Home Curtains: Your Handbook for Refined Window Dressings

A white living room with wooden floors and white furniture.

We know what you’re thinking: “Curtains are so yesterday.”

Admittedly, off-the-shelf curtains can be dull and downright unsatisfying. But in the hands of a skilled designer, curtains can transform a room into a stylish and surprisingly modern space.

So don’t write off curtains just yet — our guide will take you through the process of selecting the perfect curtains for your home.

More Than Just a Window Covering

Curtains are the rockstars of interior design. Think of them as your room’s fashion statement, adding texture, color, and a dollop of personality.

But it’s not just about looks — curtains have the “brains” to match their beauty. They offer excellent privacy, and let’s not forget their superpower: light control. Need to block out that early morning sunshine on weekends? Blackout curtains have you covered. Need to dampen that barking dog? Acoustic curtains to the rescue.

So, let’s show some love and respect for the unsung heroes of home decor!

1. Define Your Aesthetic

First things first, what’s your vibe? Are you into minimalist design with clean lines and neutral tones? Or maybe a modern look with bold colors and geometric patterns?

Or perhaps you’re a fan of the classic aesthetic, emphasizing symmetry and timeless appeal?

Understanding what speaks to you is the first step towards curtain nirvana. There’s a world of difference between a set of stark white curtains and deep navy velvet drapes — so take time to explore different styles.

a. Modern Elegance

What are “modern curtains,” exactly? Certainly not grandma’s musty old drapes.

Imagine sleek lines, neutral tones, minimalist designs, and understated elegance. The beauty of modern curtains lies in their ability to blend into your space, elevating rather than overpowering it.

Picture a set of crisp white curtains dancing in the breeze or a charcoal gray blackout curtain gracefully framing your city skyline view.

It’s all about simplicity. But don’t be fooled — while the design might be simple, the effect can be spectacular. So go ahead, give your windows the modern makeover they deserve.

b. Timeless Classics

Classic curtains might be your best bet if you favor symmetry, elegance, and traditional design.

Think of rich fabrics like silk or velvet in deep jewel tones paired with ornate curtain rods and tassels. This style brings unapologetic luxury and drama to a room.

But classic doesn’t have to mean stuffy — you can mix modern and traditional elements for a unique spin on classic design. For example, contrasting clean-lined furniture with traditional curtains can create a dynamic and balanced space.

2. Consider the Fabric

Fabric choice is one of the most important landmarks in your curtain journey. Sure, it depends on your preferences, but other factors also come into play.

Need more privacy? Opt for a heavy fabric.

Want a well-lit room? Go for sheer materials that let the sunshine in.

And let’s not overlook durability — if you have pets or kids or simply want your curtains to last, choose a sturdy fabric like cotton or polyester. Take a moment to think about what you need from your curtains beyond appearance.

a. Lightweight & Airy

Lightweight fabrics like linen, voile, or sheer cotton create a breezy, effortless look. They allow natural light to filter through while still offering some privacy.

These fabrics work well in bedrooms or living rooms where you want a bright, airy feel without sacrificing too much privacy.

b. Heavy & Sumptuous

Heavy materials like velvet, silk, or damask are ideal for a more formal or dramatic effect. They add texture and depth to your space and offer excellent light control and privacy.

However, they might not be the best choice in a hot climate as they can trap heat and make a room feel stuffy.

c. Thermal Curtains

If you’re living somewhere chilly or your circulation isn’t what it used to be, thermal curtains could be your new best friend. These wonders insulate your windows, keeping the cold or warm air out. They’re like snug winter jackets for your windows, helping you save on energy costs while keeping your living space snug and comfortable.

So, if you want to combine style with practicality and energy efficiency, give thermal curtains a whirl. They can be every bit as stylish as their standard cousins.

3. Play with Color & Patterns

Curtains can inject color, patterns, and personality into a room without the permanent commitment of painting or wallpapering. You can use them as a pop of color to liven up a neutral space or as a statement piece in an otherwise plain room.

But keep some basic principles in mind. Choose solid-colored curtains to avoid overwhelming the space if you have patterned furniture or walls. And if your room is already a riot of color, a neutral curtain can restore balance.

Mix and match patterns with caution. Stripes and florals can work well together if they share a color scheme, but it’s best to stick to two patterns at most.

a. Bold & Bright

Bold and bright curtains are a fantastic way to spice up a room. But make sure the color complements the space rather than clashing with it. For example, if your walls are yellow, you might want to steer clear of hot pink curtains.

Also, consider how much light the room gets before choosing a bold color that can become obnoxious in a sun-filled room.

b. Subtle & Neutral

Neutral curtains might sound boring, but they offer a clean, refined look and create a calming effect. Opt for subtle patterns or textures like linen or jacquard weaves to add interest without going overboard.

4. Explore Curtain Styles

Length Matters

Are you drawn towards the sophistication and elegance of floor-length drapes that puddle slightly on the floor?

