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Do curtains make a room look better?

Curtains can transform the look and feel of a room by adding softness, texture, color, and warmth. The right curtains that properly fit the windows can make a room feel complete. Curtains serve both functional and decorative purposes that benefit a home in many ways.

Do curtains make a room look better?

This comprehensive guide will examine if curtains make a room look better and provide tips on choosing the best curtains to elevate your space. We will cover:

  • Benefits of using curtains
  • Factors to consider when buying curtains
  • Different types of curtains
  • Curtain styles and designs
  • How to measure for curtains
  • Hanging and layering curtains
  • Caring for curtains

Follow these best practices when incorporating curtains into your home decor and transform any room with the perfect window treatments.

Benefits of Using Curtains

Here are some of the key benefits curtains provide:


  • Soften hard surfaces – Curtains add softness and texture to balance out hard surfaces like wood floors, tile, stone, or brick walls. The fabric adds a tactile, cozy element.
  • ¬†Filter light – Sheer curtains softly filter incoming sunlight to create ambiance and a diffused lighting effect.
  • Add color – Curtains come in endless colors, prints, and patterns to make a bold statement or complement your existing color scheme.
  • Conceal eyesores – Cover up unattractive views or flaws like an awkward window placement or clutter with concealing curtains.
  • Frame windows – Properly hung curtains beautifully frame windows and draw the eye to the views beyond.
  • Elevate style – Elegant curtains can instantly add a touch of sophistication, luxury, and polish to a space.


  • Privacy – Opaque curtains provide privacy and block outside views when desired.
  • Insulation – Thermal curtains trap heat in winter and block sunlight in summer to help insulate and regulate room temperatures.
  • Light control – Use natural light to your advantage by opening and closing curtains to control brightness and glare throughout the day.
  • Versatility – Curtains allow you to modify the look and use of a room for various needs and occasions. Draw them open or closed to transform the space.
  • zoning – Designate areas in open concept homes with curtains, like defining a reading nook or dining area.

Factors to Consider When Buying Curtains

To select curtains that will enhance your room decor, assess these key factors:


Consider the room’s use and your privacy and light control needs. Is it a bedroom, living room, or home office? Do you need blackout curtains for sleeping or a sheer layer to filter light during the day?


Look at your windows’ size, shape, placement, and features like trims or lintels. Measure carefully to get the right curtain dimensions. Also note if you have standard or specialty windows like arched, bay, corner, or sliding.


Choose a style that aligns with your interior design aesthetic – casual, traditional, modern, romantic, minimalist, etc.

Existing Decor

Coordinate curtain color and pattern with your room’s color scheme, furniture, flooring, artwork, and other accents.


Factor in natural lighting conditions in the room at different times of day. South-facing rooms get more direct sunlight.


Curtain prices vary widely based on factors like materials, construction quality, customization, and designer brands. Set a budget that fits your needs.

Different Types of Curtains

With so many fabrics and options, selecting the right curtains can be tricky. Here are the most common types of curtains:

Sheer Curtains

Made of lightweight, semi-transparent fabrics like silk, linen, polyester, cotton voile, or nets. Provide privacy while allowing soft, filtered light into the room. Often used with layered window treatments.

Blackout Curtains

Thicker opaque fabrics, often with lining, that block outside light for privacy and sleep. Help insulate and prevent heat/AC from escaping. Useful for bedrooms and home theaters.

Thermal Curtains

Insulating fabrics like velvet, wool, quilted, faux fur, or polyester. Retain heat in winter and block sunlight in summer. Reduce energy costs.

Noise Reducing Curtains

Specialty fabrics with sound dampening properties. Often have noise-muffling linings. Ideal for bedrooms if outside noise is an issue or for sound studios.

Room Darkening Curtains

Thicker, lined curtains that prevent light leakage around the edges. Provide complete blackout conditions for media rooms or sleepers. Popular blackout fabric options include velvet and faux silk.

Printed Curtains

Available in a huge variety of colors, patterns, themes, and artwork. Provides privacy with the added decorative benefit of coordinating with your room’s aesthetic.

Embroidered Curtains

Elegant embroidered designs for a textured, ornate look. Often feature motifs like floral medallions along curtain borders or across the panels.

Textured & Woven Curtains

Add visual and tactile interest with fabrics like chenille, faux silk, jacquard, damask, brocade, lace, ribbed, cable knit, and more. Versatile styles that pair well with both traditional and modern rooms.

Shower Curtains

Made of water-repellent, mildew-resistant fabrics like polyester, vinyl, or cotton. Designs range from clear to opaque in colors, patterns, and styles. Provide privacy and coordinate with bathroom decor.

