Curtains 101

Spruce Up Your Space With Curtains
Photo: Southern Living

Use window treatments in stylish and functional ways to pull a room together.

01 of 10

Spruce Up Your Space With Curtains

Spruce Up Your Space With Curtains
Southern Living

Draperies do more than block out the sun. Window treatments can transform a room, adding personality and character. With endless patterns, dimensions, and hardware options available, it's easy to let your style shine through.

02 of 10

Try Reversible Panels

Neutral Window Treatments

These custom-made drapery panels, with the green-and-ivory plaid visible from both inside and outside the house, help tie together the room's color palette. The curtains pool at the floor with a few inches of extra fabric, offering a look that's consistent with the room's formal decor.

03 of 10

Let Curtains Define a Space

Gingham Window Treatments

These gingham curtains frame the desk area, setting it apart from the room. Slightly pleated at the heading, the curtains break at the floor by a few inches, creating a relaxed feel that softens the look. The added length also allows for imperfect measuring.

04 of 10

Keep It Casual

Cafe Curtains

Café curtains, hung at or near a window's midpoint, are perfect for kitchens or anywhere you'd like to create an informal atmosphere. They're also a great way to add a pop of color when full coverage isn't needed. These are hung using rings with clips, so any piece of fabric can be used as a curtain.

05 of 10

Customize Ready-Made Panels

Ready-Made Panels

Wide bands of fabric at the headings of these draperies turn ready-made into a bolder statement. Get this look for your home by purchasing inexpensive solid curtain panels and adding horizontal bands of fabric or ribbon in decreasing widths. Try strips in 1-, 2-, and 4- inch widths, evenly spaced. You'll achieve a custom look without the custom price tag.

06 of 10

Add Style With a Pelmet

Pelmet Window Treatments

These curtain panels are hung behind a pelmet (also known as a cornice), so the hardware doesn't distract from the elegant fabric. The structured frame, used to enclose the top of a curtain, adds a touch of formality. With this installation, you don't have to worry about what kind of curtain rod to buy; it's hidden from view, so an inexpensive stock one will do. Custom-made pelmets offer a cohesive look when built to match crown molding.

07 of 10

Soften Your Space

Linen Window Treatments

Linen draperies hung corner to corner at the top of the wall give the illusion of higher ceilings and bigger windows. Finished with a pocket through which the curtain rod slides, the draperies soften the room by flanking the window with unbroken expanses of fabric.

Note: What this fabric hides might surprise you: audio equipment that's mounted to the wall. Linen is a good choice because sound can flow through without being muffled.

08 of 10

Choose Curtains That Fit Your Needs

Cafe Curtain Window Treatments

Café curtains are a great way to keep glare off your computer without cutting out all light. The metal grommets are a simple alternative to fussy rings, which would overwhelm this small nook.

09 of 10

Update a Classic

Window Treatments

For a look that's clean and streamlined, hang panels with a matching valance. This curtain's simple dot pattern updates the traditional-style treatment and, hung against white walls, gives a modern edge.

10 of 10

Have Fun With Borders

Colorful Window Treatments

Bright colors and whimsical borders can enhance a room's playful style. Here the drapery's scalloped, bright pink edge completes the color scheme and adds a touch of femininity.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles