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How To Pick Curtains

How To Pick Curtains


How To Pick Curtains – The right curtains can transform a room, adding a touch of elegance, warmth, and personality to any space. Whether you are moving into a new home, redecorating your existing one, or simply looking to update the ambiance of a room, selecting the perfect curtains is a vital aspect of interior design. However, with a myriad of styles, fabrics, patterns, and colors to choose from, the process of picking curtains can sometimes feel overwhelming. That’s where this comprehensive guide comes in.

How To Pick Curtains

In this guide, we will navigate the exciting world of curtains and delve into the essential factors to consider when selecting curtains for your home. From understanding different curtain styles to exploring fabric choices, we will equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to make an informed decision that aligns with your aesthetic preferences and functional requirements.

One of the fundamental aspects of curtain selection is understanding the specific needs and purposes of the room you are decorating. For instance, a bedroom may require curtains that provide privacy and block out light, while a living room may benefit from curtains that allow natural light to filter through. By considering the functionality of each space, you can narrow down your options and make choices that enhance the overall functionality of the room.

The style of your curtains also plays a crucial role in defining the ambiance of a room. Whether you prefer a minimalist, contemporary look or a more traditional, opulent feel, we will explore various curtain styles such as tab top, grommet, rod pocket, and more. We will discuss the unique characteristics of each style and guide you on choosing the one that best complements your personal taste and existing decor.

Another vital aspect of curtain selection is the fabric choice. Different fabrics offer distinct textures, levels of privacy, and light-filtering properties. From luxurious silk and velvet to lightweight linen and sheer voile, we will delve into the pros and cons of each fabric type, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your desired aesthetic, maintenance preferences, and functional requirements.

How do I know what curtains to buy?

A common rule for displaying curtains properly says the curtains finished width should be at least 2 times the width of your window (if not more) to achieve a look of proper fullness. Example: If your window measures 36″ wide (window width x 2 = 72″), you need curtains that will give a minimum width of 72″.

When choosing curtains for your space, there are several factors to consider to ensure you make the right decision. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Purpose: Determine the primary purpose of the curtains. Are you looking for privacy, light control, or purely decorative purposes? This will help you choose the right fabric, length, and opacity.

Style and Aesthetics: Consider the overall style of your room and the existing color scheme. Curtains should complement the decor and enhance the ambiance. Decide if you want a bold statement or a subtle, cohesive look.

Fabric: Select a fabric that suits your needs and desired look. Light, sheer fabrics like linen or voile allow more natural light, while heavier fabrics like velvet or brocade offer better insulation and privacy.

Length and Fullness: Measure your windows and decide if you want curtains that hang above the window frame, just touch the floor, or pool gracefully on the ground. Consider the fullness as well—a fuller curtain creates a more luxurious look.

Maintenance: Think about the practicality of the curtains. Some fabrics may require dry cleaning, while others are machine washable. Consider your lifestyle and choose accordingly.

Budget: Set a budget range and explore options within that range. Curtains come in various price points, so you can find suitable options without breaking the bank.

Test Samples: If possible, obtain fabric samples or visit a store to see curtains in person. This allows you to assess the color, texture, and quality firsthand.

Should curtains be lighter or darker than walls?

A general rule of thumb is for curtains & walls to be one shade lighter or darker than each other, or be a complimentary colour to each other. Although light or dark curtains can influence the mood of a room, provided they match the colour, hues & shade of the walls, it will be a good choice.

The decision of whether curtains should be lighter or darker than the walls depends on the desired effect and the overall design scheme you want to achieve in your space. Here are some considerations to help you make a choice:

Contrast: If you want to create a noticeable contrast and make the curtains stand out, opt for curtains that are darker than the walls. This contrast can add depth and visual interest to the room.

Coherence: For a cohesive and harmonious look, consider curtains that are in a similar tone or shade as the walls. This creates a seamless flow and can make the space feel more unified.

Light and Space: Lighter curtains can help maximize natural light in a room and make it feel brighter and more spacious. If you have limited natural light or a smaller room, lighter curtains can be a good choice to enhance the sense of openness.

Mood and Ambiance: Darker curtains can create a cozy, intimate atmosphere in a space. They can also help to block out more light and provide better privacy, making them suitable for bedrooms or media rooms.

