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Can curtains look modern?

Curtains can absolutely have a modern aesthetic with the right styles, fabrics, colors and hardware. When selecting curtains to create a contemporary look, it’s important to focus on minimalism, sleek lines, neutral palettes, natural textures and an airy, lightweight appearance. Fortunately, there are endless options to choose from.

Can curtains look modern?

Elements of Modern Curtain Style

Several key elements work together to create next-gen curtain style suitable for modern homes:


  • Sheer fabrics like voile, linen, silk or polyester blends. These allow light through and feel breezy.
  • Matte look fabrics like linen, cotton, textured wovens. Avoid heavy fabrics.
  • Solid neutrals or muted colors. Stay away from loud prints or patterns.


  • Floor-to-ceiling panels frame windows and keep the lines clean.
  • Layered looks with sheers behind opaque panels add dimension.
  • Rod-pocket panels without trim create simple shaping.
  • Grommets or back tabs give a streamlined look without frills.


  • Whites, creams and greys make a soft, contemporary palette.
  • Light neutrals like almond, oatmeal or tan.
  • Greige, which blends gray and beige, is popular for modern aesthetics.


  • Wood rods in black, white or metal finishes.
  • Metal rods in matte black, bronze, nickel or steel. Match with other finishes in the room.
  • Invisible rods put all the focus on the fabric itself.

Modern Curtain Styles

Many specific curtain styles align well with modern and contemporary room decor. Consider the following options to bring spaces up-to-date:

Sheer Curtains

  • Sheer linen or cotton, solid or embroidered
  • Long, breezy voile panels frame views
  • Enable light and visibility while offering privacy

Blackout Curtains

  • Insulated linings room-darkening abilities
  • On rods, as roman shades, or noise-reducing side panels
  • Streamline look with matte black/grey fabrics

Patterned Curtains

  • Tasteful textures like seagrass, boucle or muted ikat patterns
  • Avoid loud colors/prints and instead use muted palettes
  • Graphic prints in black and white or subtle neutrals

Linen Curtains

  • Natural material suits relaxed, casual rooms
  • Textured & gets softer over time unlike synthetics
  • Durable, breezy, insulating, sustainable option

Floor Length Curtains

  • Achieve clean sightlines from ceiling to floor
  • Contemporary way to frame a window wall or glass doors
  • Often sheer with linen or cotton overlays

There are no strict rules – get creative combining elements like blackout sheers, patterned linen panels and modern metallics with straight-line rods. The blend of fabrics, colors and proportions is what makes the look.

Modern Curtain Colors

Color choices make a big impact on the style and era curtains convey. Here are helpful guidelines for selecting hues to keep things looking current:


You simply can’t go wrong bringing the outside in with naturals. Timeless options include:

  • White and cream – fresh and bright
  • Beige, tan, taupe – warm and cozy
  • Grey, charcoal, slate – sophisticated mood
  • Black contrasts nicely with walls and frames views

In moderation, neutrals effortlessly achieve modern style. Layer sheers and solids for dimension.


For a soft look, pale hues like these capture modern minimalism:

  • Barely pink, blush, nudes
  • Washed out sage, seafoam, mint
  • Dusty sky blue, lavender, butter yellow

Tip: Use sparingly and mix with darker neutrals like charcoal. Too much pastel can skew sweet and romantic rather than modern.


For contemporary glam, add aluminum, bronze, silver and gold:

  • Silver grey maintains an industrial modern aesthetic
  • Metallic sherpa or velvet in gunmetal grey looks luxe
  • Foil dot patterns make a textural contrast to solids

The key is keeping metallics minimal and lightweight. Sheers are ideal for gently catching the light.

By focusing on muted, lighter palettes the curtains will enhance – not compete – with sleek furnishings. Pattern mixing creates attractive vignettes.

Modern Window Treatment Ideas

Creative combinations provide beautiful form and function:

Sheers + Blackouts

  • Hang blackouts right up against window frames
  • Install separate rod mounted away from window for sheers
  • This leaves views unobstructed while still enabling darkness/privacy

Ceiling Height Panels

  • Use floor length to draw eyes up
  • Softens wall edges for a headboard effect
  • Conveys airy lightness with billowing sheers

Mixed Textures

  • Combine breezy sheers with cozy linen
  • Overlap opaque cotton panels with metallic dots
  • Create layers: diffusing sheers + blocking solids

Don’t be afraid to get creative blending styles that play well together. Curtains present endless possibilities!

Modern Curtain Rod Styles

The hardware matters when crafting a modern aesthetic. Simple rods keep lines clean. Trending options include:

Wood Rods

Natural material in slim shapes, often with metal hardware. Choices:

  • Black stained wood
  • White washed oak
  • Walnut

Tip: Use complements other wood finishes in the home like floors or furniture.

Metal Rods

Industrial appeal for contemporary spaces in:

  • Sleek nickel
  • Brushed steel
  • Matte black iron

Match finishes on sconces, lamps and other metallic accents.

Invisible Rods

Clear acrylic mounts where rod seems to disappear. Allows fabric to take center stage. Great for uncluttered modern look.

Slim, streamlined rods keep things neat and linear. Or make rods disappear altogether.

Modern Curtain Styles To Avoid

On the flip side, these traditional styles contradict today’s pared down aesthetics:

Heavy Fabrics

  • Velvets, brocades, thick woven damasks
  • Anything that cuts light/air or has too much visual weight

Pattern Overload

  • Large, bold floral prints look dated
  • Distracting multi-colored patterns clash with streamlined furnishings

Ostentatious Trims

  • Ornate rope ties, tassels, fringe, embroidered bands
  • Dust ruffles or contrasting linings

Novelty Curtains

  • Thematic textures like toile or chinoiserie
  • Ruffled country cottage curtains with cluttered charm
  • Faux elegance signals traditional archetypes

When selecting window treatments, edit things down to the very essentials. Any extra embellishments likely detract from contemporary appeal.