Curtain Styles & Designs

From tailored to trendy, curtains are available in an extensive range of styles. Consider these popular options to find your perfect match:

Tab Top Curtains

Also called tab curtains. Simple panels with button tab tops that slide onto a curtain rod for easy hanging. Offer a casual, relaxed aesthetic. Popular for bedroom curtains.

Rod Pocket Curtains

Panels sewn with a pocket top that slide directly onto the curtain rod. Available in the widest range of colors, patterns, and fabrics. Simple and versatile to complement both traditional and modern decors.

Pinch Pleat Curtains

Elegant pleated panels that stack neatly when open. The pleats are pinched and tacked into place at the top hem with curtain rings. Requires precision measuring and installation but provides a polished, tailored look.

Grommet Curtains

Casual, contemporary style with metal grommets across the top that slide onto a matching pole. The grommets create a clean-lined modern aesthetic. Often featured in solids and bold patterns.

Back Tab Curtains

Crisp panels with fabric tabs sewn into the back top corners. The tabs allow you to easily attach the curtains to a complementary decorative curtain rod bracket. Provides a custom designer look.

Tier Curtains

Layers of cascading sheer fabric for a soft, romantic style. The tiers gently filter incoming light. Available as two tier and three tier designs. Ideal for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.

Cafe Curtains

Short tiered curtains that cover the lower half of a window. Typically made of sheer or lightweight opaque fabric. Allow light in while offering some privacy. Great for kitchens, cafes, and small windows.

Swag Curtains

Decorative style where fabric is draped in swag arcs over the window and held in place with tiebacks. Requires special hardware like a swag rod. Adds elegance and fullness to frame the window.


A decorative fabric “valance” panel, often in ornate or tailored styles. Attached above the main curtains to conceal curtain hardware and rods. Provides a polished, finished look.

How to Measure for Curtains

Taking proper measurements is crucial for curtains to fit, function, and look their best:

Tools Needed

You’ll need a metal measuring tape, pencil, paper, and step ladder for tall windows. For outside mount curtains, also have a screwdriver handy.

Mount Type

First determine if you have an inside mount (fits within window frame) or outside mount (extends beyond the frame onto wall). Measure accordingly.

Window Width

For inside mount, measure each window’s exact width across the top, middle, and bottom. Use the widest width. For outside mount, measure wall-to-wall 3″ wider than the frame on each side.

Window Height

Inside mount, measure height from top of window to where you want curtain to extend – sill, floor, or puddle length. For outside mount, measure from top of rod to where you want curtain to end.


For inside mount, measure window frame depth from front to back at the top. For outside mount, measure desired rod projection from wall.

Specialty Windows

Adjust measurements for specialty windows. Measure radius length on arched windows. Bay windows require multiple panels measured individually.

Record Details

Note window type, measurements, and details like window trim depth and ceiling height. This allows you to order the proper size curtains.

Hanging & Layering Curtains

Follow these tips for hanging curtains correctly to enhance your windows:

Rod Placement

Install curtain rods wider and higher than the window itself for proper proportions. Place just below the crown molding or ceiling.

Rod Type

Choose rod style and diameter that complements the curtains and decor. Consider function – draw drapes require wide, heavy-duty rods.

Height from Floor

Standard height is having curtains just brushing the floor. Raise to puddle length, around 1-3 inches above floor. Or try floor length for a clean line.

Curtain Length

Cut panels to the exact measured length for clean lines. Inside mount curtains should cover window trim and sills. Or puddle just slightly.


Layer sheer and opaque curtains to allow light filtration and privacy control. Sheers hung inside provide a soft effect.


When using two panels, have them overlap in the center. This provides full coverage when closed. Follow individual panel widths rather than overall window width.

Stack Back

Draw drapes stack tidily at one-third intervals when open. Use holdbacks at sides if needed. Allow ample rod space for stacking – 1.5 to 2 times window width.

Floor Clearance

Have ample clearance between bottom hem and floor coverings so curtains glide smoothly when drawn. Puddling helps prevent catching or dragging.

Caring for Curtains

Follow these tips to keep curtains looking their best for years:

  • Check care label instructions for fiber content, cleaning methods, and temperature settings.
  • Vacuum gently using a soft brush attachment to remove dust and debris.
  • Spot clean stains immediately with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Don’t rub or allow water to soak fabric.
  • Have delicates like silk or lace professionally cleaned. Most fabrics can be machine washed if directions are followed. Use gentle cycles and cool water temperature.
  • Allow curtains to fully air dry before re-hanging to prevent mildew and shrinkage. Block to original dimensions.
  • Iron using medium heat only if needed on curtain fabric or hems. Test first on an inconspicuous area.
  • Take down seasonally and bring curtains in for dry cleaning, mending, and storage to prolong lifespan.

