Curtains, Colors, Materials, & More

Curtains can tie any space together. Along with muffling noise and creating privacy, they add just the right touch of home. But which curtains are the best choice? You may be wondering how to choose curtains for your living room., or which fabric will look best in the kitchen, or frankly, where to even start.

Don’t worry—Ashley has you and your windows covered! Our tips and tricks will help you choose the best curtains to amp up your space. With everything from colors to materials, we’ll help you bring out your inner interior designer and transform your home.

How to Measure for Window Curtains

Measuring your windows for curtains can seem a bit tricky. But with the right tools and methods, it’s pretty simple. Always remember curtains are sold in individual panels. So when you measure, you’re measuring for each panel.

Curtains are measured in length and width. When you measure the width of your window, measure from left to right, starting at the outside of the window casing. It’s essential to create a measurement about two or three times more than the window width for curtains so they appear fuller. Here are some simple steps to figure out curtain width:

  • Mark each side of the window casing.
  • Add 6″ to the measurement for each side.
  • Divide the total number by how many panels you need (typically 2).

So if your window measures 36″, add 12″ to equal 48″. Divide by 2 for each panel size (24″). That means each curtain panel should have a minimum width of 24″.

When measuring for length, consider the span of space you want the drape to cover. Style and functionality come into play with this decision. Some windows might look best with curtains all the way to the floor. Still, sometimes it might be more functional to cover windows to the sill, such as with a kitchen window over the sink. Store-bought curtains and drapes typically come in lengths of 64 “, 84”, 95 “, 108″, and 120”.

To measure for length:

  • Mount your curtain rod and decide the style of curtain you want.
  • Be sure to take into account where the top of the curtain hits the rod—does it hang on rings extending below the rod, is it flush with the top, or does it extend above the rod pocket? You’ll need to measure from the highest place the curtain will hang.
  • Measure down to the lowest point that you want your curtain to hang. Often, it’s the bottom of the window sill or the floor.

Tips for Choosing Curtain Rods

Learning how to choose curtain rods helps you elevate your space—literally and stylistically. The curtain rods you choose should make a statement on their own. Generally, curtain rods come in two styles: single and double. But colors, materials, and accessories take your curtain rods to another level.

Always make sure your rod complements your curtains. Rods come in materials such as wood, metal, and plastic. You can also choose from finishes including brass, silver, bronze, and stainless steel.

The main difference between single-rod and double-rod curtains is an extra layer of style. Single rods are the most common, with one bar mounted at the top of the window. The bar threads through the curtain’s grommets, rings, or pockets. With double rods, you can layer your curtains to create a more dramatic look.

How to Choose Curtains for Every Room in Your Home

With so many options, figuring out how to choose curtains can be overwhelming. But this gives you countless chances for your style and personality to shine through in your home. Each room has its own flair. Make sure your curtains match that energy.

It’s also essential to consider how much natural light you want to shine when picking your curtains. Curtains come in various shade levels, from sheer to blackout. Depending on the room, you may want to let more or less light in. Maybe you like to sleep in on the weekends. If so, a blackout curtain might be a good pick for the bedroom.

Plain vs. Patterned Window Curtains

If you’re stumped on how to choose a curtain color or pattern, the good news is many things can work. Curtains can make a sophisticated statement or offer a welcoming vibe. You can start by considering the aesthetic of each room.

If you already have a lot going on with décor, a plain curtain could provide the perfect balance. But if you feel like a room lacks a pop, patterned curtains could bring that missing element. You can use plain or patterned curtains wherever they fit. It’s all up to you!

Best Window Curtain Materials

Curtains come in many materials, including cotton, silk, polyester, and velvet. Choosing the best window curtain materials depends on your style and budget. Man-made materials, like polyester, come in countless lengths, colors, and patterns and are usually budget-friendly. Silk or velvet might require you to splurge a bit, but it can set an exquisite tone.

Some materials work better in different spaces. For example, you might want to save your elegant silk curtains for a special place like the living room, and use affordable, trendy polyester curtains in the guest room or your home office.

Latest Window Curtain Trends

Knowing the latest window curtain trends is a must if you love trendy, fashion-forward pieces. And we’re here to fill you in. In 2023, it’s all about drama. Windows are now the center of attention in design. Pinch pleat drapes are gaining popularity, while grommets and wave pleats are becoming a thing of the past. Many are also going for soft-draped shades or Austrian shades to make windows stand out.

Window scarves and valances with bold graphics are also coming on the scene. Valances are typically used as another layer of window treatment, and also another layer of style. The right patterns can make your home feel chic and put-together.

We hope this guide helps you decide how to choose curtains for your living room and every other space. Browse our stunning curtain deals and give your windows the upgrade they deserve.