Decorating Guides

Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Curtains for Your Windows

Whether dramatically drapey or more minimalist, curtains are both functional and decorative elements that can really make a difference in any room.

As well as blocking out direct sunlight and offering you some privacy whenever you wish, they can help you tie the room together, create a consistent palette, and reinforce your décor style.

Obviously, this also means that you shouldn't choose them randomly. Taking some time to figure out exactly what type and style of curtains would work best in your room will really pay off!

The best thing? We've summarized it into a practical curtain buying guide to help you narrow down your choice.

White Interior Design

White Interior Design

Shop The Look

"Digital Backdrop exquisite collection of \"Large Windows\""

White Interior Design

Ava Chandelier - Vintage Bronze

White Interior Design

Identify the right type of curtain model for your needs & room

Before you fall in love with a cute valance only to realize that you actually needed more protection from the sun, let's start by identifying the most popular categories of curtains.

Panel pair

Probably what you usually picture when thinking of curtains, a panel pair simply consists of two curtains on both sides of a window.

They're ideal to ensure a symmetrical look but also to enjoy the most flexibility when it comes to sunlight: depending on what time of the day it is and where the sun is in the sky, you can pull one of the two to avoid a direct glare.

Obviously, this is especially helpful for larger windows.

Modern Living Room Design

Modern Living Room Design

Shop The Look

Lush Decor 2-pack Milo Linen Window Curtain Set, Blue, 52X84

Modern Living Room Design

allen + roth 95-in Navy Color Block Linen Light Filtering Back Tab Single Curtain Panel Polyester in Blue | LN95-981

Modern Living Room Design

La Redoute Interieurs, Vorhang, ONEGAxVELVET (180 x 135 cm)

Modern Living Room Design

50"x60" Mini Diamond Throw Blanket Gray - Design Imports

Modern Living Room Design

Salontafel Dex

Modern Living Room Design

famlights   | Pendelleuchte Sole in Wei E27 3-flammig 120x300mm

Modern Living Room Design

1894 photograph of Va. - Arlington Co. - Fort Myer; looking down street of offic

Modern Living Room Design

Photo: Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, Central Argyll, Scotland, Lake

Modern Living Room Design

Single panel

Instead of two symmetrical panels, you can decide to rely on only one that covers the entire window.

You can find single-panel models for wider windows too, but it's certainly a more obvious choice for smaller or single-pane ones.

This type of curtain will allow you to get creative with an interesting, asymmetrical look which can be a statement in itself, especially in the most contemporary settings.

Light Room

Light Room

Shop The Look

Best Home Fashion Dove Fringed Border Solid Grommet Room Darkening Curtain - 52 in. W x 84 in. L (Set of 2)

Light Room

Dark Grey Solid Grommet Room Darkening Curtain - 52 in. W x 96 in. L (Set of 2)

Light Room

10  Light Gray

Light Room

Valance

Unlike the longest and drapiest models, valances are much shorter curtains that only cover the top part or corners of a window.

They're mainly decorative since they don't offer you the privacy of traditional models, but they can still help you block direct sunlight while ensuring plenty of brightness in that room.

Although you can make them work in any setting, valances are particularly popular in kitchens or even bathrooms where privacy is already ensured by shades or the position of the room in relation to its surroundings.

Traditional Dining Room Design

Traditional Dining Room Design

Shop The Look

Natural Fiber NF924 Hand Woven Indoor Runner Rug - Natural - 2'3"x8' - Safavieh.

Traditional Dining Room Design

Hawthrone Round Pedestal Dining Table Black - Buylateral

Traditional Dining Room Design

Safavieh Gino Arm Chair

Traditional Dining Room Design

Safavieh Gino Arm Chair

Traditional Dining Room Design

Saturday Knight Holden 24 in. L Polyester Tier Curtain in Navy (2-Pack), Blue

Traditional Dining Room Design

Eliza Wood Sideboard in Antique White - Lexicon

Traditional Dining Room Design

6-light Rustic Chandelier Distressed White Wood Bronze Classic French Country Island Dining Room Candlestick Chandelier

Traditional Dining Room Design

Natural Wood Arch Wall Mirror

Traditional Dining Room Design

Window treatment set

If you can't choose between traditional panel curtains and valances, a full window treatment set will give you the best of both worlds.

These sets consist of a top valance and either a panel pair or a single-panel curtain, although some others can include additional elements (such as a rod or tie-backs).

Window treatments are usually chosen in the most decorative or vintage settings.

Dining Room Design

Dining Room Design

Shop The Look

Havertys Barrington Bench

Dining Room Design

Luxurious Silk Stripe 5-piece Window Ensemble, Brown

Dining Room Design

Farmhouse Stripe Yarn Dyed Cotton Window Curtain Panels Neutral 42x84 Set

Dining Room Design

Maddox Dining Chair

Dining Room Design

Surfrider Carved Back Side Chair (Set of 2) - Finish: Driftwood, Zuri Cream

Dining Room Design

La Grange Kruschel Square Back Arm Chair (Set of 2) - Finish: Barn Wood, Oat

Dining Room Design

Mid-century Modern Dining Chair

Dining Room Design

Window scarf

The rarest option out of the ones included in this list, window scarves might still be worth scouting for if you're after a decorative statement rather than actual help blocking the light.

