How to Select the Right Window Curtains

How to Select the Right Window Curtains

When it comes to decorating, there is one element in the room that is often forgotten, and that is the window treatments. Most people will purchase curtains as an afterthought, something that needs to go up but doesn’t really matter. The problem is the window treatments do matter and it should be an active decision when you are designing your decor. Selecting the right window curtains can be surprisingly complex. If you choose the wrong type or the wrong color, it can completely ruin the design that you have. Finding the best curtains for your room can lead to a flow in style that will have any professional interior designer borrowing from your idea for future projects. When a window treatment works, it really works.

If you are trying to select window treatments for your home but are unsure of where to start, there are a few pointers that will help make finding the right window curtains much easier.

Keep the curtains in the room:

This is actually a mistake that many people make. They find a curtain style and they put the same curtains into every room whether it looks good with the decor or not. The simple fact is each room can have different curtains, unless you are working with an open floor concept and you will not want a child themed curtain in a living room any more than you would want bold and luxurious window coverings in a child’s room. Be aware of this fact and make sure that you change up the curtains from room to room.

Understand your privacy:

One of the more popular window treatments that you can find are sheer drapes. While these are wonderful in many different areas, they are not the best style of drape to purchase if you want to have a little privacy since you can see through most sheer drapes. Bedrooms should never have sheer drapes solely, and neither should bathrooms for that matter. Instead, pair them with a darker drape or window covering that does just that; covers.

Understand the lighting:

When it comes to windows, not all of them produce the same amount of lighting and this will affect the type of drapes that you use. Drapes that are heavy can block out a lot of light and this works well in a bedroom, especially bedrooms that offer amazing views of the sunrise. Sheer drapes are excellent for sun rooms that don’t need a lot of privacy. Sheers provide a light airy feel that work wonderfully in many spaces. When you know the amount of light coming through the window, you can plan accordingly.

Materials are important:

There are many different materials and fiber combinations that you can use for a curtain but your should choose materials that are fade resistant, especially if the room gets a lot of light, which is common in south facing rooms. Although silks may seem luxurious for a room, they are better left on the pillows and other accents since silk curtains will fade quickly and you will be left with dull and ugly curtains on your windows.

Tie in the design:

While you may not realize it, it is very important to tie the curtains in with the theme. This does not mean that you have to play it safe and make the curtains match perfectly but they shouldn’t clash with the decor. Make sure that the materials reflect the materials in the room, the color works with your color palette and the thickness of the material works with the feel of the decor. The last thing you will want is a heavy drape in a light and airy design space.

When it comes to the color, you can use the curtains to add depth to a space or you can use the curtains to provide a little pop of color or a statement piece to the room.

If you are still unsure how to use curtains in your space, I would strongly recommend reading through or browsing through a few show rooms to gather a few ideas before applying them to you room. Lastly, I would recommend sketching out the window area and drawing in the drapes before you go out and purchase them.


  • veronica February 19, 2009 at 23:53 PMLogin to Reply →

    Can you recommend some places online with great curtains? I’m having a hard time finding some chic and hip options (that aren’t Urban Outfitters).

  • Rebecca February 23, 2009 at 18:34 PMLogin to Reply →

    The Shade Store ( has a beautiful curtain options. In my experience, they are high quality and the customer service is good. Would definitely recommend them.


  • jeanne February 27, 2009 at 11:04 AMLogin to Reply →

    Nice work!

    very informative article. the right kind of window fashion designs be it curtains, blinds, or any other types of window treatment. One has to keep a few very simpe rules when choosing for a particular room. There are so many types available these days.

  • KAKANDE April 22, 2010 at 12:00 PMLogin to Reply →

    you have nice curtains

  • John Taylor May 8, 2010 at 10:10 AMLogin to Reply →

    ” If you choose the wrong type or the wrong color, it can completely ruin the design that you have.” True. In fact it seems most folks dedicate the least time to curtains, more like an afterthought – the reality is, it can make or break your room decor. On the other end of this, especially for bedrooms: “you don’t want your decor to be selected and focused around your sheets” You know, those things can easily change.
    John Taylor,

  • Amanda August 10, 2014 at 16:17 PMLogin to Reply →

    I recently bought belgian linen drapes from and am loving them. amazing customer service by their designer staff and very reasonable price especially when you compare that to restoration hardware.

  • Kristen Dockery March 5, 2015 at 14:10 PMLogin to Reply →

    Thanks for the great tips and information in this article about what shades are good for different types of windows and homes. I recently moved into a new home and am trying to decorate it, I need curtains for the family room, but wasn’t sure what material and pattern to get. I hope that I will be able to get some curtains soon to get my home finished and have everything decorated.