How do I choose curtain fabric for my bedroom?

When choosing bedroom curtains, start with material—cotton is the most common option. “Cotton is light, breathable, and easy to care for,” says Emery. Opt for a machine-washable fabric if you prefer convenience. However, if you want a luxury vibe, consider a heavier, more sumptuous fabric.

When selecting curtain fabric for your bedroom, it’s important to consider both style and functionality. Here are some tips to guide you in choosing the right fabric:

How To Pick Curtains

Privacy and Light Control: Determine how much privacy and light control you desire in your bedroom. If you prefer a darker room, opt for thicker fabrics like velvet or blackout curtains. Sheer fabrics like chiffon or voile allow more light in while still providing some privacy.

Texture and Aesthetics: Consider the overall style and mood you want to create in your bedroom. Fabrics with textures like silk, linen, or velvet can add visual interest and a touch of luxury. Match the fabric texture with the overall theme of your bedroom.

Maintenance: Consider the level of maintenance required for different fabrics. Some fabrics may require dry cleaning, while others can be machine-washed. Choose a fabric that suits your lifestyle and maintenance preferences.

Insulation: If you live in a region with extreme temperatures, consider fabrics with insulating properties like thermal or lined curtains. They can help keep your bedroom cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Color and Pattern: Select colors and patterns that complement your bedroom decor. Choose hues that create a soothing and relaxing ambiance, such as soft neutrals or pastels. If you prefer patterns, consider ones that blend well with your existing furniture and bedding.

Durability: Ensure that the fabric you choose is durable and will withstand regular use. Fabrics like cotton, polyester blends, or synthetic materials tend to be more durable and resistant to fading.

What color curtains go with everything?

Which color curtains go with everything? Neutral curtains in tones such as beige, taupe and gray, as well as white and nearby shades such as ivory and cream can be the go-with-everything choice.

When it comes to choosing curtains that go with everything, neutral colors are your best bet. Neutral shades have a versatile nature that allows them to blend seamlessly with various color schemes and decor styles. Here are some neutral colors that work well for curtains:

White: A classic choice, white curtains provide a clean and fresh look. They go well with any color scheme and can make a space feel airy and bright.

Beige or Cream: These warm neutral tones offer a soft and elegant appearance. They provide a subtle backdrop and work well with both light and dark color palettes.

Gray: Gray curtains provide a contemporary and sophisticated touch. They come in various shades, ranging from light to charcoal, making them adaptable to different styles and color schemes.

Taupe: Taupe is a versatile color that falls between gray and beige. It adds warmth and depth to a room and pairs well with a wide range of colors.

Natural or Earth Tones: Colors like tan, sand, or ivory evoke a sense of nature and can create a calming atmosphere. They work harmoniously with various design themes.

Remember, when selecting neutral curtains, consider factors like fabric texture and opacity to add interest to the overall look. With their ability to complement any palette, neutral-colored curtains provide a safe and timeless option that can adapt to changing styles and preferences over time.

What colour curtains make a room look bigger?

Opt for simple, plain colours to create open, airy space – white, cream, light grey colours. Avoid fussy, short and dark curtains. To make a room seem taller, hang long, floor-to-ceiling curtains.

To create the illusion of a larger space, certain colors for curtains can help visually expand a room. Consider the following options:

Light Colors: Opt for light-colored curtains, such as white, cream, or pastel shades. These hues reflect more light, making the room feel brighter and more spacious. Light colors also create a sense of airiness and openness.

Monochromatic Scheme: Choose curtains that closely match the color of your walls. This creates a seamless visual flow and avoids visual breaks, making the room appear more expansive.

Sheer or Semi-Sheer Fabrics: Sheer curtains allow more natural light to enter the room, giving the illusion of a larger space. Their lightweight and translucent nature create a sense of depth and openness.

Vertical Stripes: Consider curtains with vertical stripes. Vertical lines draw the eye upward, making the ceiling appear higher and the room taller. This visual trick helps create an illusion of increased height and spaciousness.

Avoid Heavy Patterns or Dark Colors: Heavy patterns or dark-colored curtains can make a room feel smaller and more confined. They absorb light and create a visually heavier presence.

Remember that in addition to curtain color, factors like proper lighting, decluttering, and thoughtful furniture placement also contribute to creating a more spacious and open feel in a room.

What are the different curtain styles and how do they impact the overall aesthetic of a room?

There are several curtain styles available, each with its own unique characteristics that can significantly impact the overall aesthetic of a room. Here are some popular curtain styles and their effects:

Rod Pocket: This style features a rod pocket at the top of the curtain panel, allowing the curtain to be gathered and hung directly on a curtain rod. Rod pocket curtains have a casual and simple appearance, making them suitable for relaxed and informal spaces.

Tab Top: Tab top curtains have fabric loops or tabs sewn along the top edge, through which the curtain rod is threaded. They offer a more casual and relaxed look, often associated with bohemian or coastal aesthetics.

Grommet: Grommet curtains have metal rings inserted along the top, through which the curtain rod is threaded. This style creates neat and evenly spaced folds, providing a modern and contemporary appearance. Grommet curtains are often used in minimalist or urban-inspired designs.

Pleated: Pleated curtains feature folds or pleats at the top, created by sewing or pinching the fabric. This style adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to a room. Common pleat styles include pinch pleat, pencil pleat, and goblet pleat. Pleated curtains are versatile and can suit a range of interior styles.

Eyelet/Ring Top: Eyelet curtains have metal rings attached to the top of the fabric, through which the curtain rod is threaded. They offer a clean and modern look, and the rings allow for smooth movement and easy opening and closing of the curtains.

Tabbed Top: Tabbed top curtains have fabric loops or tabs sewn along the top, similar to tab top curtains. However, tabbed top curtains often feature decorative fabric tabs that add visual interest and can complement the room’s decor.

Valances and Swags: Valances and swags are decorative curtain toppers that are often used in conjunction with other curtains or on their own. They add a touch of elegance and can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a room. Valances and swags come in various styles, such as scalloped, pleated, or ruffled.

Which fabric types are best suited for different functional needs, such as privacy or light control?

Different fabric types offer varying levels of privacy and light control, allowing you to choose the best option based on your functional needs. Here are some fabric types and their suitability for specific purposes:

Sheer Fabrics: Sheer fabrics like chiffon, voile, or lace offer minimal privacy as they allow ample light and visibility. They are ideal for spaces where privacy is not a major concern but you still want to filter light and create an airy, ethereal ambiance.

How To Pick Curtains

Semi-Sheer Fabrics: Fabrics with a semi-sheer quality, such as lightweight cotton or linen blends, provide a moderate level of privacy while allowing diffused light to pass through. They strike a balance between privacy and illumination, making them suitable for living rooms or bedrooms where a soft glow is desired.

Light-Filtering Fabrics: Light-filtering fabrics, like cotton or polyester blends, strike a balance between privacy and light control. They provide a soft, diffused light while ensuring a certain level of privacy. These fabrics are suitable for spaces where you want natural light without compromising privacy, such as dining areas or home offices.

Blackout Fabrics: Blackout fabrics, often made of multiple layers or backed with light-blocking material, offer the highest level of light control and privacy. They effectively block out sunlight and provide complete privacy, making them ideal for bedrooms, home theaters, or spaces where you require darkness and privacy, such as nurseries.

Thermal or Insulated Fabrics: Thermal or insulated fabrics have additional properties that help regulate temperature and enhance energy efficiency. These fabrics provide privacy and varying degrees of light control while offering insulation benefits. They are suitable for spaces where you want to maintain a comfortable temperature and reduce outside noise, such as bedrooms or living rooms.

How do I measure windows accurately to ensure the curtains fit properly?

Accurate measurements are crucial to ensure your curtains fit properly and look their best. Here’s a step-by-step guide to measuring windows for curtains:

Use a Measuring Tape: Start by using a measuring tape to measure the width and height of the window opening. Make sure your tape measure is straight and taut for accurate measurements.

Width Measurement: Measure the width across the top of the window frame from one side to the other. For a fuller look, add extra width to the measurement. Adding 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) to the width is a common recommendation for a proper drape and coverage.

