Tips and Guides

Curtains 101

Discover how you can best dress your window with the help of these basics

Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions (Main Photo)

Curtains help establish the mood and vibe of a room. There are pieces that evoke an airy and spacious feel while there are some picks that give a sense of privacy. Whether you're working on your living area or bedroom, it pays to choose the right set of curtains. Be sure to opt for pieces that work well with the rest of your interiors.

As with any other home improvement project, it pays to know the basics. Learn more about curtains with the information below. 

Read the original article in the January 2010 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

Types of Curtains:

French Pleats

This is the most common formal type of curtain. It is evenly spaced and its pleats are supported by tape.

Tab top

If you are looking for a casual window treatment for your room, then the tab top is for you. It has loops of matching or contrasting fabric sewn on the heading.


An eyelet is inserted near the top of the curtain. This gives it a clean lookperfect for modern interiors.

Cased or Gathered

These are used for gauzy or sheer curtains. It is usually sewn with a narrow casing so that the pole can be threaded through it.

Roman Shades

Roman shades are often used for modern interiors. It is a flat fabric panel supported by thin horizontal rods that can be pulled upwards. 



This is the fabric that gives a curtain personality. It’s composed of a solid fabric panel which is either fixed to the sides or can be drawn closed or open.

Curtain rod

This is the pole from where the curtain is hung. A rod is usually accompanied by rings, a mount, and a bracket to attach it to the wall.


Valance is the fabric covering the rod. It is also called a swag if the ends of the fabric cascades on the drapes.

Cortina Curtain Rod, SM Homeworld.


The cord that is used to hold the drapes to the sides which are attached to the walls.


Made from lace or voile, this fabric gives you enough privacy while allowing some light to enter. It can also be used with side drapes.

Curtain Rod Finials, Ace Hardware.

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