Use your curtains to echo the most striking elements of your design scheme - the red trim on this neutral curtain is a satisfying repetition of the unusual two-tone fabric on the wingback chairs. In a library setting such as this, hanging a curtain on just one side of the window allows as much reading light to stream in as possible.
1/11 Mirror image
GP & J Baker
Pimpernel & Partners
2/11 Matching ties
Floor-length curtains soften the effect of the wooden fretwork shutters and panelling in this vibrant scheme. Tying strips of fabric to the curtain rail creates a playful, festive vibe in keeping the room's zesty green hues. Matching the tie fabric with the rest of the upholstery helps to unify the scheme, while the organic style finials on the curtain poles make a quirky finishing touch.
3/11 Hold back
If you are lucky enough to have wall-to-wall windows in your living room, keep your curtains light and neutral so that nothing detracts from the view. Wooden curtain holdbacks will keep them neatly out of the way and are less fiddly than fabric or cord curtain ties. In a light-filled space such as this, pale-coloured curtains are also a practical choice as they will fade less quickly than curtains in darker hues.
4/11 Pole position
Curtain rails often get overlooked when in fact they offer the perfect opportunity to make a striking design statement. Here, a high gloss red curtain pole with bud-like finials catches the eye as soon as you walk into the room. The curtains have been kept simple and white to allow the pole to take centre stage. Matching red accents in the chairs, cushions and other accessories pull the scheme together.
Similar curtain pole
Byron & Byron
The Conran Shop
5/11 Create different zones
Curtains are an easy and attractive way to divide a room into different zones and are especially useful in multifunctional spaces. Here, light, white curtains separate the bed from the rest of the bedroom, allowing one person to bathe or read while the other sleeps. The window curtains, meanwhile, can be closed to hide away the writing desk after dark.
6/11 Dip dye
Dip-dye is a subtle and stylish way to work a colour into a scheme. The soft coral in the curtains adds a hint of vibrancy to this neutral living room. Fresh flowers and cushion fabrics carry the colour through to the rest of the room, while the ombré effect in the curtains is echoed in the cushions and rug, giving the space a sophisticated feel.
7/11 Eastern influence
Deep grey curtains soften the edges of this precise, Japanese-influenced hallway. The narrow woven stripe of the fabric echoes the grain of the wood in the window frames as well as the fabric on the simple bench. Choosing curtains in a neutral, pebble tone allows them to work in harmony with the other natural materials around the room, from the wicker basket to the paper lampshade.
8/11 Draught excluder
Hanging a curtain in front of an outside door performs three functions: it helps to keep draughts under control, offers the option of extra privacy and adds a decorative touch to an otherwise purely functional hallway. The printed leaf motif shown here echoes the plants in the garden and on the console table, blurring the boundary between outside and in.
9/11 Mixed motifs
If you want to play with pattern in a bedroom, keep the look relaxed by matching motifs of varying scale with simple, crafted pieces. Here, positioning an ikat-printed bed panel in front of the spotted window curtains helps to break up the scheme. Combine different monochrome patterns with swathes of white to dilute the look.
10/11 Dressing room divider
If you are creating a dressing room, consider using a curtain as a more versatile alternative to a door. When not in use, the curtain frames the dressing area without blocking the light from the window beyond.
11/11 Add a swag
Swagged curtains add drama and glamour to any room. Here, the curtain fabric is a shade or two lighter than the greens used for the walls and upholstery, ensuring that the curtains blend in with the scheme rather than overpowering it. Any darker in a bedroom this size and they might have looked too oppressive. A subtle stripe and a tassel trim make for an elegant finishing touch.
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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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