Key Takeaways

  • Curtains make a room more aesthetically pleasing by softening hard surfaces, adding color, and framing windows beautifully.
  • Buy curtains suited to the room’s use and lighting needs, factoring in the style, windows, existing decor, and budget.
  • Layer curtains for maximum functionality – sheer for daytime light filtering and opaque for complete privacy at night.
  • Follow precise measuring instructions so curtains fit flawlessly within or outside the window frame as desired.
  • Hang curtain rods wide and high for proper proportions. Layer panels evenly with ample stacking and floor clearance.
  • Carefully follow fabric care instructions for cleaning, ironing, and storing curtains to keep them looking fresh.


The right window treatments can truly transform the entire look and feel of a room. Curtains in particular add beauty and richness with their colors, textures, and soft draping effect. Tailored to your space, functional needs, and personal taste, curtains frame your view, create ambiance, and elevate the decor.

With so many styles to explore, use the guidance provided to choose curtains that complement your existing furnishings and finishes. Proper measurement, hanging, layering, and care will ensure your new curtains enhance your space for years to come. Simply take the time to find that perfect fabric and style to delightfully dress your windows. Let the light shine in and your room shine on.


Q: How do you hang blackout curtains?
A: Install the curtain rod as close to the window frame as possible. Hang blackout panels wide enough to fully cover the window and overlap in the middle without gaps. Use lined curtains with weights or bottom hems for the best light blockage.

Q: Should curtains match carpet or walls?
A: It’s recommended to coordinate your curtains with other elements like carpet, walls, and furniture for a cohesive look. However, matching the exact pattern or color isn’t necessary. Complimentary tones and shades work well.

Q: What curtains are trending in 2023?
A: Natural linen, jute, rattan, and raffia textures are popular this year. Bold maximalist prints, asymmetric paneled drapes, chrome/metallic accents, and abstract designs are also trending for 2023.

Q: Can you put blackout curtains in the living room?
A: Yes, you can install blackout curtains anywhere you need to darken a room, including living rooms. Opt for blackout-lined drapes in a style that fits your decor, like pleated or grommet panels. Close when you want darkness.

Q: Should curtains cover radiators?
A: It’s best not to cover radiators fully with curtains. Allow space above and around the radiator for airflow. Installing a radiator cover with shelving above it lets you place curtains attractively without obstruction.

Q: How do you measure for eyelet curtains?
A: Eyelet curtains use grommet holes instead of a rod pocket or tabs. Measure the window width for each panel’s length. For height, measure from where the pole will be mounted down to your desired length. Add hem allowances.

Q: Can you put blackout curtains in kitchen?
A: Yes, using blackout curtains in kitchens helps block harsh sunlight glare, filter cooking grease/odors, and provide privacy. Opt for washable linen, canvas, or polyester blackout panels that complement your decor.

Q: What rooms should not have curtains?
A: Bathrooms and damp areas like laundry rooms should avoid fabric curtains which can trap moisture and mildew. Use alternative window treatments like blinds, shutters, or water-resistant shower curtains.

Q: Do sheer curtains go out of style?
A: Sheer curtains are a classic, timeless style that has remained popular for decades. Light and airy sheers don’t tend to go “out” of style when done properly for the space. They gracefully filter light in any era.

Q: Can you put blackout film on windows instead of curtains?
A: Yes, adhesive blackout window films provide privacy and light blocking similar to curtains. Measure and cut film panels to fit your windows and apply directly to the glass. This offers an affordable, low-maintenance option.

Q: What colors make a room look bigger with curtains?
A: Light, bright, and neutral tones like white, beige, light gray, and ivory give the illusion of a larger space. Avoid dark, heavy colors like navy or black, which can feel more closed in.

Q: Do curtains go in front or behind curtain poles?
A: Curtains should be placed in front of the curtain pole so the pole isn’t visible. The back of the curtain stacks neatly against the wall while the front hangs attractively over the window.

Q: Can I steam clean polyester curtains?
A: Yes, polyester curtains can be safely steam cleaned using a low heat setting and delicate cycle. Ensure curtains are colorfast first by spot testing. Let polyester curtains fully air dry before rehanging to prevent bacterial growth.

Q: What curtains are good for a nursery?
A: Breathable natural fabrics like cotton, linen, or cotton blends are ideal nursery curtains. Blackout panels help darken the room for naps and nighttime. Plus,.washable fabrics stand up to messes in a baby’s room.

Q: How do I soften stiff curtains?
A: Try washing cotton or linen curtains in cold water with fabric softener and air drying fully to relax fibers. For polyester, run a hot iron over the fabric to help loosen it up. You can also spray curtains lightly with water and run a fabric steamer over them.

Q: Can curtains make a room echo?
A: Yes, large drapes or long, full curtains can cause sound to bounce off the fabric resulting in echo and reverberation issues in a room. Opt for sound dampening curtains or install in moderation to avoid extensive echo.

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