They're fairly similar to a valance but they consist of a long piece of fabric hung from the top of the window in a dramatic way, allowing you to play with either symmetrical or unusual shapes.

Window Scarf

Window Scarf

Shop The Look

Charlton Home Niord Solid Sheer Window Scarf Polyester in Gray, Size 144.0 H in | Wayfair | Home Decor

Window Scarf

Magnolia Flower - Pink and White - White

Window Scarf

Sonja Side Table Finished In Dark Bronze Finish with Glass Table ( Due Back In 18/07/24)

Window Scarf

Safavieh Lighting Collection Blanche Modern White Gourd Ceramic 32inch Bedroom Living Room Home Office Desk Nightstand Table Lamp Set Of 2 Led Bulbs I

Window Scarf

Pair Of 1stdibs Wall Lights / Sconces - Carved Urn Lamps Italian Alabaster

Window Scarf

Choose the type of attachment & pleat

With the most traditional types of curtains (e.g. panels rather than scarves), you might also want to look at the way they attach to the rod.

This can help you better match a specific style and will also result in a different pleat within the actual curtain, influencing the final overall look.

Pleated curtains

If you have traditional or classic interiors or you secretly want to impress everyone with the most majestic feel, you can't go wrong with pleated curtains.

This type of rod attachment offers several different choices.

Pinch or tailored pleat

These curtains couldn't be truer to the name as they're literally stitched and pitched at the very top, letting the folds flow below them and resulting in an elegant look.

This makes them ideal in main rooms such as your living room or bedroom.

Pinch pleat models usually range between two- to five-finger pleats: the higher this number, the fuller your curtains will look. If you're not too sure, stick to three-finger pleats, the most common type.

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

Shop The Look

Mink Faux Linen Extra Wide Room Darkening Curtain (1 Panel), Mink, 100w X 108l, Brown

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

Designers Guild Chinon Made to Measure Curtains or Roman Blind, Coconut

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

John Lewis Cotton Blend Made to Measure Curtains or Roman Blind, Graphite

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

Paula Deen Home Goyito 31" Wide Down Cushion Wingback Chair Wood/Polyester/Cotton/Velvet/Other Performance Fabrics/Fabric Wayfair

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

Yara 36 in. Espresso Half-Moon Particle Board Console Table With Bottom Shelf, Brown

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

1852 Map | Bristol | New Bedford of Bristol County Massachusetts: based on the trigonometrical survey of the state Map | of the city of New Bedford and the village of Fair Haven : Map | of the town of Taunton and Map | o

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

Mid-20th Century Tall Brass Triple Gourd Lamp

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

Christine Beige Square Throw Pillow 18" Square Pillow Cover

Pinch Pleat Single Curtain Panel

Box pleat

In this case, your fabric folds will run deeper but uninterruptedly along the entire length of your curtain: a stylish idea for dining rooms and bedrooms in particular.

Single Curtain Panel

Single Curtain Panel

Shop The Look

Rosalie Faux Linen Window Panel Set - 84 x 54 / Neutral

Single Curtain Panel

Rideau en lin lav doubl en coton Bouchara

Single Curtain Panel

Dunelm Natural W 284cm (112") x D 137cm (54") Luna Brushed Blackout Pencil Pleat Curtains

Single Curtain Panel

Gioiello Round Large Mirror

Single Curtain Panel

Jumbo Collection - Sophie Night Table Top Hand-Carved Italian Wood, Marble

Single Curtain Panel

Safavieh Paris Ceramic Lamp

Single Curtain Panel

Pencil pleat

To make an eye-catching statement while maintaining a more casual feel, you could consider pencil pleat curtains that involve a busier repetition of much thinner single pleats.

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

Shop The Look

, Colin

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

La Redoute Interieurs - Cortinas Anudadas, Scenario

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

La Redoute Interieurs, Vorhang, SCENARIO DUCK (260 x 135 cm)

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

1stdibs Marble 20Th Cenuty Tulip Full Color European Center Table

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

Tulip Chair By Eero Saarinen For Knoll International, 50th Aniversary

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

Knoll Tulip Style Umanoff Chair

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

Dedo A Side Table

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

Mandalin Player Framed Print

Light Gray Single Curtain Panel

Goblet pleat

If you happen to have high ceilings and love hosting more formal parties, you'll probably love goblet pleat curtains.

They involve a very peculiar type of pleat that resembles an actual goblet and results in dramatic double folds.

However, they're also more delicate, so we only recommend them for decorative purposes rather than frequent use.

Room Darkening Curtain Panels

Room Darkening Curtain Panels

Shop The Look

Alaia Mist Curtain Panel, 108" x 40"

Room Darkening Curtain Panels

Eyelet or grommet curtains

As the name suggests, these curtains rely on large eyelets (reinforced with grommets) to attach the fabric to the rod.

As well as making it a breeze to open and close the curtains, this functional model will also offer you a more minimalist type of top-window statement rather than more decorative valances.

Eyelet curtains are particularly handy in bedrooms and popular in contemporary or modern settings.

