From botanical prints that pull the outside indoors to rich velvet curtains that give the sense of wrapping you up in a space, your choice of window treatments can quickly change any room in your house. Curtains are an investment, so it is important to consider the effect you want to achieve in order to choose a design you will enjoy for years to come. Read on for our expert tips and advice…
Contrast your curtains with your wall colour
Contrasting the living room curtains with the wall colour is a great way to make a focus of window treatments. A complete colour contrast will serve to really draw the eye to the window or consider using two subtly different colours for a more cossetting feel. In this living room, we contrasted a light and a dark shade of teal for the walls and curtains, which are made up in our gorgeous Omega velvet in Teal. Add more tonal pieces with a sofa and rug and the effect is of being wrapped up in the space, creating a rich, warm environment.
Living room curtains in a classic floral are a timeless window dressing solution that transcends fashion, bringing a sense of nostalgia and familiarity to a scheme. Faded florals are particularly good for creating a vintage feel, such as this quintessentially English trailing design, Tresco in Strawberry Punnet, which is based on an archival fabric. Note how the curtain falls into a puddle on the floor, adding an informal feel to this living room.
Create the illusion of more space with floor-length curtains
Curtains can be used to visually play with a window’s dimensions, as witnessed here, where curtains that fall to the floor suggest a full height window. Similarly, if you are keen to make a window – and, in turn, the living room itself – appear taller, raise the curtain rod almost to the ceiling and hang a blind behind it, pulling the blind down to where it meets the windowpane in order to trick the eye into believing that the window is taller than it is. The sumptuous velvet used here is Wild in Midnight, which sets the tone for a dramatic décor.
Pick a pelmet
A pelmet is another useful device for creating an illusion of height. Position it above the window frame to suggest a taller window; this will also help to maximise the room’s natural light. The traditional features of this living room lend themselves well to a shapely pelmet that beautifully shows of the exuberant linen print, Mandai in Primrose. A perfect choice for framing a garden view.
Use banded drapes to play with proportions
A band will add a chic, custom feel to living room curtains and can be used to bring in another colour from the scheme. Consider a deep border at the top or bottom of the curtains or opt for a trim to provide all-important detailing. Here, curtains in our luxurious contemporary damask, Miletto in Pool, are contrasted with an oyster hued trim that ties in with the colour of the painted chair and serves to break up the expanse of blue. A lovely way to add tailoring to a room.
Get your fabric right
From linens to silks, cottons to cosy wools, the wealth of fabrics available is breathtaking and it is important to consider the look you wish to achieve with your living room or bedroom curtains. Do you want an informal or a more formal effect? Would you like thick curtains to help insulate your home, or sheer curtains to provide privacy whilst letting in natural light? A textural fabric is a wonderful addition to a neutral scheme and our Sienna boucle drapes beautifully while bringing a wonderful sense of comfort to a space. A relaxed, versatile look that will lend itself to a traditional or a contemporary living room.
Go big with patterns
Large scale patterned curtains are a fantastic way to make a focal point of living room curtains, framing a view and drawing the eye to the window wall. Inject a good dose of richness and glamour with a printed velvet, such as our elegant On The River in Marine from our Omega Prints collection. The inky blue of the fabric’s background is picked up with the panelled walls, creating a lovely, cossetting scheme.
Incorporate different pattern scales
Any good interior designer will tell you the importance of balancing the scale of different prints: a large-scale print on a sofa, for example, can be counteracted with curtains in a neat print, or vice versa, the key being to use fabrics in similar colour tones. These drapes in Maypole in Peacock tie in beautifully with a smaller print, Bagatelle in Moss, with the lovely, fresh greens giving unity to the scheme.
Balance patterns and textures
A brilliant way to keep your living room scheme modern is with texture. A chunky jute rug is a fantastic contrast to the gorgeous linen print of these curtains (in Louis in Lucky Yellow), while natural timber flooring adds another lovely layer to the materials palette. Note the uplifting wall colour, which picks out the sunny yellow of the curtains.
Soften a room with delicate drapes
Your choice of living room curtains can really help to soften a room’s features. Here, the prettiest grey curtains have been made using our Hester stripe in Grey: the stripe was used horizontally at the bottom of the curtains and teamed with a puddle trim that picks out the ochre hue of the stripe; the same ochre fabric trims the edges of the curtains, which have been left unlined to emphasise the delicate feel of the design.
Tie in colours from around the room
Use your living room curtain to pick up on colours found elsewhere in the space, as shown here, where pretty patterned curtains in Hopscotch in Frog echo the green found in the ottoman print (Maypole in Peony). The pink of this print reappears in the sofa fabric, giving a lovely sense of cohesion to this colourful room scheme.
Bring sunshine shades indoors to radiate warm energy
We could all do with a bit of upbeat cheer, and sunny hues are perfect for bringing a sense of warmth and optimism to a scheme. Here, the hues of a glorious sunset are captured in a scheme featuring relaxed linens in mellow yellows and dusty pinks. All the fabrics are from our Elba linen range, and the floor length curtains showcase the fabulously versatile Blush colourway. Left unlined to emphasise the laid-back feel of the room – and to allow in some natural light – they are teamed with sheer curtains for a lovely, breezy effect.
