Curtains are essential elements in interior decoration as they have the power of framing and shaping a room’s appearance. They are an addition to your house’s looks and come in different shapes, materials, and styles. That means that choosing the best one for your space isn’t always as easy as it sounds. If you are thinking about buying curtains and need some curtain ideas for inspiration, you landed in the right place.
In this post, you’ll find the best types of curtains suited for your style, and you’ll learn to select one that is most suitable for your home.
What Are Curtains?
Before we dive into the different types of curtains, you should have a clear definition of what they are. First of all, you shouldn’t mix them with drapes! Curtains are usually made of thin fabrics (but can be lined to block out the light) and are installed above windows up on a curtain rod and come down to the floor. Curtains are usually placed over blinds or shades to provide privacy and darken the room.
It is possible to sew curtains or to hang them in original ways to create different effects. Since they come in different shapes, colors, prints, depths, and materials, they allow owners to play with their creativity and help set the tone and style of a room. There are several ways to classify different types of curtains. For this reason, buying new ones could be a challenging task without proper knowledge.
Guide to Curtains and 100 Curtain Ideas
But you shouldn’t despair! We put together this essential guide to help you make the best decision regarding your curtains. Here you’ll find curtain ideas to inspire you and aid you in the selection process. To make things even simpler, we divided all of the curtain styles into different categories.
Types of Curtains
Now that you have a clear idea of what curtains are, you are ready to dig into this essential guide!
Let’s start with the different types of curtains you can choose from.
As the name suggests, these curtains feature two separate curtain panels. To close the curtains, you’ll have to them together. When opened, you can tie them back for a more symmetrical look. They are common in classic and contemporary styles.
Single panel curtains involve only one panel covering the entire window. To open, you’ll have to pull to one side. You can even tie it back to create an asymmetrical look, suited to modern and contemporary houses.
Window Treatment Set
A window treatment set always includes two curtains and a valance. Some come equipped with tiebacks or a curtain rod, to add more personality.
Have you ever seen those short curtains hanging on top of the windows? They are decorative additions that take the name of “valance.” They are available either separately or as part of a window treatment set. It is also possible to use them without additional curtains on windows, to add a decorative flair.
A window scarf, just like a valance, is a decorative piece that has no other purposes other than adding a touch of style to your room. Window scarves are long and thin and hung from the top of the window to create a dramatic look that is a good fit for romantic and laid-back atmospheres.
Liners provide versatility to your curtains. Adding a liner to sheer curtains can offer increased privacy and better shielding from light. Some liners have additional features: they might block noise or the heat to come through your interiors.
The Attachment Style
If you ever looked at the header where curtains usually hung from, you might have noticed some are pinched at the top, while others come from the rod. There is a variety of styles when it comes to curtains’ attachment. Depending on which one you choose, you’ll get different results with more or less volume and defined shapes.
Here’s a list of some of the main pinches styles :
- Goblet Style – For these types of curtains, the headers are pinched down a few inches from the fabric. Such a style is often used in bathroom curtains, as it allows for the use of thicker materials.
- Tie-top –When curtains are attached to poles with knots at the top or by tying bows, you have a tie-top curtain. If you are looking to evoke a bohemian, romantic, or just more laidback atmosphere, consider adopting this style.
- Box Pleat – For more formal and classic looks, this should be your choice. Such a style forms angular pleats. Keep in mind that sewing for this pinch requires specific measurements.
- Pinch Pleat – These curtains provide a neat look that extends down to the floor. Both rings or pockets are suited for hanging them.
- Rod Pocket – If you prefer the rod to be hiding, this style should be your option. The pocket is sewn into the top of the curtain. Curtains on such header might be harder to open. Consider closing them with tie-backs. These curtains are suitable for casual looks. Fabrics that go well with this style include cotton and linen.
- Tab Top – These curtains are similar to the Box Pleat style and come with loops on the top to be pulled over the rod directly. In this style, much of the rod is visible, while the rounded pleats are narrower. Loops of fabric are sewn into the top of the curtain. You may see top curtains featuring decorative embellishments. They are most popular in causal and contemporary country style homes.
- Grommet – This header is best for curtains with holes at the top, where the fabric is reinforced with grommets. It allows the holes to be strung on the rod directly, leaving parts of it exposed. These types of curtains have softer ripples. Grommet curtains add some flourish personality to the room.
- Ripple Fold – It usually comes installed on a track and makes it easy to open and close curtains. This style is a cross between rod pockets and tab curtains. An additional piece of fabric helps to keep the tabs out. The soft folding makes them suitable for modern and classic looks.
It is not only the headers to play a role in determining how a curtain will hand. The material also has an impact on the overall looks. More importantly, the specific fabric chosen for your curtains will affect how much light and noise will penetrate the room. One of the determining factors when choosing curtains is the opacity of the material. Different materials suit different applications. To make better choices, you should be aware of the requirements you have. For instance, how much privacy do you need, do you need additional features, and how much sunlight do you want in the room?
