Deciding on the type of curtain design for a specific room usually boils down to three important factors: budget, room décor, and window type. Determine in advance how much money you can spend, as draperies can be expensive and expense is often relative to style, design and fabric. You also need to take into consideration the décor of the entire room, and make sure the curtains' design is complementary. The type of window you are covering is important, because some curtain designs work with some windows styles, but not necessarily with others.
Before you make a decision about design, figure out what you can afford. When making this determination, be sure and include the hardware needed to install the curtains, as some types of curtain rods can be quite expensive. For instance, curtains designed to be hung on traverse rods will usually be more expensive, as will the hardware. Traverse rods allow the curtains to be opened and closed by a pulley or string, and though the method is considered convenient, the convenience will cost you extra money. Café curtains, on the other hand, are a good example of a curtain design that is usually less expensive for both the curtains and the hardware.
Most decorators maintain that curtains should never take over the décor, but simply serve as an accent, so your curtain design ideally should create a nice backdrop for the entire room. If you are going for a French cottage look, you might want to try a curtain design that sets into the window frame, rather than hanging from the outside of it. This type of curtain is usually made of fine lace, and may include a valance. Rustic style curtain design would typically consist of draperies that hang from wooden rods, with plaid or burlap being common fabric choices. If dramatic elegance is the theme, you might try heavy velvet draperies with long bullion trim and a split front design.
If you want a great deal of light to filter into the room, try a curtain design that does not completely cover the window. Scarf curtains are typically draped outside the window frame, and wound around decorative holders at the top corners of the window. The amount of draping in the middle of the window allows you to adjust how much of the glass is covered, and how much light is filtered. This type of curtain design is popular for hard-to-cover windows such as the bay design. For sliding glass doors, curtain design should ideally incorporate easy movement, so the curtains can part with ease.