Bring a wow factor with a colourful patchwork
There is something deeply comforting about a patchwork and these patterned curtains cleverly capture the effect in a sumptuous, printed velvet. Resembling a multi-coloured weave, the fabric brings a hit of bold pattern to the space and offers a vibrant foil to the room’s dark wall colour.
Choose neutral curtains in colourful rooms
A neutral design is one of those living room curtain ideas that will never go out of fashion, and if you have quite a few colours in the room, it can be perfect for introducing a sense of calm to a scheme. Neutral doesn’t have to mean plain, however: consider a soft stripe – our Danube stripe in Oatmeal is perfect – a subtle check or a simple print, such as this Maze linen fabric in Ochre. Its gentle tones sit beautifully with the bolder sage greens and saffron yellows of the room, while the hand drawn leaf motif adds to the natural feel of the space.
Keep it coastal
You don’t need to live right by the sea to channel coastal style – and gone are the days when this aesthetic was restricted to blue and white striped fabrics. With its dramatic, undulating waves, our printed velvet, The Wave in Mineral, offers a far more sophisticated take on the theme, and looks wonderful made into living room curtains. Introduce subtle references to the sea with, say, a collection of blue glass vases on the mantlepiece or a beautiful piece of faux coral.
Create a cosy corner with an internal curtain
A favourite with many an interior designer, broken plan living is one of the most up-to-the minute living room ideas, offering the opportunity to close off spaces for intimacy or live in a more open plan way when required. For this, an internal curtain is your secret weapon: it serves to divide up a space, reducing draughts and creating a cosy corner for watching the television or reading at night, and can be pulled back during the day to return the room to a more open plan design. And the more sumptuous the curtain the better: think tactile wool or velvet – see this enchanting Kimono Dreams velvet in Blaze – and consider interlining your curtain for extra warmth. Note the lovely detail here of a bobble trim.
Be bold with orange
Orange is having something of a moment, perhaps because of the instantly uplifting feel this colour brings to any scheme. Our striking Miji linen showcases a gorgeous burnt orange hue that forms the backdrop to an exuberant floral pattern. As the window sits close to the wall and is quite slim, we used a single living room curtain that can be pulled fully to the side to maximise the natural light, whilst at the same time showcasing the fabulous fabric.
Add sweet scallops
An enduring favourite with interior designers, scallops are perfect for bringing a touch of modernity to a more traditional scheme. When it comes to living room curtain ideas, the possibilities include introducing scallops on the leading edge or at the bottom of the curtain, or on a pelmet or valance to give definition to the top of the window treatment. Here, a scalloped pelmet picks out the blue of our timeless Kitty print in Aqua Leaf, giving the window treatment a crisp, tailored look.
Keep it simple
When it comes to living room curtain ideas, sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. Pinch pleat curtains that fall elegantly to the floor are a timeless window dressing solution that lets the fabric – in this case Selene in Rose Water – do the talking. The design’s elegant relief pattern teams well with the room’s handsome features and is matched with rose pink coloured walls.
Consider the impact of the fabric design
Window treatments are a fantastic way to frame the views outside, and a lovely approach is to choose patterned curtains that reference the vista beyond. A leafy print is wonderful for framing a verdant view, for example, or choose a lively floral to echo the beauty of a garden in bloom. Here, linen curtains in our Royal Garden in Twilight bring the exuberance of an English garden right into the home.
Choose wool for warmth
We are all conscious of the cost of heating our homes and one way to help conserve energy is with a thick living room curtain to keep out the draughts at night. Wool is a wonderfully insulating fabric, and our Lana range has the advantage of being made from recycled yarns. The palette ranges from gentle neutrals to bolder shades such as this smart Racing Green.
Consider the design of the curtain top's effect on your room
Curtain tops can have a transformative effect on window treatments, be that pelmets, valances or simple fabric covered tracks. The effect is to help frame the window, as witnessed here with a pleated valance that matches the curtain fabric, Albertine in Classic Rose. Note the pink trim on both the valance and leading edge of the curtains, which ties in with the pretty sofa colour.
Which style – contemporary or traditional?
Curtains are an investment, so it is important to make the right choice. If you are unsure whether to adopt a traditional or a more contemporary approach to decorating, explore living room curtain ideas that offer flexibility. These smart grey curtains in Rumba in Coal feature a textural geometric pattern that works as well with modern designs as it will with more traditional pieces. Super chic and versatile.
Curtains really can make a difference to a living room, making it feel anything from cossetting to dramatic; feminine to simply more finished. We hope our tips have inspired you to be creative with your choices, setting you on the path to finding the perfect window treatments for your home.
What is the best way to create two-tone curtains? Living room ideas for two-tone curtains are endless and it really is about preference. A deep border in a tonal fabric can look super-chic, as can a curtain header or pelmet in a contrasting hue. For a more subtle approach, try trimming the leading edge with a tonal colour – a lovely way to give a curtain definition.
How can I prioritise privacy with my window treatment? One of the simplest ways is to team your curtains with a blind or curtains made from a sheer fabric that will allow natural light into the room. A blind offers a neat solution – consider a bottom up blind or café style curtain if you only need to obscure the lower portion of the window – while full-length sheer curtains are lovely for creating a fresh, breezy aesthetic.