Solid Blackout Grommet Curtain Panels

Solid Blackout Grommet Curtain Panels

Shop The Look

Set of 2 (120"x52") Catarina Layered Solid Room Darkening Grommet Top Curtain Panels Light Gray - Exclusive Home

Solid Blackout Grommet Curtain Panels

Lark Manor Fortuna Brockham Solid Tulle Overlay Room Darkening Grommet Curtain Panels Polyester | 63 H x 52 W in | Wayfair | Home Decor

Solid Blackout Grommet Curtain Panels

Cortina Blackout Tecido com Voial Sala Quarto Solaris 4.00m X 2.50m:off White

Solid Blackout Grommet Curtain Panels

Cuscino in piuma Eco Deluxe Imperial 3C - 50x70 / Medium

Solid Blackout Grommet Curtain Panels

Solid oak Nightstand with drawer / Mid century bedside / Natural oiled wood / Minimalist / Modern /

Solid Blackout Grommet Curtain Panels

Poduszka Z Pierza

Solid Blackout Grommet Curtain Panels

Watercolor blue hydrangea art print, floral art print, watercolor hydrangea painting, watercolor floral painting, watercolor blue flower art

Solid Blackout Grommet Curtain Panels

Rod-pocket

This category involves a top pocket sewn into the fabric and through which you can easily slide the rod.

Rod-pocket curtains are mainly made of lightweight fabrics, which is why they're often paired up with a valance or a second layer.

Rod Pocket Single Curtain Panel

Rod Pocket Single Curtain Panel

Shop The Look

No. 918 1-Panel Jacob Tab Top Window Curtain, Pink, 40X63

Rod Pocket Single Curtain Panel

John Lewis Cotton Rib Lined Eyelet Curtains, Putty, W 228 D 182 Cm, Rrp 95.

Rod Pocket Single Curtain Panel

1pc Semi-transparent Polyester Linen Curtain, Suitable For Bedroom, Living Room, Kitchen, Dining Room, Warehouse And Home Decoration

Rod Pocket Single Curtain Panel

Vintage Industrial Stool

Rod Pocket Single Curtain Panel

Capiz-Shell 1-Light Pendant

Rod Pocket Single Curtain Panel

Tab-top

Relying on fabric loops to attach themselves to the rod, these curtains usually result in a flatter look which makes them ideal for patterned or printed designs.

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

Shop The Look

Clean Window Waffle Texture Anti-Dust Semi-Sheer Window Curtain, White, 52X96

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

Fusion Natural Strata Dim out woven Eyelet Single Panel Curtain -  natural

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

Rideau thermique uni effet velours mat Bouchara

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

Hagen Terai Folding Chair

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

Danpinera 2 Tier Metal Side Table with Removable Tray,Round End Table Outdoor Small Patio Accent Table,Anti-Rust Nightstand - Green, Size:15.7 in

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

Jamie Young - Clay Art In Acrylic Box

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

8 Sheer Pot ()

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

2 Sets Semi Hydroponics Pot Indoor Self Absorbed Watering Planter Pot Semi Hydroponics Flower Pot Colorful Flower Pot for Bathroom Decor (Green+Pink)

Tab Top Single Curtain Panel

Hidden tab

This is a great compromise between rod-pocket and tab-top models: hidden-tab curtains still rely on loops but, thanks to an additional decorative layer of fabric, they're kept out of sight.

Given the cozy feel that this creates, hidden-tab curtains are popular in country and traditional settings, but you can also make them work in more contemporary rooms.

Geometric Curtain Panels

Geometric Curtain Panels

Shop The Look

Nicole Miller New York 2-pack Hexa Geometric Print Hidden Tab Top Window Curtains, Blue, 54X84

Geometric Curtain Panels

Exclusive Home Kochi Light Filtering Linen Blend Grommet Top Curtain Panel Pair, 54"x84", Teal

Geometric Curtain Panels

Eetkamerstoel Yuna - Grijs - Teddy/metaal - Set van 2

Geometric Curtain Panels

Measure the correct length

The optimal length of your curtains will ultimately depend on that of your window. However, you can also keep in mind the type of effect that you'd like to achieve.

Float

With this popular solution, your fabric will dangle just above the floor. The safest trick is to allow around one inch in between your panel bottom and the floor surface.

Grommet Curtain Panels

Grommet Curtain Panels

Shop The Look

Cortina Blackout Blecaute Janela Pvc 2,80 X 160m Varo Avel

Grommet Curtain Panels

Linder - Rideau  ?illets Calypso occultant et thermique 140 x 280 cm - Beige

Grommet Curtain Panels

Cortina Corta Luz de Tecido 5,40x2,60m Marfim -Cortina Cortina

Grommet Curtain Panels

1stdibs Armchair - Arms Made Of Brassy Wood 1960S Italian Mid-Century Modern Cotton, Beech

Grommet Curtain Panels

Kiss

If you want to enhance your room's symmetry by having your curtains actually graze the floor, you'll need to measure them to the millimeter (taking hardware and rings or type of attachment into account) to ensure that they do so precisely.

Living Room With Cement Wall

Living Room With Cement Wall

Shop The Look

Ecksofa ROX

Living Room With Cement Wall

Patterned Orb Finial - Matt Black

Living Room With Cement Wall

PRODUCT - Grounders Double Sided Yoga Mats - Grounders

Living Room With Cement Wall

Ringgordijn - Jadon Pauw

Living Room With Cement Wall

Puddle

Not the most practical option, but certainly the most dramatic!

If you don't use your heavy curtains every day and are hoping for the most majestic setting (for example, in a room used for formal gatherings), have them slightly longer so that they flare out as they touch the floor.

