A Few Simple But Important Tips for Buying New Curtains

Curtains can give any room added softness, making a space seem cozy and inviting. However, choosing curtains for your home may be more complicated than you realize, and it's not unusual for homeowners to wind up with a color that somehow clashes with their furniture or wall paint. Certain materials may not provide the light blockage that you expected either. Note a few simple but important tips for buying new curtains so you're happy with your window treatments for years to come.

Coordinating color

Your curtains should act as something of a middle ground between your furniture and your home's wall colors. As an example, if you have a bold red color on the walls and oak furniture, avoid red curtains of any shade. Choose a medium tan, lighter than the wall color but a few shades darker than your furniture. This will keep the curtains from blending into the background while also ensuring they don't clash with the furniture.


Curtain usually come in four lengths; sill, apron, floor, and puddle. A sill curtain reaches the windowsill and this length is perfect for a small room. An apron length reaches between the windowsill and the floor. This can make windows look larger without having the curtains seem overpowering, also a good choice for a small room.

Floor length curtains are just that; they reach the floor. These can add height to windows and make the curtains much more noticeable, good for a large room where small curtains may seem out of proportion. Puddle curtains have a few extra inches or centimeters of material past the floor; these are better for very large rooms where that extra "puddle" of material won't get stepped on.


When choosing curtain material, note that it's the weave and density of the fabric and not just the color that blocks out light. Silk and nylon curtains allow in the most sunlight no matter their color, versus velvet or linen curtains. If you do need to block out as much light as possible, such as for a bedroom facing a streetlight, always choose blackout curtains specifically. These will either be made with a very tightly woven fabric or will have a fabric backing that blocks light.

Note, too, the ease of cleaning the fabric and especially if you have children or pets. Cotton or linen curtains are often easy to wash with a damp cloth, whereas velvet and silk curtains are typically dry clean only.