How Does a Curtain Affect a Room's Look?

  • Window curtains used to just serve a function: to cover the windows, either for privacy's sake or to eliminate drafts. Anything from cheap plastic "realistic" looking panels, to heavy dark insulated panels hung at people's windows, merely to serve their purpose.

  • Now, curtains are considered to be an integral part of the room's overall design. Decorators and designers go to great lengths to embellish windows to be a key feature in the room's design. The window is considered the focal point in a lot of home design ideas.

  • The window is dressed with curtains that blend, contrast or highlight key colors in the room. A window without a curtain looks stark and bare, compared to a window that is dressed with special care. The style, color and length of the curtain will determine a room's look as well.

  • Bright, bold curtains that contrast with the wall's color will serve as a focal point, drawing one's eye directly to that area. This key feature is used when the window offers a spectacular view, and the designer wants to draw attention to it.

  • Dark, heavy curtains will make a room seem dull and gloomy. If dark-colored curtains are used, the material should be light and airy. The curtains should just cover the windows, instead of being draped to the floor. Dark curtains should be contrasted against a lighter-colored wall, to tone them down.

  • The overall width and length of curtains can also make a room appear larger or taller. Hanging curtain rods higher up towards the ceiling and placing long curtains on them will give the illusion that the room itself has higher ceilings. This is helpful in rooms where suspended ceilings have been used.

  • Curtains can enhance a rather drab bed, even if there is no window. Suspend a large decorative curtain rod on the wall behind the bed at ceiling height. Hang bold colored curtains from it that complement the colors in the bedspread. Sheers can also be hung from the curtain rod. Sheers will give the room a romantic, delicate appeal.

  • Curtains can also be used to balance the effect a window has when placing furniture. If a small living room window is offset to the side, adjust the curtain rod to whatever size you need to balance the window and sofa.

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