Complete Guide to Choose the Right Shower Curtain Styles

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The bathroom is often seen as a purely functional room in the home that does not offer many decorating opportunities. But there are many ways to introduce color and pattern into this cold space with shower curtains, artwork, window treatments, and accessories.

Shower curtains are the most important of these items as they are both functional and decorative and they are often the main focal point of the room. There are literally dozens and dozens of shower curtain styles and fabrics to choose from so let’s take a look at a few of those choices:

Fabric shower curtains

The fabric you choose for your shower curtains will be determined by the style of your home, the design of your bath area and your own personal preferences. Keep in mind that you must add a vinyl liner to all fabric shower curtains to protect the fabric and the surrounding floor.

You can purchase a ready-made fabric curtain in the bath section of department and discount stores at a very affordable price. These often come with coordinating bath accessories such as floor mats, wastebaskets, tissue holders, towels and even matching window treatments. This is literally one-stop shopping for those who like a pulled-together look but do not have the time, talent or money to design the bath themselves.

For those who prefer a bit more personalization, designer shower curtains can be made out of any fabric you choose. An inexpensive rod-pocket style that can be shirred onto a rod is less expensive than a pinch-pleated design that will require a specialized rod.

Design styles for shower curtains

Shower curtains are available in many different design styles.

  • traditional curtain might be made of rich and luxurious damask, for example, that is tied back with a rope tassel or other accessory just like formal draperies in the living room. The fabric will absorb much of the noise from the tile surroundings and visually “warm” up space.
  • If modern or contemporary is your preferred design style, choose a crisp and clean clear vinyl shower curtain. If you prefer some pattern look for graphic designs such as chevron stripes, checkerboard squares or stark color combinations such as black and red against the white vinyl or simply black and white. These will work well with your shiny chrome fixtures and white porcelain.
  • Many homeowners enjoy adding a whimsical touch to their bathroom design. There are patterns available that feature frogs, butterflies, even reproductions of famous artworks. Just be careful and don’t go overboard with a “theme”.
  • Shower curtains for a kid’s bathroom can help make bath time easier. Cartoon and story characters can be found along with all the coordinating accessories. These are affordable and can easily be changed as your kids get older or move on to another favorite character.
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If your bath is off of your main living area it is important to stick with the same color scheme and design style as the rest of the home for continuity. However, bathrooms in private parts of your home can be decorated in any style you desire.

Shower curtain rods

There are several types of shower curtain rods available. The rod you choose will be determined by the type of shower curtain you use.

A standard shower curtain rod consists of a tension rod pole and a set of rings that clip to the shower curtain. These rings have a prong at the opening that slides into the holes found at the top of your shower curtain. The rings holding the curtain then slide onto the pole and the pole is attached to the two openings of the tub/shower area. The beauty of these poles it that they can be placed at any height you desire. If you are using a liner behind a fabric shower curtain, two of these rods can be placed above, below or behind the other for the layered look you desire.

If you prefer a portion of your shower curtain to remain stationary, simple slide the fabric onto the rod and install at the desired height. You will not need to use the rings for this design. This is done when a fabric curtain is used for decorative purposes only and a movable liner acts as the shower curtain.

Specialized rods such as a corner, circular or hoop rods and curved (u-shaped, oval, etc) are available for bath areas in an older or historical home or for a custom design.

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Caring for your shower curtain

Due to the constant moisture, a shower curtain is subjected to, it is important to prohibit the growth of mold and mildew.

  • If the bathroom has a window, open it to allow the curtain to dry naturally.
  • If no window is available, turn on the overhead fan to keep the air moving and help dry out the moisture.
  • After showering, keep the shower curtain drawn until it is dry. This will prevent mold and mildew from building up inside the folds of the curtain.
  • Vinyl shower curtains can be washed with hot soap and water and left to air dry. Fabric shower curtains can be washed with your normal weekly laundry.

Shower curtains are relatively inexpensive and receive daily use so replace them as often as you find it necessary. If they become worn, brittle or stained with mold it is time to find a new one.