Your living room is the official part of your home that mirrors your personality. One area that needs careful thought would be curtains. What you place on your windows and how you place it is very important in recreating a time long gone by. The fabrics you choose will be based on your personal and privacy needs, as well as the level of lighting you need for the room.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word Victorian? Beautifully well dressed ladies in dresses wearing hats and carrying sun umbrellas? Horse drawn carriages? Sherlock Holmes?
What comes to your mind when you hear the word Medieval? Suits of armor? Dungeons? Dark brown/grey colored brick walls?
What do you think of when you hear the word Gothic?. Dark wood paneling, big wood furniture, black lace?
For me, when I think of Victorian or Medieval / Gothic periods, , what comes to my mind is a dimly lit room with a window open, moonlight streaming in and long curtains billowing in the air. Yeah we have all seen that image in movies.
Simple changes can make a big impact. Fabric curtains that are heavy and dark in color with or without patterns sometimes called “Theatrical-style drapes” helps to add visual weight to the room and adds to soundproof a room, making it more intimate. The dark colors help to add an air of mystery and majesty.
There are a few fabrics you can consider that are luxurious such as velvet, jacquard, velveteen, de-lustered stain, velour and as well as hefty taffeta. The majesty of curtains is there whether you use solid colors or curtains embroidered with appliques, tassels and fringes. Valances are a must and can be woven serge wool or fibers with jacobean designs.
If you are not keen of the heavy materials, you could mount a violet, dull blue, or peacock cotton or polyester drape to boost your Victorian theme. You could add curtains with different shades such as purple, mauve, red, or bottle-green printed with Victorian roses.
Some homes also employ what is called a cornice to add a final touch. In some instances, I find the cornice to stuffy, but depending on your color scheme, the type of fabric you will employ and what kind of fringe, tassels or cords you are using, having a cornice co-ordinating with everything else will be an added elegance. The bottom line is that choosing curtains is not a 5 minute job unless you really know what you are looking for, so take your time, google images and colors. Keep a notebook for reference and when you are done, you will be in love with your room.