A history of curtains and drapery has been published, with the author noting how such fabrics were connected to the use of interior lighting.

Design historian Gail Caskey Winkler noted in the book that back in the days of candles, people would rely on dim lighting indoors to protect their privacy - and that was only relevant if they actually had windows, reports nytimes.com.

'Capricious Fancy: Draping and Curtaining the Historic Interior, 1800-1930' highlighted how the French were the forerunners when it came to curtains, but when gaslights took over from candles, the public became more interested in window dressings.

"If it had not been for the Parisian designer, we in the West would be hanging rags in our windows," said the author, adding: "Before, if people had windows, they left them bare."

Nowadays, there is an extensive choice of both window dressing and interior lighting available, with homeowners able to choose between anything from blinds and curtains, to mosaic lamps and spotlights.

This week, homesandproperty.co.uk described how curtains are being used in innovative ways by modern designer; for example, fabric being hung floor-to-ceiling along whole sections of a wall, rather than draping across a window.

This effect was said to be particularly good if people have a Baroque or Renaissance theme going on in their home.