Styling your windows is an important step in finishing any space. And in your living room, the right window treatments can elevate the overall look. But, the wrong curtains can weigh down the rest of your décor and distract from the look and feel of the room.
It's no surprise that picking curtains for your living room can be the hardest part of decorating. There are so many factors to consider: fabric, style, length, pattern, and so on. The good news is that once you get it right, you rarely have to upgrade your window treatments. The perfect curtains will last for years—or until you decide to switch up your décor.
Here, we've rounded up some great curtain ideas for any style of living room to help make this decision a little bit easier.
Pick the Right Size
The first step to selecting the right curtains is to make sure you know exactly what length and width work best for your window. A great curtain can make a small, narrow window look wider or a room with low ceilings appear taller.
Decide how high up you want to hang your curtains and measure to the floor—or a few inches more for a traditional look. To figure out the width, add four to six inches to the width of your window.
If you've decided to hang curtains, that doesn't mean you have to forgo blinds entirely. Consider layering blinds and curtains for the most flexibility to control the light in your room. This is a great way to reduce glare on a TV or add even more privacy in any living room.
Decide on Your Fabric
Once you've figured out the right size panels to purchase, it's time to determine what fabric works best. A thick, heavy drape—think velvet—is ideal for rooms where you want to block out light, cold air, or sound. If you don't need as much privacy, consider a sheer linen or cotton fabric that allows more light to filter in.
Let the Curtains Puddle
For a more traditional look, add two to four inches to the length of your curtains. This will create a little puddle at the base and make your room feel cozier and warmer. This look works best with heavier fabrics, such as polyester or velvet.
Pair Two Colors Together
Can't decide on just one color for your curtains? Consider layering two together. A bold color such as hunter green or navy blue can be toned down with a sheer beige or white inner panel. This also allows you to adjust the light as needed.
Select a Wide Rod
When installing your curtain rod, opt for one that is wider than your window. Then, add eight to ten inches to the width of your window. This will give the illusion that your window is larger than it is and provide space to pull back the curtains as needed.
Opt for a curtain rod with a bit more detail if your curtains are subtle.
Try a Subtle Pattern
So, you've zeroed in on the size and fabric of your curtains. How do you pick a style? Curtains can either stand out as a centerpiece of your living room or blend in with the rest of the space. A subtle pattern, such as a striped fabric, can be a great way to add dimension without becoming overpowering.
Let the Light In
For rooms that boast lots of natural light, opt for sheer panels. This way, you still get the finished look of a curtain, but they won't block out your natural light.
Pair Your Accessories
One fun way to incorporate curtains into your living space is to match the fabric or pattern with your accessories, such as your throw pillows. It is just subtle enough to work without feeling too matchy.
Go All the Way to the Ceiling
If you want your room to feel more stately and elegant, consider hanging your curtains all the way to your ceiling. This gives off the illusion of tall ceilings and helps your room look larger and more open.
Keep it Cozy
A warm beige or taupe curtain is a great way to add warmth to your living space. Keep the rest of your furniture light and airy and let the curtains add a moody element to your room.
Consider the Care Instructions
Some curtains can be thrown in the wash while others are dry clean only. If you have kids or pets, you may want to opt for a heartier fabric, such as cotton, that you can easily toss in the washing machine to clean.
Go for Drama
There's just something utterly stunning and eye-catching about a black room. Here, rich black curtains frame the room and work with the other dark details in the space to create a moody feel.
Work With Your Architecture
While you can pick from blinds, shades, or curtains, it's important to consider your window shape and size when picking the right treatments. A large arched window like this one is beautifully framed with a pair of flowing white curtains.
Add a Pop of Color
Your curtains can provide an opportunity to add more color and visual interest to your living room. A bold color or pattern can act as artwork in a funky, eclectic space.
When opting for a bright curtain, try to find a color thread throughout your room you can weave into other accessories to blend the curtains with the rest of the room.
Add visual interest to your living room by pairing different textures and colors together. Here, a wicker blind pairs beautifully with soft white curtains to create a contrast that is visually appealing and adds depth to the smaller space.
Pair With Brick
We love exposed brick, but it can sometimes feel a little cold. Hanging long curtains in a brick room is a great way to add a ton of warmth and cozy up the space, especially in a loft-type home.
If you're lucky enough to have a wall of windows in your living room, consider hanging curtains instead of blinds. A wall of curtains gives the illusion of a larger, deeper space and adds an elegant feel to the room.
Pair With Wood Textures
Warm natural wood furniture works wonderfully with linen curtains. Look for colors with similar undertones to your natural wood furniture to create a purposeful, well-blended space.
Consider Your Palette
If you're struggling to find the right shade for your curtains, consider the rest of your living space. Pick a few dominant colors, and pull them through the rest of the room. Here, a taupe and beige palette is complemented by the curtains to create a uniform look.
Frame Your Space
Curtains are a great way to frame a focal point in your living room, such as a fireplace or a large piece of art. These long-flowing curtains highlight the fireplace and the abstract art while helping the overall space to feel finished.
Don't be afraid of color. A subtle pastel green or soft blue can act as a neutral while still adding a pop of color to your living space.