Solutions: Trends in curtains

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

Window treatments have come a long way in recent years. Just ask Angela Boswell, senior vice president of design and product development for Ellery Homestyles, a leading supplier of home-fashion products.

She is also a founding member of the EclipseTM, their curtain division that took the concept of blackout curtains and expanded it to include different technologies and price points.

Their website offers style guides, measuring tips and more. “People get frustrated picking out window treatments, but measuring is where they really seem to get hung up,” says Boswell.

Standard windows are about 36 inches wide. “We recommend two curtain panels per window,” she says. “You can really find any length you need and go to your local cleaners to have them hemmed.”

Not only do window treatments offer privacy and protection from light, they can also save energy. As Boswell explains, the benefits are year-round because air conditioning goes out the windows in the summer and the cold comes in during the winter.

“Anything you put on your windows will help, but the heavier the curtain, the more savings for your home,” says Boswell. “It’s like putting on a T-shirt will get you a little warmer, but adding a jacket is even better.”

Blackout curtains are in demand. “They used to be something you would really only see in a hotel,” she says. “Then people wanted them on their windows, but they wanted them to be pretty. We made them stylish and functional.”

Prints are among the current trends. “We’re going through a print cycle which is nice and gray has been hugely popular in any shade,” says Boswell. “It’s a genderless color. It doesn’t pick sides.”

In addition, tropical is really hot. “We’re seeing more of the green family. There’s an interest in the planet and recycling and water that makes you feel very positive and alive with earth colors like blue and green,” she adds.

Eclipse curtains, available at retailers such as Target and Walmart, start at around $10 or less and go up to around $80, making seasonal changes a cinch. “There’s something for every occasion. You can have a black curtain for Halloween and then change it out for the next holiday. People like to change their curtains seasonally,” Boswell says.

“During the fall and the Thanksgiving season, people spend a lot of time at home with family. They like rich warm colors this time of year and you get that cozy feeling with the blackout curtains even more.”

Because each situation varies, they offer four levels of opacity. For instance, you may need something darker for a child’s room, but still want some darkening in a main area to get rid of the glare on the TV.

Blocking the light is essential when it’s time to get some shut-eye. “Sleep is becoming a national conversation,” says Boswell. “There’s so much more research being done about sleep and why you need it. Blackout curtains can help people sleep because one of the things you need is a dark room.”

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Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at