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

Shop The Look

1pc

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

La Redoute Interieurs, Vorhang, SCENARIO DUCK (260 x 135 cm)

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

, Montego

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

Wade Logan Airan Natural/Ivory Area Rug White 132.0 in, Wool | Wayfair Canada

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

Haute House - Genevive Tufted Chair

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

Slipcover for Dining Chair - Tailored Fit / Premium Stretch Chenille / Coffee

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

vidaXL-Gordijnen-verduisterend-2-st-met-haken-140x245-cm-fluweel-crme

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

Sadie 5-Light Satin Nickel Chandelier

Spacious Dining Room In White Tones

Sill

For smaller windows and, especially, those that you use almost every day, it might be more practical to opt for the same height as your window sill (or only just above it).

This is particularly handy in kitchens, bathrooms, and settings where you have a larger piece of furniture below your window (such as a sofa or chest of drawers) that would get in the way of floor-length designs.

Kitchen Design

Kitchen Design

Shop The Look

Baxton Studio Lanier Counter Stool 2-Piece Set, Grey

Kitchen Design

Baxton Studio Lanier Counter Stool 2-Piece Set, Grey

Kitchen Design

EVERGLADE HOME Jarvis 43.25 in. Warm Merlot Full Back Wood Frame Dining Bar Stool with Faux Leather Seat (Set of 2)

Kitchen Design

1-Light Oil Rubbed Bronze Pendant

Kitchen Design

Alaia Mist Curtain Panel, 96" x 40"

Kitchen Design

American Light Luxury Chenille Curtains for Living Room Bedroom Study Pastoral Dark Flower Brown Thick Textured Customized - curtains / W250cmxH250cm 1pc / Grommet Top

Kitchen Design

Hunter Cypress Grove 1 Light Brushed Nickel Island Pendant Light with Clear Holophane Glass Shade Dining Room Light

Kitchen Design

bel Air Lighting 9282 Rob Aspen Oil Rubbed Bronze Hanging Kitchen Pendant Light

Kitchen Design

Apron

This is a crafty option to elongate the look of smaller windows, enhancing a vertical effect.

Apron curtains are, in fact, hung slightly higher than the top of the window and they extend a few inches below its sill. They're especially used in modern and vintage rooms as well as nurseries.

Vintage Style Window

Vintage Style Window

Shop The Look

Kate Summer Backdrop Outside Window Designed by Chain Photography - 10x8ft(3x2.5m)

Vintage Style Window

Capim Dos Pampas Decorao Escritrio Sala Quarto 5 Hastes

Vintage Style Window

edohnd vza Organic Rex

Vintage Style Window

Gourd Vase - Finish: Imperial White; Size: Small

Vintage Style Window

JR William - Joseph Vase in Hamptons White

Vintage Style Window

PureCare Celliant Pillow Protector, White, Standard

Vintage Style Window

, Elina

Vintage Style Window

38cm Silicone Bottle Brush Black

Vintage Style Window

Valances

The measurement side of things is obviously very different for valances since these models aren't expected to cover the entire length of the window.

In that case, just opt for a valance that's between one-sixth and one-quarter of its height to maintain a balanced look.

Rustic Nursery Design

Rustic Nursery Design

Shop The Look

Delta Children Perry 6-in-1 Convertible Crib - Walnut Espresso

Rustic Nursery Design

Oxford Baby Nolan 4-in1 Convertible Crib - Espresso

Rustic Nursery Design

Delta Children Benbridge Nursery Glider Swivel Rocker Chair, Beige

Rustic Nursery Design

Moroccan Handmade rug, Beni ourain style Morocco wool Berber Rug, modern rug, Hand woven rug, Azilal Berber style - colorful Rug Morocco

Rustic Nursery Design

VidaXL, Massageliege + Massagesessel, Irodotos

Rustic Nursery Design

Before bed Originals Jungle Fun Window Valance

Rustic Nursery Design

5-Shelf Bookcase - Mocha Cherry

Rustic Nursery Design

Hudson Baby Plush Blanket with Security Blanket, Unisex Owl

Rustic Nursery Design

Keep the optimal width in mind

While this factor is often overlooked especially when compared to curtain length, it's actually helpful to consider the estimated width of your model as it can influence the final result.

As a rule of thumb, aim for curtains that are twice as wide as your actual window.

However, consider what effect you'd like to create:

  • Curtains that are as wide or only slightly wider than your window will result in a flatter, more minimalist look and are only recommended for pleat-free designs

  • Much wider curtains will have thicker folds and, therefore, a more dramatic effect

Figure out if you need additional features for different functions

Now that we've got a good idea as to what categories you can choose from and what dimensions you should aim for, it's helpful to consider your curtains' function before moving onto the fun part (colors and styles).

Duh, we know that you're going to use them to block sunlight, but trust us: there are a few points that you might regret overlooking.

Opacity

Ask yourself whether you want that room to still be fairly bright even when the curtains are closed as well as whether or not you're after some privacy.