Different types of curtains
There exist different types of curtains based on light filtration levels. Let’s have a look at the most common ones:
- Sheers – These curtain types do not offer much privacy, as they are see-through. They are thin and made of semi-transparent fabrics, meaning they allow for a lot of sunlight to come in even when the curtains are closed. They do create a nice-looking flow thanks to the lightweight nature of the material. Such a material guarantees a soft and elegant glow to your interiors. They are popular in living and dining rooms. If you like the style provided by sheers, but you still want some privacy, consider adding a liner. Doing so will allow you to enjoy the beauty of these light curtains while being able to benefit from some added privacy.
- Window Scarfs – such curtains frame the top section of windows and are mostly just decorative. Many choose to enhance the look of traditional curtains and obtain a sophisticated look.
- Semi sheers – When looking for more privacy, without losing the glow of sheers, this type of curtains might be your best option. These semi-opaque curtains are a blend of sheer curtains and blackouts. They often come in combination with shades in bathrooms or bedrooms.
- Blackout – For the highest level of privacy and insulation, blackouts are your to-go choice. Their fabric commonly features a liner that makes them opaque and thicker. They are common in bedrooms, but also any other area requiring darkness. If you want to achieve a polished look, you can place blackout curtains behind sheer curtains.
Your curtains need to match your overall style in order not to look out of place in your home. Consider the types of space you want to place your curtains in and get some curtain ideas before you start decorating your rooms.
Casual curtains tend to feature grommet or tab top attachments and serve to create an easy-going vibe. Such types of curtains are common in bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. Pairing them with a valance would be a bad idea, as the two don’t match in style.
Classic Style Curtains
These types of curtains can suit almost every room in your house. If you want to add a valance and create a timeless appeal, you can do so with classic style curtains. They work well for the country and bohemian designs as well. You can find them in floral, stripes, and plaid patterns.
Commonly available in shades of grey and brown, contemporary curtains are the perfect way to add some freshness to your interior. If your room looks too dull, consider picking bright and bold colors. Most of the time, you can expect contemporary style curtains to feature-rich textures. Despite the sophisticated look and thanks to the simplicity of the design, you won’t risk giving the impression of being pretentious with these curtains.
The modern style tends to be rather minimalistic and often features eco-friendly materials. Modern curtains often come in clear lines or bold patterns, but also in solid colors. They can create an impactful design statement, depending on the look you decide to place them.
Of course, choosing the right curtains also has to do with selecting the right material. The purpose of this goes beyond the decoration. Depending on what your needs are, some materials will be more suitable than others. Let’s have a look at how can materials impact your choice.
Cotton is arguably the most popular material. It allows moderate lighting while provides for some level of privacy. Curtains made of such a fabric often come with other materials. Cotton can suit different styles and rooms in your house. On top of this, they are easy to clean, which makes them even more versatile!
Despite being denser than cotton, linen curtains do not weigh in the room. They provide a casual and easy-going vibe and allow for a moderate level of sunlight getting in, without compromising your privacy. Since linen tends to be hard to clean, such a material is not suitable for dusty environments.
When looking for privacy, velvet is your to-go choice. This heavy material helps to reduce outside noise and offers a blackout effect. For these reasons, you’ll mostly find it in bedrooms. The material creates a dramatic look on your windows, and it works perfectly with classy looks. It is worth mentioning that such a fabric is known to be difficult to clean: you’ll have to have it cleaned by a professional company.
If you want to create a luxurious look, choose silk! Popular in classic and contemporary styles, this fabric is semi-sheer. However, it has a reputation for being hard to clean.
For an airy and bright environment, there’s no better choice than lace. This sheer fabric lets in most of the sunlight but offers the worst privacy. Lace curtains are best for living rooms or kitchens, or in any other place requiring a considerable amount of light to come in.
For a casual style, privacy, and minimal light, look no further than burlap curtains. Despite looking similar to linen, burlap is a heavy material. Also, it is easy to clean!
When cost is a concern, you might want to consider synthetic curtains. They can mirror the looks of every material, but may not last as long.
Last but not least, the length of your curtains is another way to achieve particular styles and provide a specific atmosphere for the room.
Perfect for windows that are frequently opened, sill length curtains end just below the window. They are perfect for smaller window sizes in bathrooms or kitchens.
To make your windows look longer, you should go for apron length curtains. They are perfect for small windows, with the rod placed higher than the window.
Floor curtains help to create a traditional style and are great for big windows.
These extra long curtains help add a dramatic or romantic look for your room. They can be several inches longer than the size of the window.
Living room curtain ideas
Bedroom curtain ideas
Image: Dear Lillie
Kitchen curtain ideas
Image: House Beautiful
Window curtain ideas
Image: ELLE Decor
So, now you have it, 100 curtain ideas! Now that you got all the information about the types of curtains you can choose from and the different styles you can create by combining all the factors, you should be ready to select the best curtain for your interiors. Take your time to go through your options. Don’t forget to be patient, as good things come with hard-work.