Choosing the Right Curtains for Your New Home

Contemporary living room with sofa and ornaments in front of large window with yellow curtains.

This contemporary living room uses yellow curtains to enhance other décor in the room. Knowing how to choose the right curtains for a room will elevate its style factor.

Even though curtains can be the design element that makes a room work, they are one of the most overlooked aspects of home décor.

Choosing the right curtains for your space can help you tie together other décor in the room, make the space feel larger and can help achieve your desired décor theme or feeling. By choosing curtains with the right fabric, length and color, you can add the perfect finishing touch to your new home.

Choosing the Right Curtain Fabric

Curtains have a functional purpose in your home in addition to looking pretty. Designer Ashley Marino, of Ashley Marino Designs in Fort Worth, Texas, says you should choose your curtain fabric based on the room’s function.

“If you want to keep a bedroom dark for sleeping, you will want a thicker fabric and a style that covers the whole window,” Marino says.” If you enjoy waking up to light leaking through your space, you’ll want a fabric that is lighter to allow more light through.”

Colorful infographic with three steps for choosing curtains for new home, including 1) pick the right fabric, 2) pick the right length and 3) choose the right color.Curtains increase the privacy of a room and filter out bright light, so before you go curtain hunting, you need to decide how much light you want in your room and what kind of fabric can help you achieve this desired amount of light.

In rooms where more privacy is wanted, like a bedroom, you can go for heavier fabrics such as velvet, canvas and muslin. For rooms such as living rooms and kitchens, where you want to have plenty of natural light, opt for lighter weight fabrics like satin, nylon, chintz and calico.

When choosing the right curtain fabric, you should keep in mind that the amount of light a room receives has a direct impact on how spacious it feels. For small rooms that you want to feel larger, opt for curtains with lighter-weight fabrics to let in more light and take up less visual real estate. Heavier fabrics are great options for rooms that feel harsh because of all the sunlight they receive or in rooms that you want to feel cozy or moody.

Choosing the Right Curtain Length

Curtains are a significant visual design element in any room and their length has a major visual impact on how big that room feels. You do not need to place your curtain rod right above the windows and have the hem of the curtain end right at the windowsill. The closer to the ceiling you hang a curtain, the taller and more spacious a room feels. The same goes for the lower the curtain hem hangs below the windowsill.

Before you bust out your tape measure, you need to know how you want your room to feel. If your home has a two-story great room, curtains can create a polished look.

“I’ve seen treatments that are above the top set of windows that cascade all the way down to the floor,” Marino says. “This is ideal if you’re wanting to go for a look that is more formal.”

Dramatic floor-to-ceiling curtains work great in rooms that already have high ceilings; however, shorter ceilings need more traditional curtains to help make them feel warm and cozy.

When trying to make a small room feel larger by manipulating your curtain’s length, hang the curtain rod high, but have the hem stop at the windowsill. Try to avoid having the curtain hem hit the floor, especially if you used a heavy fabric, as this can make the room feel crowded.

Choosing the Right Curtain Color

Like all décor aspects in a room, Marino says the color of your curtains should “be a stylistic element of the space” that helps achieve your desired tone for the space and that works with the other design elements. When choosing the right color for your curtains, first decide if you want your curtains to pop or blend into the background. After that, look at your existing color palette and think about which aspects of that palette helps achieve your desired look.

If you want your curtains to stand out, look at the accent colors you have chosen for your palette and choose the dominant color. (If you painted your walls a bright color, neutral curtains — especially white linens — can make a beautiful statement.) For curtains that blend into the background, look at the neutral bases of your color palette and choose ones that frame your windows without looking too ostentatious.

When choosing a curtain color, remember that sunlight can fade them. Bold patterns and bright colors tend to fade faster than darker ones, especially on delicate fabrics. If you love vibrant hues, consider hanging a curtain liner in between the window and curtain to prevent fading and to preserve your curtain.

Decorating your new home is fun, but by the time it comes to pick curtains, you might feel tempted to grab the first ones available and get them installed just to say you finished your project. Push through these feelings of decorating burnout, because the long-term benefits of finding the perfect curtains for your home will shine through every day.
After graduating in 2016 from The University of Texas with a degree in English, Sanda Brown became a SEO Associate for (...more)

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