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Quick on the Draw; Ready-made curtains are the easy way to stunning windows.

READY-made curtains are bigger news than ever.

Every high-street store and mail-order catalogue has a range of instant hang-ups.

They transform a room in minutes and unlike made-to-measure drapes, there's no waiting and, more importantly, less expense.

MATCH YOUR STYLE

WHEN choosing ready-mades, bear in mind the overall effect as well as the fabric.

Pencil-pleated drapes suit neat tailored rooms while casual curtains with simpler headings go with the current lived-in trend with its loose- covered shabby chic sofas, wooden floors and distressed paint finishes.

SHORT CUTS

SLOTTED and buttoned headings mean faster hanging too. Tie them on, clip them up or slip a pole through chunky fabric tabs or substantial metal eyelets.

Unlined, they make stylish, inexpensive curtains for the bathroom, bedroom or kitchen but give them a miss in draughty rooms.

TEXTURE

COTTON curtains in natural slubs and woven Madras checks are ideal for contemporary schemes, while soft velvety chenilles add vibrancy to richer furnished decor.

Pink and peach florals have had their day, although country prints in earthy tones and blue live on. Unbleached cream cotton is to interiors what black is to fashion. Mail-order catalogues like McCord supply value- for-money versions.

SWAP SHOPS

IF you're looking for lined curtains, buying second-hand makes sense (to commission from scratch costs up to four times as much.)

Curtain swap shops are cropping up everywhere. Stock comes from obsolete showhouse furnishings, mistakes and cancelled orders.

MEASURE UP

NOTE rail and pole measurements, window size, the distance between rail and coving or ceiling, plus window and radiator position.

Slick curtains from Hico. From pounds 55 for 137cm curtain. Tel 01772 814041

Iron pole complements neutral curtains by Dorma. pounds 60. 0181 749 6905

Line up two contrasting curtains for a stylish twist. By Hico. From pounds 20

Choose tab tops for a no-fuss alternative to ready-mades. Betsy tab curtains, pounds 25 per pair from IKEA

Tangle top headings from Jeff Banks at Allied Carpets. pounds 69. 0800 192192

Sheer voiles in jewel colours. Clarence tie-tab pounds 19 a pair from IKEA

Fresh blue florals from pounds 100 for a 137cm drop from Marks & Spencer
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Visser, Jill
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 27, 1999
Words:353
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