has a plethora of pole and finial designs to add a modern art feel to any room. Their Mio range boasts stainless steel finishes that will work in a variety of environments and finial choices that would not look out of place in a Barbara Hepworth Sculpture exhibition – prices range from around £236 for a 165cm pole with brackets, rings and two finials (www. bradleycollection.com – 0845 118 7224).

Finally, the modern home should also seek out the Lunar collection from stockists of Jones Interiors products. This 28mm pole collection features a beautiful array of wood, crystal and metal finials with co-ordinating hold-backs. Prices start at about £125 for a pole with brackets, rings and two finials and £40 for hold-backs (http://www.jones-interiors.com/).

Jamie Hempsall is a BIDA member and one of the leading interior designers in the region. Visit him at http://www.jamiehempsall.com/ or contact him on 01777 248463.

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