Renovating Resources

Pelmets hide the top of curtain fixtures. We know they seem at odds with current interior curtain designs but pelmets could be the answer to reducing your winter energy bills!

The Power of a Pelmet

Centre for Liveability Real Estate
Designer Jennifer-Eisenstadt

Designer Jennifer-Eisenstadt

The Retro Curtain Revolution

The pelmet was originally designed to hide the top of the curtain fixtures and it was a 70’s curtain decor hit, heavily upholstered in decorative floral prints or silks. The Powerhouse Museum even has has a pelmet in it’s collection from way back in 1908.

I know this curtain style seems at odds with current interior curtain designs but maybe it’s due for a comeback… because in winter your pelmet could be the answer to reducing your energy bills. Strange but true!


Without a pelmet

Pelmet Science

If you’re in a heating dominant climate heavy curtains with a pelmet can make a huge difference to your homes comfort and your bills. They stop the heat generated in your room from escaping. So how do they work? It’s really the power of convection current.

Hot air rises and cold air falls. So the warmth you have created by your heater rises to the top of the room and the cold air falls to the bottom. If your windows have no curtains or have curtains with rods then the hot air rises to the top of the curtain and falls into the air around the window which cools it down… then this cold air drops to the bottom of the room.

This actually makes your room colder. The warmth you’re generating is cooling itself through this convection cycle over and over again. This creates a thermal current -which is why you find some rooms in your house just seem really hard to heat because they’re actually not holding in the heat.

However, when you install a pelmet on the top of your curtains it stops the thermal current… so the cold air behind the curtain is trapped allowing the room to heat up more efficiently increasing your comfort and lowering your energy bills.

With a pelmet

With a pelmet

Pelmets can be made of wood, and may be painted, or padded and covered in fabric.

You can also create a more integrated pelmet box by building it all the way to the ceiling, use ceiling molding around it and then painting it the same colour as the wall.

So get creative and see if you can take the pelmet to a whole new level.

Centre for Liveability Real Estate

Centre for Liveability Real Estate

In addition to their expertise in residential real estate, The Centre for Liveability Real Estate also works collaboratively with the sustainable design, construction, manufacturing and assessment and industries in the development of information on this site.

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