How to choose curtain color

March 31, 2023

It is a common consensus that curtains should be considered a must-have in the design process. Designer Jen Dallas states that draperies make a room feel complete, regardless of whether it is the focal point or the backdrop to the rest of the space. Why are curtains so important? “Window treatments give height, layers, and softness to a place,” says Sarah Montgomery from Sarah Montgomery Designs. She also believes curtains can make a room look more complete and tailored.

You will want the curtain-buying process to be timely. There are many things to consider when selecting a curtain color for any room in your home. Experts share their tips for choosing the right curtain color for your home.

Curtains are not your first purchase.

Curtains might be the last thing you buy when designing a room. Amy Peltier of Amy Peltier Interior Design & Homes says choosing the right curtain color should not be your first choice when designing a room. It should be the last choice you make. Once you have selected your paint color, rugs, and furnishings, you can decide if your curtains should be subtle or bold.

Take a look at your wall color.

Look at your wall paint when it comes time to look for curtains. Dallas says that for a modern home, the drapery fabric should be a step darker than the wall paint. The drapery in this room is less prominent than the wall paint and more of a background feature.

Daria Demin of Circa22 Design Studio follows a similar approach. She says, “When it comes window curtains or shades, I like to match them to the wall color-it, create an elegant and well-tailored appearance.” Demin also suggests that you can take inspiration from the surrounding furniture. Select [curtains] that complement the room’s main furniture piece.

When designing clean, modern spaces, Peltier loves white linen curtains. She says, “This will add texture and a finishing touch to your space.” If you feel more vibrant, go for it. She adds that curtains with patterns are best for those who want to be bolder and have a more dramatic look. Decide if your room needs more punch. To create interest and contrast, add curtains in different colors.

Another option? Take a look at the trim. Designer Kirsten Cner suggests matching your window treatments with white or ivory tones to keep them quiet.

Take into account that the room type may influence your decisions.

Montgomery often chooses bold or neutral, depending on the room she’s designing. She says, “I will often use a small-scale print, woven texture, or stripe in living rooms.” “In the dining area, which tends to have less upholstery and other soft finishes than the living room, I will bring a bolder color and pattern.”

Before committing, order swaps

It’s always a good idea to test your curtain fabric before ordering. Montgomery says that even if the material is neutral, Montgomery recommends ordering samples first. It’s crucial to see how the fabric will look in different lighting conditions throughout the day.

Remember: Curtains can be purchased immediately in one case.

Peltier states that curtains should be chosen first and not last in one instance. She says, “If you have beautiful pattern fabric you love and want to use in multiple rooms, choose curtains first.” You could fall in love so deeply with a particular pattern that it becomes the focal point of your room. This is the only time I would plan around drapery treatments.

Dallas has similar feelings. She notes that sometimes she will find a pattern that she and her client love. She will shape the room with the curtains if this happens. Dallas says, “From there, I’ll pick a rug and then add each upholstery fabric one by one to complete the palette.” The drapery is the focal point of this scheme.

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