Don’t let these breezy days of summer get lost as you scramble to pack in all the outside fun this warm, luxurious weather allows. If an outdoor oasis is your dream, embellish that space with outdoor curtains- the must have accent for a gazebo, deck, pool area, balcony, porch, or even a lonely spot in the backyard that needs some stylish pop. An outside curtain can easily transform any nook into a special corner to relax, to entertain (night or day), or simply to create an extension of your living area for additional space. Hopefully, you will have some architectural framework or some creative approach to hanging your curtains, but once you have fallen under the spell of the outdoors, I know you will figure out that part. As the whisper of the wind creates billowing clouds of fabric beckoning you outdoors, your new space is another chance to express your comfortable style of simple living. However, first, you should look at these three important considerations.
Block The Sun
Many of us just want a shady retreat to escape the hot sun and offer a temperate alternative to the arctic, artificial and costly blasts of air conditioning. If you crave the fresh air, try to capture the sounds of nature and enjoy a dose of real light. Choose a darker and heavier fabric to fend off the sun, or you will be unhappy as a lighter material will not block the heat. If bugs bug you and those citronella candles are offensive, a darker curtain will also minimize those pesky critters. Curtains made from a Sunbrella fabric is a good choice as it is a superior weather-resistant fabric, blocks a majority of the UV rays and keeps mold and fading at bay. This easy-care fabric will protect your outdoor living area from all the residue from trees, animals, weather and nasty food spills. Wind can be fickle too, as it catches the curtains and can create havoc, tipping over candles and making messes. If any of those things bother you, go for a heavier outdoor curtain for the best protection.
If privacy is your main concern from annoying street viewers, or bright lights and honking traffic or you really need your outdoor space to become a separate and private room divider, you will also need to choose a heavier fabric to shield you from all the daily and nightly disturbances of living in a place that is not naturally secluded and serene. If you cherish the cloistered look of a secret outdoor spot, don’t be disappointed in selecting an outdoor curtain that is too thin, transparent and will ultimately let down your peaceful expectations as you try to unwind at the end of the day.
Enhance A Mood
For those of us who are enchanted by the romance of French outdoor cafés or the “The Lawrence of Arabia” feel of a mysterious Moorish wind, a sheer material will enhance this effect. The enticing mood of flowing, gossamer outdoor curtains evokes the evanescence of these fleeting warm days. I am reminded of the lush movie, “The Great Gatsby,” as Daisy effortlessly floats through the diaphanous curtains. Just remember that gauzy curtains are not practical or durable, but as long as mood is your theme in your outdoor room and is the melody to pervade this space, your spot will harmonize.
It seems like we always have to balance the stolid with the ethereal-the designer’s dilemma! Whether you choose a heavy or a sheer outdoor treatment, you can always add quirky lanterns, exotic pillows and throws, vintage, modern, cottage or boho accents to shape your scene. For you DIYers, you have lots of ways to express your creativity with outdoor curtains-tacking up a tie-dyed sheet, thin mosquito netting (the bugs won’t know what hit them), canvas or painters’ tarps or stenciled tablecloths. Really, any swath of material can grace a curtain rod and offer instant screening and outdoor décor. No fancy window treatments needed. I do recommend you use grommets on your drapery rod as the preferable drapery hardware, for ease of hanging and removing for washing or at the end of the season. Of course, if a hammer and some nails work for you, go for it. Tiebacks offer another chance for whimsy, whether it’s a thick rope, tassels with a tie, bandanas, ribbon or even bungee cords. Homemade or custom sheer outdoor curtains express the quintessential call of lazy summer days.
If outdoor curtains are too overwhelming, a shade sail stretched over a patio or deck might be all you need to indulge in these lazy days.
Outdoor curtains can be as easy as a breeze to add instant ambiance to your home or can be a permanent addition to nurture your outdoor spirit. Let the call of the wild inspire you.