Your main options are:

Sheer curtains: these semi-transparent fabrics allow the most sunlight in while still helping you avoid a direct glare, so you can consider introducing them in a room that you'd like to keep full of light like a dining room or a sunroom

Modern Bedroom

Modern Bedroom

Shop The Look

1pc White Yarn Curtain, Window Treatment For Balcony Bedroom Office Kitchen Living Room Study Home Decor

Modern Bedroom

Arm & Hammer Arm and Hammer Neutralizing Tier Set

Modern Bedroom

Eastern Accents - Kolette Embroidered Border Super King Duvet Cover

Modern Bedroom

White Tulle Sheer Curtains for Living Room Window Voile Curtain for Bedroom Home Door Decoration Kitchen Voile Organza Drapes - White Sheer Curtain / W200cmxH250cm 1PC / Rod pocket

Modern Bedroom

Signoria Firenze - 400-Thread Count Cotton King Pillowcases, Set of 2

Modern Bedroom

Par de Fundas De Almohada Tamao Estndar Algodn Bsico 200, Tejido Percl -15 Colores A Elegir

Modern Bedroom

Plastic Lamp - White

Modern Bedroom

Blackout curtains: as the name suggests, they don't allow any light in when you close them as they're made of much heavier materials and often feature built-in linings. Since they offer you the most privacy, they're a popular option in bedrooms but can easily be introduced in other rooms where you want to be able to create a darker mood when needed (e.g. to watch a film)

Dark Curtains

Dark Curtains

Shop The Look

Tuerstopper Edelstahl 2er Set gummiert

Dark Curtains

Striped Polo

Dark Curtains

Semi-opaque curtains: this is a handy compromise between the other two. They provide more privacy than sheer curtains but aren't quite as light-blocking as blackout models. However, they can still be combined with linings, should you wish to.

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Shop The Look

Cortina xale Moscou 2,50x2,10m verde | Casa Riachuelo

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Woven Texture Pair of Eyelet Curtains - Silver / 66" wide x 72" drop

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Linen Blackout Curtains 120 Inches (10 Ft) Long 2 Panels 50''w X 120''l Beige

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Eichholtz - Feraud Armchair in Clarck Sand

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Issac Armchair

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Dywan Michel Vintage Kremowy, circle 80 cm

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Original Abstract Painting by Helen Butler | Abstract Art on Canvas | Being in Colour

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Artek Stool - Alvar Aalto Model 60 1960S Finnish Scandinavian Modern Birch

Window Curtains In Stylish Room Interior

Insulation

If you have drafty windows or you live in a particularly cold/hot climate, it'd be wise to look for curtains that offer a higher degree of insulation:

  • In most cases, it can be enough to look for heavier fabrics such as velvet or strong synthetic options

  • For the best results, you can always invest in thermal curtains that hide an additional layer of foam or mylar without compromising on looks

Thermal Curtain Panels

Thermal Curtain Panels

Shop The Look

Room Darkening Window Curtains For Bedroom, Thermal Insulated, Energy Saving

Thermal Curtain Panels

BGment Blackout Curtains for Bedroom 63 Inch Length 2 Panels Set, Thermal Insulated Bedroom Curtains Soundproof Room Darkening Window Curtain Drapes, Each Grommet Curtains 42 Inch Wide, Spa Blue

Thermal Curtain Panels

, Scenario

Thermal Curtain Panels

Eetkamerstoel Lucy Wit Kunststof | Cavetown

Thermal Curtain Panels

Pair Of 2 Gabriella Crespi Vases - Restored Reed Wicker Decorative Styled - Rattan

Thermal Curtain Panels

Noise reduction

Light sleeper? Living in a bustling urban environment? You can save yourself some stress by looking for soundproof curtains.

They obviously can't work miracles, but they can still absorb up to 75% of these noises (which is pretty close to it, if you ask us).

Choose the material of your curtains

The material will influence the level of opaqueness of your curtains but also the overall feel of your window area.

Cotton

Classic cotton is still one of the most popular curtain fabrics, especially as a semi-opaque option.

Cotton curtains are often paired up with other materials to create a different style or result, such as a heavier lining for increased privacy.

They're available in a wide variety of styles and they're easy to clean and maintain.

Cotton Solid Semi Sheer Curtain Panel

Cotton Solid Semi-Sheer Curtain Panel

Shop The Look

TemuTapis De Patio En Lin Premium Tress, Tapis De Salon Non Toxique Et Inoffensif, Magnifique Tapis De Bienvenue Naturel Pour L'entre, Accessoires De Maison, Dcoration De La Pice

Cotton Solid Semi Sheer Curtain Panel

Farmhouse Kitchen Curtains 36 Inch Length Set for Window Over Sink Cafe Curtains 2 Panel Set Neutral Short Light Filtering Sheer Small Window Treatment Tiers Curtain for Basement Camper 26Wx36L

Cotton Solid Semi Sheer Curtain Panel

Valerani Sandstone Sofa by Ashley Furniture

Cotton Solid Semi Sheer Curtain Panel

Pure Extra Long Curtains 108 Inches Long For Living Room 52"w X 108"l White

Cotton Solid Semi Sheer Curtain Panel

38" Garret Solid Square Coffee Table Rustic Natural Aged Brown - WyndenHall

Cotton Solid Semi Sheer Curtain Panel

Zinger 38 in. W 8-Light Oil Rubbed Bronze Chandelier with No Shades

Cotton Solid Semi Sheer Curtain Panel

Amity Home Ellen Velvet Curtain 100% Cotton in White, Size 108.0 H in | Wayfair | Home Decor

Cotton Solid Semi Sheer Curtain Panel

Simpli Home Kitchener Solid Wood 21 in. Wide Square Contemporary End Side Table in Farmhouse Grey

Cotton Solid Semi Sheer Curtain Panel

Linen

Still fairly casual but slightly heavier, linen curtains are another stylish option that balances brightness and privacy.

