How to Choose the Right Colour Curtain

Sophie McCreadie

BY Sophie McCreadie

Published: 15 September 2021 Updated: 17 August 2022

When it comes to choosing the perfect curtains for your window furnishings, it can be difficult knowing what is the “right” colour. There really is no “right” colour – just the colour that’s right for the room setting or the look that you’re trying to create, and the colour that makes you happy. You’ve probably instinctively chosen colours you’re drawn to already, but if you’re starting with a blank or neutral canvas here’s some frequently asked questions to consider.

Are curtains old fashioned?

There’s no denying that the concept of curtains has been around seemingly for ever – indeed, the use of animal hides between rooms as a hanging divide dates back to Egyptian times. But the different ways in which that initial concept has adapted and progressed is testament to their deserved longevity.
With modern textiles available, not to mention both traditional and contemporary headers, plus poles, tracks and tiebacks, you can choose curtains that are quintessentially timelessly classic or up to date and right on trend.

Blue floor to ceiling curtains fitted to wide windows in a bedroom decorated in brown and cream

Which type of curtain should I choose?

Different styles of curtains can be created by changing the header and it can be more impactful than you think. The standard look tends to be a pencil pleat, with the more traditional classic which offers a three inch pleat, or opt for the deep pencil pleat, and these are both versatile options for both track and pole. If you’re looking for something with a little more formality take a look at double pinch pleat curtains, with their uniformed folds, with the triple pinch pleat giving the fullest look. Eyelet curtains provide a more contemporary look, and are ideal for wide windows, thanks to their sleek appearance and as they require a pole fitting you can bring individual styling into play with colour, finish and finial shape. A more unusual option is wave, a contemporary style which creates soft, wave-like folds for an informal and relaxed feel. Fitted on specialist poles or tracks, wave curtains fold up neatly when the curtains are fully open. Wave header curtains are really growing in popularity, and look at their best when fitted at ceiling level.

florally patterned curtains in grey and black on a white base colour are fitted to a wide arch shaped window in a living room decorated in white and grey

What’s the right colour for my bedroom and should they match the bedding?

There’s a great deal of psychology when it comes to colours, and probably one of the most important rooms to get right is the bedroom. Colours that make you happy but also that create a sense of serenity and peace are the best option. This tends to mean shades of blues, greens or greys and of course more neutral colours. The bed will be the focal point of the room, along with the bedding upon it, so look to make some connection between this and your curtains. The colour needn’t be an identical match, but again, a shade or two darker or lighter will work equally well. You could also look to unite the two by texture, especially if the bedding features a decorative trim, such as lace, or a distinctive feature, such as a jacquard weave.

What colour curtains go with white walls?

What colour curtains go with white walls?

With white walls, your options with curtains are almost as bountiful as there are colours. Choose a colour that reflects any furniture or soft furnishing and make it a focal colour. Choose a neutral background but exploit the use of pattern to inject colour or shapes into the room. A popular look currently is a far bolder proposition – pairing white walls with dark curtains for a totally contrasting look, where the whiter walls, the more the dark curtains stand out.

What other curtain options are there?

An increasingly popular option are voile curtains. Put aside any thoughts you may have of old fashioned net curtains because they bear no relation to these beautiful new curtains that cover a wide range in both fabric composition and also in colour. Gone are the days of white with a cut-out pattern, it’s time to embrace linens, linen blends, and even micro jacquards. These flowing curtains just soften the light a touch without spoiling your view, creating an elegant but relaxed setting. Choose more traditional creams and whites for more formal areas while new colours, including the ever popular grey bring a modern look.

curtains fitted to a wide door window in a living room that has a blue sofa, red rug and navy coloured walls

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