The Dos and Don’ts of Curtain Colors for Your Living Room

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When choosing a Curtain Color for a living room, you probably first think of the big aspects – the dominant pieces and surfaces in the room. What color will the sofa be, what about the walls, and what shade of rug will work best in the space? Curtains are often an afterthought. However, they are as much as noticeable as the couch and much more visible than what’s going on underfoot, so it’s important to consider choosing your living room curtains

Here we will focus on curtains colors, specifically, what colors you should avoid in your living room. Ponder about it: pick the wrong color for your curtain, and it risks turning into the focus of the whole room. So, we asked designers for tips on no-go shades and what you should look out for instead. Some of the answers might surprise you (neutral lovers, you’ve been warned)…

Red Curtains In The Living Room

Red curtains have a nostalgic feel to them. Christmases hiding behind heavy, lovely, red curtains instantly come to mind, or cozy B&Bs, or stately hotels, but they do belong in the past. Red curtains have no place in new trends of living rooms (unless you are after a super traditional look, which can work in the right space).

‘With the variety of colors and patterns available now. The options are limitless in so many colors we might not have even tried in decades past. However, we’re still leaving the red shades in the past! Keep in mind the red-printed drapes your elders had in every room. It’s just not a color that is bringing the fresh life we want into living rooms these days. Red darkens and pulls light into it, so it’s a tricky color to do work in larger expanses of windows too,’ explains Jennifer Jacobs, founder of Folding Chair Design. 

Designer Deborah Bass concurs that ‘red curtains make me feel like a person is in a stately home so I would dodge (although I love a red gingham kitchen blind. Also, I’m not a fan of purples and also the color pink. In the right pattern, shade or scheme in that case, of course, anything can work but with patterns it is so critical to bear in mind the scale of the pattern, a thing that looks fabulous on a small sample can be entirely lost when made up in tall curtains.’

White in the living room

Despite being known as a super classy shade that can work in any area, white, in its brightest purest form, might be a tricky color to work with. As a curtain color, it can come over as super formal and cold, especially if there are different warmer variants used elsewhere in the room; you might notice the iciness of the shade. 

‘A curtain color to be cautious with is stark, pearl white, as it can appear sterile against light-colored walls and draw attention away from other design parts. Instead, consider using soft white or cream colors to maintain soft and elegant tone-on-tone results. Additionally, avoid using curtain colors that clash with the furniture or decor in the living space. Choose colors that harmonize with the existing living room color scheme, making a cohesive and visually lovely atmosphere,’ suggests Jennifer Davis, founder of Davis Interiors. 

If you want a neutral curtain color, opt for something warmer,, as seen in this living room. ‘Subtleness is important in living room curtains also using soft shades of cream colors and off-whites in semi-sheer fabrics would bring in warmth. In addition, also diffuses the natural light to create a relaxing atmosphere,’ says Anca Enica, Designer and Founder of Atelier Chelsea Design.

Dark Blue Living room 

Or any dark-colored curtain, for that matter. Dark colors surrounding a window are just going to sap light coming into the space, instantly making the room feel darker. This is gaining more popularity as time goes on. I myself have gone with a dark theme for my own home as well. 

The same colour as the wall’s major dos and don’ts of curtain colours for the living room

It’s not exactly a color, but it’s still something to avoid when choosing a curtain color for a living room. You never want your curtains to match the exact color of your living room walls . Curtains are an opportunity to add depth and worth to a room. Even if you don’t want to go for a contrasting colour, opt for more tonal results, so go a few shades darker than your wall colour instead.  

 ‘One color to steer clear of is an exact match to the wall color. While it may seem like a seamless option, it can result in a monotonous, bland look, lacking visual interest and depth. Instead, opt for curtain colors that are slightly lighter or darker than the wall color to create a subtle contrast.’

See how the curtain color in this living room is slightly darker and warmer than the wall colors, which are closer to a crisp white. The shade softens the white; there’s just enough contrast to add interest and intrigue. Also, let’s not ignore that bit of bold pink to make all those neutrals more fresh and more exciting. 

OVERLY PATTERNED CURTAINS for the living room

If you want to opt for a patterned curtain. We would recommend going with something classic that has longevity and might be switched up as your style and trends change. For us, the glaring choice is a stripe or some subtle take on a stripe. It should never be too broad, not too narrow. A neutral colorway in a lovely slubby linen that will add texture and a subtle hint of pattern.

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Jane Taylor

Jane Taylor

Passionate interior designer who love sharing knowledge and memories.
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About Me

Jane Taylor

Jane Taylor

Passionate interior designer who love sharing knowledge and memories.

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Subscribe my Newsletter for new blog posts, tips & new photos. Let's stay updated!

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