While it can be considered more sophisticated, keep in mind that linen isn't as easy to clean as cotton and, due to its rough texture, it can attract more dust: maybe consider using these curtains in airier environments only?

Linen Curtain Panel

Linen Curtain Panel

Shop The Look

, Colin

Linen Curtain Panel

2 Piece Semi Sheer Voile Window Curtain Drapes Grommet Panels for Bedroom, Living Room & Kids Room - Charcoal grey

Linen Curtain Panel

CUCRAF Linen Curtains 108 Inch Length 2 Panels Set, Farmhouse Light Filtering Natural Linen Rod Pocket Sheer Window Curtain Drapes for Living Room/Bedroom, 52 x 108 inch, Navy Blue

Linen Curtain Panel

Midcentury Show Wood Highback Chair Chunky Boucle Sand Natural Oak

Linen Curtain Panel

Posy Coffee Table Size Small in 17037 by Iniko

Linen Curtain Panel

Grey Paradox - Picture Frame Painting Print on Paper

Linen Curtain Panel

Giovani Cotton Blanket

Linen Curtain Panel

Calathea Orbifolia - Pauwenplant 21cm 70cm - Verse Kamerplant, Direct van de Nederlandse Kweker

Linen Curtain Panel

Burlap

Fairly similar to linen, burlap introduces an element of coziness and rustic charm that's perfect in rural or country settings.

Burlap Curtain Panels

Burlap Curtain Panels

Shop The Look

2-pack Linen Curtain Panels

Burlap Curtain Panels

, Nyong

Burlap Curtain Panels

Burlap Curtain, Standard or Custom Sizes Made to Order, Best Quality, The Sand Dune Curtain' with FREE Jute Tieback

Burlap Curtain Panels

Emerald Kunstplant olijfboom mini 65 cm

Burlap Curtain Panels

ca. 1950 photograph of Isfahan, Iran: Dome of the Lutfullah Mosque by Shah Abbas

Burlap Curtain Panels

Natural Straw Round Ottoman Tatami Cushion Floor Chair Cushion Yoga Meditation Round Japanese Sitting Pad - Tatami Cushion / SPAIN

Burlap Curtain Panels

Polyester and synthetic fabrics

Synthetic options are a practical, versatile choice that might be right for you if budget is your main concern.

These curtains mimic the effect of natural fabrics and are available in a wide range of patterns and colors. Psst: they're also the easiest ones to keep clean.

Polyester Curtain Panels

Polyester Curtain Panels

Shop The Look

John Lewis Textured Weave Recycled Polyester Thermal Lined Eyelet Door Curtain

Polyester Curtain Panels

Dunelm Ochre (Yellow) W 117cm (46") x D 137cm (54") Berlin Blackout Eyelet Curtains

Polyester Curtain Panels

POLSPOTTEN Peggy Stoel

Polyester Curtain Panels

Coaster Home Furnishings Mathis Sheesham Grey Sled Base Accent Cabinet

Polyester Curtain Panels

Esschert Design Terrarium-Flasche L, 18.5 x 41.3 cm

Polyester Curtain Panels

Ib Laursen -Leinenkissenbedeckung - Moosgrn

Polyester Curtain Panels

Bison Struggle Art

Polyester Curtain Panels

Galenna III (Large) 10L x 10W Black Metal Circular Decorative Orb | Mercana

Polyester Curtain Panels

Lace

This is one of the most popular materials when it comes to sheer curtains.

It doesn't really provide much privacy, but it's the best fabric for a bright and airy feel.

Don't forget that you can still pair up your lace curtains with a liner or another layer of a different fabric to get the best of both worlds.

Lace Curtain Panels

Lace Curtain Panels

Shop The Look

2 pcs Deconovo Sheer Knitted Plaid Curtain

Lace Curtain Panels

1 Panel Boho Style Semi-transparent Hollow Curtain With White Fringe Bedroom Living Room Kitchen Dining Room Balcony Decor, 3inch Rod Bag

Lace Curtain Panels

1pc Beige Wave Hanging Fringe Window Sheer Curtain Home Decor

Lace Curtain Panels

Brown Handmade Wrapped Seagrass Decorative Vase

Lace Curtain Panels

Velvet

If you were hoping for the most drapey and sophisticated result, stick to elegant velvet curtains.

They're perfect for long models and majestic or formal settings. Plus, because this material helps block drafts and reduce noise, it's handy in colder rooms and bedrooms of light sleepers.

However, you'll need to have your velvet curtains professionally cleaned.

Luxury Bedroom Interior

Luxury Bedroom Interior

Silk

Silk is the semi-sheer option par excellence when it comes to curtains, although you can still find thinner and thicker models.

It will immediately achieve a luxurious feel, but keep in mind that you'll also need to have it professionally cleaned.

