Choosing Perfect Curtains for a Living Room

By Joseph Boyle , last updated April 7, 2011

The curtains you choose to accent your living room can have an enormous effect on the overall atmosphere of the room, so it’s important to be intentional about your choice. It can be a significant choice on a number of levels. First, you want to choose curtains that reflect your overall sense of style and complement the design of the rest of the room. Aside from that, you should choose curtains that not only fit in with the décor of the room, but that also offer the right sense of functionality for your needs.

There are innumerable styles of curtains that you can choose from in terms of color, appearance, and type of fabric. Since the living room tends to be one of the largest rooms in the house, where you will spend a good deal of time during the day and evening, and is also a room in which you are likely to receive guests, your choice of curtains will ideally make the room comfortable and inviting.

Obviously, the size and number of your windows will have an impact on the type of curtains you purchase. With large windows you have the opportunity to enhance the amount of light the room receives during the day.

As you undergo the process of figuring out which curtains are just right for you, it can be helpful to bear in mind exactly what purpose you want your curtains to serve. In addition to design, curtains can have numerous practical functions, some or all which may be necessary for your home. A few elements you may want to bear in mind are: your necessity for privacy; controlling the levels of incoming light; reducing outside noise from the street; determining how much heat or cold gets in through your windows. As for design needs, something to be aware of is whether you are trying to complement the existing décor, or whether you want to introduce an entirely new design element or color scheme.

As for style basics, let’s assume that we are dealing only with average curtains and drapes, hanging from curtain rods. Depending on the scale of your windows, there are varying levels of simplicity that you can make use of in your decorating. If you’re dealing with smaller or narrower windows, you can put up drapes that you can open and close by hand, but if you have larger windows, you may want to install curtains that you can operate with a cord. Two popular style subsets you can choose from are grommet top curtains or pinch pleated tab top curtains. Grommet top curtains simply hang from grommet holes cut into the top of the fabric through which the curtain rod can run. On the other hand, pleated curtains generally appear much fuller, as the fabric is gathered at the top and placed over the curtain rod, allowing the curtains to slide easily along the rod.

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