Height Measurement: Measure the height from the top of the window frame to the desired length of the curtains. Consider whether you want the curtains to just touch the floor, puddle on the ground, or fall somewhere in between. Add a few inches to the height measurement if you want the curtains to hang above the floor.

Consider Curtain Header and Rod Placement: Take into account the type of curtain header and the position of the curtain rod you plan to use. For example, if you have a rod pocket header, you’ll need to factor in the space required for the rod to pass through the pocket.

Multiple Windows: If you have multiple windows close together, measure each window individually and decide if you want separate curtains for each window or a continuous curtain for the entire window span.

Double Check: Before finalizing your measurements, double check to ensure accuracy. It’s always better to measure twice than to end up with ill-fitting curtains.

Consult a Professional: If you’re uncertain or have complex window configurations, it may be helpful to consult a professional curtain installer or retailer. They can guide you in measuring accurately and provide additional advice based on your specific requirements.

Remember to consider any specific recommendations or guidelines provided by curtain manufacturers or retailers, as they may have their own measurement guidelines based on the type of curtains or desired look. Taking accurate measurements will help you find curtains that fit well and enhance the overall aesthetic of your space.

What are some tips for coordinating curtain colors, patterns, and accessories with existing furnishings?

Coordinating curtain colors, patterns, and accessories with existing furnishings can create a cohesive and harmonious look in your space. Here are some tips to help you achieve a well-coordinated aesthetic:

Consider the Color Palette: Start by identifying the dominant colors in your existing furnishings, such as furniture, rugs, or wall colors. Choose curtain colors that complement or harmonize with these hues. You can opt for curtains in a similar color tone or select complementary or analogous colors for added visual interest.

Balance Patterns: If your existing furnishings already feature bold patterns, consider selecting solid-colored curtains to balance the overall visual impact. On the other hand, if your furnishings are mostly solid, you can introduce patterned curtains to add texture and personality. Aim for a balanced mix of patterns, ensuring they don’t clash or overwhelm the space.

Coordinate or Contrast: Decide whether you want your curtains to coordinate or contrast with your existing furnishings. Coordinating colors create a harmonious and unified look, while contrasting colors can add drama and visual impact. Both approaches can work depending on your design preferences and the overall mood you want to create.

Pay Attention to Scale: Consider the scale of patterns and accessories in relation to your existing furnishings. If your furniture or rugs have large-scale patterns, opt for curtains with smaller or more subtle patterns. Conversely, if your furnishings are more minimalistic, you can introduce curtains with bolder or larger-scale patterns.

Use Accessories to Tie Everything Together: Select curtain accessories, such as curtain rods, tiebacks, or decorative hardware, that complement or match the finishes of your existing furnishings. This helps create a cohesive look and ensures that all elements work together harmoniously.

Test and Experiment: It’s always a good idea to test samples or visualize curtain options in your space before making a final decision. This allows you to see how colors, patterns, and accessories interact with your existing furnishings and helps you make more informed choices.


Selecting the perfect curtains for your home is a process that requires careful consideration of various factors, including functionality, style, fabric, and coordination with existing decor. By following the guidelines and insights provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently embark on the journey of choosing curtains that will enhance the beauty and functionality of your living spaces.

Understanding the needs and purposes of each room is crucial when it comes to curtain selection. Taking into account factors such as privacy, light control, and the overall ambiance you want to create will help you narrow down your options and make choices that align with your specific requirements. Whether it’s blackout curtains for a bedroom or sheer curtains for a sunlit living room, considering the functionality of each space will ensure you make the right decision.

How To Pick Curtains

Exploring various curtain styles allows you to find the perfect match for your aesthetic preferences. From classic tab top curtains to modern grommet or rod pocket styles, there is a wide range of options to choose from. By understanding the unique characteristics of each style, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing look that complements your existing decor.

The fabric choice is another crucial aspect of curtain selection. Different fabrics offer distinct textures, levels of privacy, and light-filtering properties. By considering factors such as maintenance requirements, desired aesthetic, and functional needs, you can choose a fabric that not only looks beautiful but also performs well in your specific environment.


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Sophia is a creative and passionate entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Bubble Slides, a rapidly growing company that designs and produces innovative and eco-friendly children's water slides. She continues to innovate and improve her products, always keeping in mind the well-being of children and the environment.

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