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How to Pick the Right Window Curtains for Your Home

We think of everything ranging from color to style, decor and accessories when dreaming up our image of a ‘perfect home’. Yet we often tend to ignore some of the little things that ultimately make the biggest difference. Window curtains definitely fall into this category and do not generally get the attention that they deserve. Part of it lies in the fact that many homeowners are turning to other window coverings to get the job done. Then there is the factor of ‘budget limitations’, which means it is often stuff like gorgeous window curtains or exquisite carpets that take the fall first!

Add some stripes to the room with drapes [Design: Tobi Fairley Interior Design]

But a curtain can go a long way in elevating the aesthetics and ergonomics of a room and is far more cost-effective than you think. And they definitely should not be an afterthought or an impulsive buy in the overall scheme of things. Choosing the wrong curtains can ruin the appeal of your living room or bedroom and would leave it a duller, more dreary space. To help you avoid this conundrum, here are a few pointers to help you get the basics of curtain shopping spot on –

1. An Extension of the Room

The curtains you choose for your windows must seem like a natural extension of the room. Sounds pretty basic, does it not? But in an attempt to cut down on ‘drapery expenditure’, many homeowners opt for the same curtains in every room. This might work in a few select homes, but it fails in more contemporary residences where each room has a specific theme, style and aura of its own. If it is indeed the costs involved that are stopping you from adding curtains to the windows of your home, start slowly with just the living room. There is no hard and fast rule that all the rooms must have window curtains at the same instant!

Lovely contemporary bedroom in gray with a variety of textures [Design: Tom Stringer Design Partners]
Perfect use of curtains in the exquisite bedroom [Design: Greg Natale]

2. Colors and Contrast

Obviously, when we say ‘an extension of the room’, we do not mean curtains that have the exact same color as the walls of the space. Feel free to use curtains in colors that are different from the ones already existing in the room to give it a different and unique vibe. This works well in themes that range from eclectic and Mediterranean to vintage and even modern. Another popular method is to take a tone-on-tone approach to decorating, which gives the room a monolithic yet intriguing look. If you want a room full of just neutral hues, this is indeed a great choice.

Curtains bring color and elegance to the beach style bedroom [Design: Carter Kay Interiors]
Drapes blend in with the color scheme of the room [Design: Studio KB / Photography by Northlight Photography]

3. Privacy and Views

Picking window curtains is not just about form and beauty alone. In fact, the primary purpose of curtains is to keep away any prying eyes while providing an option to switch between privacy and unabated views with ease. It is here that the curtain fabric and weave become an essential factor, as some offer a lot more privacy than others. While sheer curtains look and feel great and do bring with them visual lightness, they do a poor job in this regard. Add an additional layer of solid curtains along with the sheers to give yourself a wider range of options.

Gorgeous curtains bring an air of femininity to the bedroom [Design: Chloe Warner]
Strike a balance between privacy and natural light [Design: Tom Stringer Design Partners]

4. Ventilation and Insulation

Still reeling from the chill of winter outside? Thermal curtains are a great way of keeping out this cold for good and increasing the energy efficiency of your home’s heating system in the winter months. Adding curtains to the windows (and even doors) gives you an additional layer of insulation and can even bring down your power bills in the long run. Of course, pretty soon the chill outside will disappear and you will be longing to bring the exuberance of spring and warmth of summer indoors. And all you need to do then is draw those curtains back and take in the sights and sounds outside!

Sensational living room paints of a picture of sophistication and luxury! [Design: MH Interior Design]

While we warned you against the use of sheer curtains if privacy is your basic goal, they are great for creating breezy, cheerful spaces that have wonderful natural ventilation. Take into account how adding window curtains affects the flow of natural light in your home and pick a fabric accordingly. Adding heavy drapes that completely block out light in an already dark, cluttered home can be counter-productive and unappealing.

Keeping the curtains simple and elegant in the bedroom [Design: Mary Jo Bowling]
Control the flow of natural light in your home with cool curtains [Photography: Elad Gonen]

5. Pattern with Texture

Are you trying to add some vivacious pattern that will breathe life into your living room? Maybe your bedroom needs an additional plush texture that will add elegance and a hint of romance to the space? Consider these questions before you go shopping for a window curtain. Curtains are an easy way to introduce a fun geometric pattern or a velvety new texture to the room without making major overhauls. With bold, mid-century prints and retro motifs making a comeback recently, maybe your window curtains are the easiest way to keep the interior fresh and on trend!

Curtains add pattern to the room with ease [Design: Amy Lau Design]
Infuse some color into the nursery with bold curtains [Design: Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs]

6. Hang It in Style!

Adding a curtain to your window is not just about picking the best possible option, but also displaying it in the most apt fashion. There are numerous ways that you can hang the window curtain, and the heading of the curtain defines this look. From the cool and contemporary back-tab ripple fold to the more ornate and even Victorian styles that evoke an air of lavishness, the choices here are plenty. Consider carefully the final ambiance of the room, the overall impact of the drapery header and how it plays into the theme of the home before making the final call.

Delicate drapes seem perfect for the Mediterranean living room [Photography: Elad Gonen]
Window curtains define the appeal of this traditional family room [Design: Cravotta Interiors]
Custom curtains add class and beauty to the living room [Design: Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors]

Sherry Nothingam

Sherry is a blogger who loves to live her life to the fullest. She enjoys everything associated with design, décor and stylish modern trends. Born in California, Sherry has grown up on open ranches and in a wild setting, which has defined her taste for design and developed her interest in examining how structures and homes interact with the beauti[...]

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