Elegant Living Room

Elegant Living Room

Shop The Look

64 in. Recessed or Wall-Mount Electric Fireplace, 3-Sided Fireplace, Black

Elegant Living Room

Excellent zwevend tv meubel met 3 kleppen te verkrijgen op kleur naar wens - 120cm tot 400cm

Elegant Living Room

Safavieh HIM610K-5 5 ft. x 8 ft. Rectangle, Shag Himalaya Grey Hand Loomed Rug

Elegant Living Room

Larkbury London - Spencer 2.5 Seater Sofa in Nobili Silver Velvet & Ebony Light Wood

Elegant Living Room

Fleece Throw 150x200cm - Grey

Elegant Living Room

AndMakers Vezzana 32 in. White/Brown Medium Square Marble Coffee Table

Elegant Living Room

Choose a curtain style that works with the rest of the room

Here's the thing: it's easy to start browsing different types of curtains and instantly fall in love with a hue or pattern. However, the fact that it looks great on its own doesn't mean that it will be the same once you introduce it into that specific setting!

In fact, you should consider your curtains in relation to the rest of the room, both when it comes to palettes and your overall décor style.

Colors & palette

Identify your room's palette first and keep the 60-30-10 rule in mind:

  • 60% is your primary color (e.g. walls, rugs, and larger pieces of furniture)

  • 30% is your secondary color (e.g. smaller chairs, painted furniture pieces, and curtains)

  • 10% is your accent color (e.g. artwork and smaller decorative items like throw pillows)

Since your curtains fall within that 30%, it would be wise to choose the same color as the other elements in that category. For example, if you have a light-blue chair next to a sofa in a neutral hue, you could opt for light-blue curtains.

However, you can easily use your accent color too, especially if you have shorter curtains.

The only thing that we advise against is to stick to your primary color: in fact, having curtains in a very similar shade as your wall means that they won't really pop.

Monochrome or patterned?

This choice will also depend on your décor style, which we're literally about to cover in the next section (exciting!). Still, we thought we'd give you a little heads up:

  • Monochrome curtains are the safest choice in rooms that are already heavily decorated or that rely on patterned wallpaper. They're also popular in more contemporary and minimalist settings

  • Patterned curtains will pop against a monochrome neutral wall. They can also help you tie the room together when they rely on at least one of your main colors or if the same pattern is repeated elsewhere (e.g. a piece of artwork). Depending on what pattern style you opt for, these curtains can allow you to emphasize your décor style even more explicitly

Décor styles

Can you imagine a busy curtain pattern in a minimalist room? Or a dark monochrome curtain in a delicate shabby chic setting? Neither can we.

When you choose among different types of curtains, you should consider the overall style of your interiors, too. Sure, the palette alone will be a pivotal factor, but here are some useful points that we thought you could find helpful:

  • In contemporary rooms, it's common to choose either monochrome or printed models that rely on a symmetrical pattern

  • Modern curtains can be more decorative. While solid colors are always a versatile option, you can experiment with different patterns depending on what decade or period you're drawing inspiration from. For example, geometric shapes characterize mid-century modern interiors, whereas bolder trapezoidal and zigzagged motifs are a must with art deco

Mid Century Modern Dining Room Design

Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Design

  • When it comes to curtains, nothing screams minimalism more than a solid design! If you want to experiment a little more without running the risk of ruining this streamlined inspiration, consider simple models with limited elements (for example, a clean line running alongside the floor surface, or a second solid color towards the bottom)

  • Minimalist curtains work well in Scandinavian settings too, but try and stick to a natural palette: for example, yellow, gray, dark blue, brown, or forest green. You're freer to get creative with patterns too. If your Scandinavian interiors mainly draw inspiration from these countries' streamlined design, choose circles and geometric shapes. If, on the contrary, you admire their connection to nature, look for flora or fauna patterns such as trees or stags.

Scandinavian Style

Scandinavian Style

Shop The Look

Alefiyah Jacquard Eyelet Curtains

Scandinavian Style

Brilliant Allie LED ceiling light, 59.5 x cm

Scandinavian Style

Sutton Console Table - White - Safavieh.

Scandinavian Style

Artificial Dracaena Growers Pot Table Decor, Green

Scandinavian Style

Tolix Marais Stool - BLACK / COUNTER HEIGHT

Scandinavian Style

Porta Caneta Aramado Preto Imantado Meia Lua Brw - Or5171

Scandinavian Style

Droogbloemen boeket Yellow XL - Droogboeket - 70 cm

Scandinavian Style

1stdibs Wicker, Wood 1950S Rustic Portuguese Decorative Basket

Scandinavian Style

  • In shabby chic rooms, the more decorative your curtains, the better! That's why ornate window treatment sets and valances are especially popular with this style. As for colors, choose white, pink, or a delicate pattern that combines them. Floral motifs are also a beloved feminine choice

  • The most decorative curtains will work astonishingly in French country settings too, but you can easily play with darker colors and bolder patterns. However, don't stray away from harmonious lines and delicate elements

  • In a farmhouse room, you want to emphasize the feeling of casual coziness and airy environments. You can do so with neutral curtains, burlap models, or the most recognizable chequered designs

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

Shop The Look

Crafted Bookcase - Finish: Tobacco Leaf

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

Kate Aurora Modern Farmhouse 2 Piece Large Buffalo Plaid Check Rod Pocket Curtains - 63 in - Linen/Taupe

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

Hillsdale Furniture Tuscan Retreat  Wood Medium Granite Top Kitchen Island w/ Two Baskets - 34H X 41W X 23D

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

Brown Farmhouse Large Wall Clock

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

Simplihome 30 inch Metal Bar Stool, Rayne, White - Set of 4

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

1pc, Xyz Retro Nostalgic Wall Letter Wall Pendant Decoration Iron And Wood Combination Cover Painting Net Bar Bar Wall Hanging