Or do you prefer the casual charm of café curtains that admit more light and only cover part of the window?

The length of your curtains will dramatically impact a room’s overall look and feel and should align with your aesthetic.

From sill to apron to floor — each length brings a unique energy. So measure twice, and then measure again.

Floor-Length Allure

Floor-length curtains can create a dramatic, luxurious look. Whether sweeping the floor in a lush velvet or rustling gently in a breezy chiffon, floor-length curtains have a grand visual impact.

They’re especially suited to living rooms, dining rooms, or bedrooms where you want a sense of class and opulence. Think of a gala event — no one goes in a minidress!

Café Curtains Charm

Café curtains bring a coquettish charm to your home and balance privacy and natural light. These dainty, half-height cuties hang mid-window and fit exceptionally well in the kitchen or bathroom.

Imagine sipping your morning coffee while the morning sun streams in or enjoying a bubble bath with just the right amount of privacy, all thanks to the magic of café curtains.

They have a cozy, welcoming feel and can be as simple or decorative as you like. From bright and cheerful gingham for a country look to sleek and understated linen for a modern vibe, café curtains offer versatility and style in equal measure.

5. Don’t Forget the Hardware

Curtain hardware is every bit as important as the fabric or style. It’s like accessorizing your favorite outfit — the hardware does more than hold up your curtains. It enhances the overall aesthetic.

Curtain Rods

Curtain rods are the backbone of your curtain configuration. Metallic finishes like brass, chrome, or black iron add a chic, modern feel; wooden rods bring in a rustic charm, while white or pastel-colored rods give your room a soft, romantic touch.

Curtain Rings or Clips

Consider enhancing your curtains’ drape with decorative rings or clips. They come in various finishes, colors, and materials like wood, metal, or plastic. Curtain rings feel more vintage, while clips have a more modern look.

Tiebacks & Holdbacks

Tiebacks and holdbacks keep your curtains neatly tied to the side when you want to let in the light. They’re available in various styles, from simple hooks to ornate tassels, and are a functional yet ornamental addition to your curtains.


Finials are the decorative ends of the curtain rods. They can have geometric, modern forms or intricately carved traditional ones. They offer an easy way to infuse personality and coordinate your curtains with the rest of the room.

6. Customizing Your Options

Sometimes, a one-size-fits-all approach just won’t cut it. You’ll need curtains cut from a different cloth!

Unless you’re handy with a sewing machine, skilled in design, and experienced in curtain manufacture, it pays to call an expert for the job.

Custom-made curtains allow you to pick your fabric, style, color, pattern, and even the type of pleating, and their precise sizing means they’ll fit your windows to a T.

Perfectly fitted curtains can be stunning statement pieces. Plus, they offer better light control and insulation.

If you live in metro Los Angeles, look no further than Aero Shade Window Coverings. We’ve been in business for well over half a century — almost since the beginning of curtains (though we don’t claim to have invented them)!

We supply window treatment to prominent architects, interior designers, Hollywood stars, and thousands of homeowners throughout the LA basin.

Call us today for a free in-home consultation, or visit our Los Angeles showroom to see and test working models of our products. We’re open Monday through Friday.

FAQs: More about Home Curtains

Q: Can I mix and match curtain styles in different rooms?

Mixing curtain styles adds a dynamic element, but stick to a consistent color palette for cohesion.

Q: How do I clean and maintain my curtains?

The cleaning method depends on the fabric. Most curtains are machine washable, but delicate fabrics may require professional cleaning.

Q: When should I consider blackout curtains?

Blackout curtains are ideal for bedrooms or media rooms, providing privacy and blocking out light for a restful environment.

Q: Can I use curtains in small spaces?

Opt for light-colored, sheer curtains to create an illusion of space. Mount curtains higher to visually elongate the room.

Q: What are some current trends in curtain design?

Natural fabrics, bold patterns, and sustainable materials are on-trend. Keep an eye on eco-friendly curtain options.

Q: How do I measure my window for curtains?

Start by measuring the width of the window frame. Then, decide how far you want the curtains to extend on either side. Next, for the length, measure from the curtain rod to where you want the curtains to end. Always round up to the nearest inch.

Q: Does the curtain color have to match the wall color?

Not at all! Curtains can blend with your décor or stand out. Choose curtains with the same shade or a few shades lighter or darker than your walls for a seamless look. Choose a bold, contrasting color if you want your curtains to be a focal point.

Q: How often should I replace my curtains?

This depends on the fabric quality and how well you maintain them. Typically, curtains last 7-10 years. However, it might be time for a replacement if they’re faded, torn, or outdated.

Q: Can I layer different types of curtains?

Layering adds depth and interest to your window treatments. For example, you can layer a sheer curtain under a heavier drape.

Q: Are heavier fabrics better for insulation?

Heavier curtain fabrics like velvet or tweed are best for insulation. They help keep heat in during the winter and block out the sun during the summer. However, they may not be a good choice if you want lots of natural light.