Designing a Modern Space With Curtains

Curtains powerfully influence mood and era. Use that impact to craft rooms that feel fresh and new with these tips:

Frame Views

Floor to ceiling panels neatly outline windows and glass doors. Creates clean sightlines running vertically through rooms.

Filter Light

Sheers softly diffuse incoming light without shutting it out. This makes spaces feel airier and brighter.

Neutral Backdrops

Crisp whites, creamy neutrals and sleek metallics recede visually to highlight colorful accessories. Makes small rooms appear larger too.

Texture Interest

Layers of matching and mixed fabrics add cozy, dimensional feel. Light, gauzy sheers combined with nubby linen offers contrast.

Clear Lines

Unfussy hardware, unfinished hems and thin rods keep shapes simplified. Avoid ruffles or jarring colors.

Edit down to the essentials for fuss-free contemporary style. Frame views, filter incoming light, create soothing neutrals backdrops, play with texture and keep lines clear.

Key Takeaways

  • Modern curtain style focuses on clean lines, minimalist shapes, lots of light and simplified neutrals.
  • Fabrics like sheers, textured solids and muted patterns aligned best. Metallic sheens nicely capture light.
  • Soft palettes create peaceful backdrops: creams, greys, whites, linens, subtle pastels.
  • Hardware makes a difference: wood rods, matte metals and invisible acrylic keep things neat.
  • Creative combinations add function: blackouts + sheers, ceiling height panels, mixing materials.
  • Avoid outdated styles with bold patterns, heavy fabrics, dusty colors and embellished trims.
  • Frame views, filter light, make soothing neutral backdrops, play with textures and keep lines clear.

The right fabrics, colors, styles and window treatments can infuse any space with modern flair. Focus on pared down shapes, a selectivity edited neutrals palette, lightweight sheers and linens, minimalist hardware and creative layering. Avoid embellishments and anything that feels visually heavy.

Use floor length panels to neatly frame views and filtered natural light. Combine blackouts and sheers to block light when needed while maintaining breezy openness. Mix up intriguing textures and hang panels from wall to wall for a sleek backdrop. The blend you create can transform rooms into contemporary oases filled with soft light and stylish sanctuary.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are some good modern curtain styles?
    Some top modern curtain styles include floor-to-ceiling sheers, linen panels, muted graphic prints, metallics, blackouts with clean lines, grommets, and rod pocket panels without trim or embellishment.

  2. How do I choose modern curtain fabric?
    Focus on lightweight, sheer fabrics like voile, linen, silk, or polyester blends in solid neutrals and muted, cool-toned hues. Avoid heavy fabrics with bold patterns or colors.

  3. What are trending modern curtain colors?
    Trending modern curtain colors include white, cream, various shades of gray and black. Mix in light, dusty pastels like blush pink or seafoam green in small doses. Metallic silver and bronze sheens also look contemporary.

  4. What width curtains are modern?
    For a modern, tailored look hang curtains wide to cover the entire window wall or glass doors without extra space on the sides. Ceiling height also feels clean and contemporary.

  5. Can you put patterns and solids together?
    Yes, mixing solids, subtle patterns, and varied textures creates an appealing eclectic vibe. Just be sure patterns are muted and solids are neutrals to keep things feeling light and modern.

  6. Should curtains puddle on the floor?
    It depends on the look you want. For modern aesthetics, puddles and pooling add unwanted visual weight. But a break of an inch or two does help curtains hang properly.

  7. What curtains go with grey walls?
    Beautiful options for grey walls include white or cream sheers, charcoal blackouts and metallic silvers or bronze panels. Crisp neutrals allow colorful furniture and art to take center stage.

  8. How do I decorate a blank wall with curtains?
    Use ceiling height curtains as a backdrop for the whole wall. Layer solids and sheers to create dimension. Hang them wide to neatly frame out the wall edges instead of just the window.

  9. What are the best modern window treatments?
    Popular modern window treatments include blackout shades combined with breezy sheers, muted patterned roman blinds, sleek wood or metal blind slats, and floor length linen or cotton panels.

  10. Should you hang curtains above or below molding?
    Hang curtain rods right above the window frame so panels cover the entire glass surface edge to edge. If there is crown molding extending a bit above windows, it is fine to hang just below that defining architectural detail.

  11. Can you put blackout curtains anywhere besides the bedroom?
    Definitely. Living rooms, nurseries, media rooms and home offices often benefit from blackout abilities. Opt for a streamlined style with clean lines in living areas to maintain that contemporary flair.

  12. What color rods look best with white curtains?
    For fresh white curtain panels, rod finishes like matte black, bronze, unfinished wood and stainless steel make attractive combinations. Paint rods the same crisp white for monochromatic modernism.

  13. What length curtains do you need for 8 foot ceilings?
    For 8 foot ceilings, 84 inch long panels typically achieve the desired floor-grazing length. Measure your windows height and add 6-12 inches for optimal modern pooling and proper gathering on the rod.

  14. What color curtains go with brown sofa?
    Colors like cream, light grey and tan pair attractively with brown sofas without clashing. For contrast, add in navy blue curtains and decor accents for a crisp, vibrant combo.

  15. Should day and night curtains be the same?
    Yes, selecting the same style and color curtains for both day and night creates a cohesive tailored aesthetic. Hang panels wide to cover the entire glass surface.

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