Like the icing on your interior design cake, curtains don’t define the flavour of a room, but they can certainly make it come across a little bit sweeter. Curtains are the finishing touch to every room, offering much more than just privacy and a handy way to block out sunlight. Get your curtains just right and they’ll set off the rest of your room perfectly; get them wrong and they can undo all your good design and planning work. Just like the wrong haircut can distract from a beautiful face! Whether you want your curtains to blend in unobtrusively with the look you’ve chosen or draw the eye deliberately is entirely up to you, and you can create a range of very different atmospheres within a single room simply by switching up the curtains. If you have a house with high ceilings and large windows you have the opportunity to make an even bigger splash with your curtains, as when drawn they may well take up most of some of your walls. Here are a few ideas – from calm and quiet to decidedly more bold.
A powerful effect can be created by colour-coordinating only certain elements of a room while purposefully selecting clashing shades or patterns for the others. In this case, the matching is achieved quite subtly, thanks to these gorgeous and unusual dip-dye curtains.
The gorgeous, old-fashioned window seen here is just right for these pretty and conventional floral curtains. If your house has a vintage feel, there’s nothing wrong with going ahead and embracing that fully in your choice of curtains. The more twee, the better.
And if bright, lemony yellow is too shouty for you, the option is available to whisper instead with this much more subtle blue variant of the design.
In most rooms except the one you sleep in, curtains that shut out the light completely are probably not necessary. The main function of curtains in, say, the living room is to preserve your privacy at times when you don’t want the world looking in on you. In many traditional homes this is achieved with lace curtains, but if you’re looking for something a little more contemporary a sheer fabric in a solid curtain is a very good bet. As seen here, some light still gets in, and you can experiment with different shades and fabric weights to see which does the job best.
These curtains are another good example of how near-transparent fabric can work well to create a light, airy and spacious feel in a room. Note also how although this room is colour coordinated – and even, to some extent, pattern-coordinated, with the curtains and the chairs both featuring stripes – the end result is not too matchy-matchy. This is because subtly different shades, and different styles of stripes, have been used.
These tropical prints bring the exoticism of the rainforest into the living room. This picture also demonstrates an alternative use of curtains – not as window hangings, but as interior screens to section off different areas of a particular space.