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

Baby Tears Arrangement Potted

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

Cornucopia Brands Round Natural Wood Baskets, 2pk; Wooden Fruit Buckets w/ Handle for Farmer's Market, Easter, Hostess Gift

Farmhouse Kitchen Design

  • For a raw industrial feel, darker and neutral curtains in solid colors or very simple patterns seem to be the best choice, especially when featuring noticeable eyelets
Industrial Dining Room Design

Industrial Dining Room Design

Shop The Look

Gradient GDT04 Abstract Basalt Area Rug - Basalt / 7'9 x 9'9 / Rectangle

Industrial Dining Room Design

Exclusive Fabrics & Furnishings Semi-Opaque Neutral Grey Grommet Room Darkening Curtain - 50 in. W x 108 in. L (1 Panel)

Industrial Dining Room Design

1stdibs Coffee / Cocktail Table - Vintage Style American Industrial Steel, Pine

Industrial Dining Room Design

Large Industrial Shelve With Ladder 80 Inches Tall

Industrial Dining Room Design

Light Reducing Curtain Panels Window Draperies - (color) 52x84 W52 X L84 Grey

Industrial Dining Room Design

8 in. Brown Low Back Metal Frame Counter Height Stool Chair with Wooden Seat

Industrial Dining Room Design

Sanford Cinnamon & Espresso Ladder Back Counter Height Stools (Set Of 2)

Industrial Dining Room Design

Wyndahl  Rustic Brown Dining Chair

Industrial Dining Room Design

  • For maritime lovers, white and light-blue will help you complement your coastal feel, whereas don't be afraid to go darker (e.g. navy blue) if you were hoping for a more nautical approach. Patterns like ships, wheels, and anchors are another stylish trick
Coastal Kids Bedroom Design

Coastal Kids Bedroom Design

  • If you have a bohemian room, your curtains can be the chance to showcase your spontaneous spirit and global inspiration. As long as you have neutral and monochrome walls, look for the craziest and most eye-catching pattern involving at least one bold shade or ethnic prints. Window treatment sets, valances, and noticeable pleats are also popular with this style
Bohemian Office Design

Bohemian Office Design

Shop The Look

Lian 2 Drawer Writing Desk with Brown Undertone Gray - Treasure Trove Accents

Bohemian Office Design

Bow Back Side Chair in Brown - Liberty Furniture

Bohemian Office Design

Amanti Art Framed Canvas Seville I FB Spice by Kathrine Lovell, Grey, 16X16

Bohemian Office Design

Brigands Table Lamp - Finish: Antique Gold, Black, Whitewash

Bohemian Office Design

Linmore Side Table

Bohemian Office Design

VINTAGE HOME 30 in. Artificial H Real Touch Agave

Bohemian Office Design

FAQs on different types of curtains

Should my curtains be floor length?

Whether or not your curtains should be floor length really depends on your personal preference: floor-length curtains help you enhance the verticality of your window area and achieve a more elegant or symmetrical feel. However, they might need to be washed more often, especially if they're fair or white.

We don't recommend floor-length curtains if your window is located behind a bulky piece of furniture that would get in the way whenever you want to close them (unless, of course, you only do so occasionally).

What's the best curtain fabric for a sunroom?

The best curtain fabric for a sunroom is lace. Being the most popular sheer fabric, it will allow plenty of sunlight into your room even when the curtains are pulled close.

Can I wash curtains in the washing machine?

Whether or not you can wash curtains in the washing machine really depends on the type of fabric. For example, cotton, lace, some linen curtains, and those made of synthetic fabrics can usually be washed in your machine.

However, we still recommend checking their labels to be on the safe side when it comes to a specific model.

More delicate curtains like velvet or silk cannot be machine washed and should always be cleaned professionally.

How often should I wash curtains?

For the best results and to avoid buildups of dust, you should wash your curtains every six months or, even better, once per season.

That's why, unless you don't mind organizing to have it done professionally, it's more practical to opt for materials like cotton or polyester rather than fancier but more delicate fabrics (e.g. velvet).

Do curtains crease?

Curtains can crease after washing them and, in the long run, once you hang them, but it's worth noting that it happens less when you opt for heavier fabrics.

With some other materials, you can easily leave them that way: for example, linen is famous for being wrinkly.

However, if you find it distracting, you can iron or steam your curtains to get rid of these creases (check their labels or manufacturer instructions first to avoid ruining them, though).

Should I have curtains in my kitchen?

Curtains can be both a good and bad idea in a kitchen.

In fact, they can absorb smells and cooking odors, so we don't recommend them in the smallest ones. On the contrary, they can be a stylish idea in larger and open-plan kitchens that are well-ventilated.

If you're not too sure or your kitchen is medium-sized, a good compromise is to opt for smaller valances: that way, you'll still have a decorative statement and a chance to block direct sunlight, but you won't have long drapey curtains in the way when cooking.

What are some trending living room curtain patterns?

Some of the best trending curtain patterns for the living room are those involving saturated tones, natural prints, oriental styles, and a white design.

However, unless you're planning on changing them every year, we mainly recommend choosing a curtain pattern and color that work well with the style of your room rather than one that follows a temporary trend.

Foter is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.

SHARE

Related content

Our Editors