The choice of fabric designs for use in the bathroom is beyond the scope of this book, but the question of curtain track needs consideration. If conventional curtains are to be used there is a consider- able choice of track. Many shops stock only a few types, but it is possible to find, for example, a very neat aluminium track that can be left exposed and looks good without a pelmet. Others can be let in flush with the ceiling, which is easier if a new ceiling is being installed and its construction can be designed with this in mind. Curtain track fitted in this way is virtually invisible.
Although soft furnishings are likely to deteriorate more rapidly in a bathroom than in other rooms, good ventilation can go some way towards mitigating this problem. An extractor fan, if properly installed, will get rid of steam, but not immediately – and in any case, you must remember to switch it on. As far as curtain fabrics are concerned, most cotton prints are satisfactory, although close weave fabrics are preferable because shrinkage is reduced. A resin impregnated finish or an easycare fabric is better still, and a similar finish can be applied in aerosol form.
Man-made fibres, such as acrylics and glass fibre, are also satisfactory as they are non-absorbent, although some are a little flimsy. Should you wish to use a decorative fabric as a shower curtain, it is possible to attach a waterproof plastics lining to the inside face. If your bathroom windows are of handsome Georgian proportions, it is as well to follow the example of the Georgians themselves and forego curtains. In this case, simple roller blinds are both economical and appropriate. Laminated fabric for blinds is more durable for bathroom use. Other types of blinds include Venetian, the traditional linoleum roller blinds, and vertical louvre blinds with either plastics or fabric louvres. The last type is well worth considering for a bathroom as they give a sophisticated appearance and are easy to operate.