When it comes to privacy in the bathroom, many people simply use frosted glass in their windows. But adding curtains can give a cozier look, as well as helping to keep in heat. And if you choose the right ones, your window can become a real design feature.
But if you’re not sure how to choose bathroom window curtains, read on. We’re going to take you through some of the considerations to think about it before you make your selection.
Choose the right type of fabric
One of the main differences between your bathroom and other rooms in your home is the moisture levels. Bathrooms are humid places, so your curtains need to be able to cope with that.
The choice of fabric is of key importance here. You want something that will resist moisture, and prevent mildew from building up.
Polyester repels water so is a better choice than other fabrics like cotton. You can also find curtains with waterproof backing, specifically designed for use in the bathroom.
Avoid heavier fabrics like velvet, and those that are difficult to put into the washing machine, like silk. Regularly washing your curtains will prolong their life, and get rid of any mold before it takes hold.
Choosing a lightweight, washable fabric will make your life much easier. And don’t choose black-out linings. You won’t need a pitch-black bathroom, and the linings will add to the weight.
As with any other window in your home, making sure your curtains fit properly is essential. If anything, it’s even more important in the bathroom. You don’t want to give your neighbors an unexpected view as you’re getting out of the shower!
Make sure you have enough width to allow for a healthy overlap in the middle. And choose curtain poles that will extend just beyond your window on either side. That will prevent gaps opening up at the edges when you close the curtains.
Consider the position of the window when you’re thinking about measurements. If it’s over a wet area like the bath or basin, you won’t want any long hems. Curtains that sit just above your sill will stay drier and cleaner. Shorter curtains will also be easier to bundle into the washing machine.
But that doesn’t mean longer curtains are an absolute no-no.
If your window is positioned somewhere they won’t get in the way of any fixtures, long curtains can look great. Just make sure you choose a lightweight fabric so they can be washed easily and regularly.
And however long your curtains are, if you use candles in your bathroom, keep them well away from the fabric. A candlelit bath can be romantic and relaxing. A blazing inferno in your bathroom – less so.
You’ll want to let light into your bathroom, so choose curtains that can be tied back when not in use. Again, this will be easier with lighter weight fabrics. You can either buy or make coordinating tie-backs in the same fabric, or buy cords to do the job.
Just remember, fabric tiebacks will have to contend with bathroom humidity in the same way as your curtains. So if that’s what you choose, make sure you opt for a washable fabric.
The same goes for silk cords, or anything with tassels. If they get wet, they can be vulnerable to mold. So choose something that can be stuck in the washing machine without fading or degrading.
Or consider curtains that can be rolled up from the bottom and tied in place. They can be a good compromise between the cozy look of curtains and the practicality of blinds.
Or how about translucent options?
The alternative to tying back your curtains is to choose options that let through light even when they’re in place.
On the whole, net curtains should be avoided. They won’t stand up well to the moisture in the air. And without careful styling, they can easily look dated.
Voile panels, on the other hand, offer a cleaner and more contemporary look. Colored options are available, but personally, we think white works best here. They’ll let in more light which is, after all, the main advantage of this option.
And because they’re so lightweight, they’re very easy to remove for cleaning.
Think about color…
The same design considerations apply in your bathroom as in any other room – and that means color is very important.
Look at the colors that are at play in your bathroom. That doesn’t just mean considering your bath, toilet and basin. What colors feature in your tiles or paintwork? What about your flooring? Remember that even natural materials like wood and stone have their own hues.
Picking up accent colors can be a very effective way of making the design scheme for your bathroom come together. Pick out key shades from your tiles, or accessories like glass bottles or towels, and match them to your curtains.
Some manufacturers even offer shower curtains with waterproof curtains to match.
If you prefer a more low-key look, opt for neutral shades that complement one another. That will create a calming and meditative atmosphere. If you enjoy long soaks in the bathtub, it will work beautifully.
And if you like to switch things up, neutral curtains provide a backdrop that will work with different color schemes. That will mean you don’t have to change them next time you give your bathroom a makeover. And that, of course, means more money to spend on your other accessories!
Now consider whether you want your curtains to be plain or patterned.
If you’ve got pattern elsewhere in your bathroom – on a shower curtain, for example – another pattern may be too much. Clashing designs can confuse the eye and create competing focal points in the room.
But that’s not always the case. If you can find a fabric in the same shades, they can work together very well. A navy and white pinstripe shower curtain can look wonderful with navy and white polka dot curtains, for example. Large and smaller prints of the same design can look very striking too.
The color match will, though, need to be perfect if the two patterns are going to be near one another. And even if there’s a distance between them, the colors need to be very close to avoid clashing. Order fabric swatches so you can compare the shades before you commit to a purchase.
Remember that patterns can create illusions of space. Large, bold patterns can make a room look smaller. Patterns with strong, vertical lines, on the other hand, can add to the height of a room. Or choose a horizontal design to create width.
If you’re not sure whether to introduce pattern with your curtains, consider other accessories first. A patterned bathmat is a great way of adding interest. And if you find it doesn’t work, it can easily be removed.
Curtains, on the other hand, will be in position the whole time. And they’ll be considerably more expensive to replace if you decide they don’t fit with your scheme.
Work with the design theme for your bathroom
Fabric, color and pattern all work together when it comes to ensuring your curtains fit with your bathroom’s design scheme. And they can be a great way of pulling together a look and adding a clever finishing touch.
A nautical theme often works brilliantly in a bathroom – after all, it’s a room where you’re surrounded by water! Curtains with designs of boats or fish can inject a sense of fun. Or choose shades of blue, turquoise or green for a more subtle nod to maritime life.
If you’re going for a delicate, feminine look, light voile panels in white or pastel shades will look beautiful. Lightweight muslin or cotton drapes in a pretty floral pattern are another option. Pair them with vases of roses or wildflowers for a bathroom that’s elegant and charming.
For country style, nothing beats a gingham check. It’s fresh and clean, and works perfectly with plain wood or cast iron curtain poles.
And if you’re going for a more dramatic look, even bathroom-friendly lighter weight fabrics can have luxurious appeal.
Choose rich shades like burgundy, navy or emerald green. You might even want to consider metallic accents like copper or gold. Just make sure they’ll work with your faucets and other fittings.
And look for traditional damask patterns. They’ll work beautifully with gilt-framed mirrors and clawfoot bathtubs.
Ready to pick your perfect curtains?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to how to choose bathroom window curtains. Whilst many of the considerations are the same as for other rooms, some factors are particularly important here. First and foremost, make sure you choose a fabric that can stand up to the more humid environment.
Next, consider size, color and pattern, and think about how your curtains will enhance your overall design theme. When you’ve done all of that, you can be confident that whatever curtains you choose, they’ll look great.
If you’ve got curtains in your bathroom, we’d love to hear about them! Please comment and let us know how you made your choice.