5 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Curtains For Your Space

If you've ever tried to buy curtains, you know it's an overwhelming process. Case in point: When shopping in a brick-and-mortar storefront, it sometimes feels like wafting through a never-ending supply of fabrics in various colors, patterns, and sizes. Similarly, when doing so online, narrowing down options can feel even more impossible, as you could scroll through choices all day. 

However, window coverings are important — and curtains are a great choice for a number of reasons. According to Lewis Interiors, they can elevate your style, offer privacy, control natural lighting, insulate rooms, and decrease noise from outside the house. Additionally, curtains are easy to maintain and clean and be added to any room to add more comfort and coziness. Attempting to pin down your curtain choices? Then perhaps you could use some tips. Here are five things to do before settling on the right window coverings for different rooms throughout your home.

Measure your windows

First, before picking out any curtains, measure your windows to ensure you purchase the right size panels. Home Depot suggests beginning by measuring the width, then adding 12 inches to each side. Once you've added up this number, divide the total by how many panels you want (typically two). This will help guarantee your coverings appear full and completely cover the window. CurtainShop.com even says the width of your curtains should at least double the width of the window.

When it comes to the length, you'll need to measure from where you want the curtains hung to where you want them to fall. Curtains can be suspended inside the window's opening, directly above the window, or closer to the ceiling. If you want your window coverings to reach the floor, add 1 to 3 inches to the total length, and if you want them to pool or puddle, add 6 to 12 inches. CurtainShop.com adds that these measurements don't have to be exact, as you could always move the rod up or down to get your preferred look.

Consider their overall purpose

After measuring your windows, it's time to consider the main purpose of your curtains. Why exactly are you adding these window coverings to your room? Answering this question will help you make better-informed decisions throughout the purchasing process. According to Home Steady, some people add them purely for the visual effect in the kitchen. In this case, you can choose whatever color and style you desire. Do you love sunlight? Well, there's always the option of choosing a sheer or light-colored material.

When adding curtains to the bedroom, bathroom, or living room, the focus may be more on privacy. In this case, prioritize a darker color or a thicker fabric. Or, perhaps you want less light or sound in the bedroom; if so, you would benefit from blackout curtains. In the office, you probably need soundproofing qualities, and a thick material would come in handy. Those who live in an extra warm or cold climate may add thick curtains to regulate their home's temperature, as window coverings can be energy-efficient, per Efavormart.

Be mindful of the material

Next, you'll need to decide on the right material. As previously mentioned, this will most likely be determined by the purpose of your curtains. Crate & Barrel lists some of the most popular options. For a formal look, go with silk. According to Homedit, faux silk is a great alternative to the real thing, as it's more durable but still looks luxe. Another option is velvet, which would do a better job of keeping out sunlight.

Want something that's easy to clean and provides privacy? Your best bet would be cotton, which has many different color and pattern options to choose from. Linen curtains are casual and lightweight and also come in blackout styles. Meanwhile, sheer curtains are ideal for those who love sunlight. Now, if you want the benefit of multiple materials, choose to layer them, per Designing Idea. For instance, you could add both linen and sheer curtains to your windows. That way, if you want to greatly diminish any sunlight, choose the linen option, and if you want more light, pick the sheer version.

Choose the ideal color and style

Now comes the fun part: choosing the right color and style. According to Loft Curtains, matching the color with your home's décor will provide a classic appearance. For a minimalist aesthetic, you could match the shade to your wall paint or choose a pastel tone. Light gray will provide relaxation, while brown shades tend to offer a warm feel. Inspired Homes suggests using darker and thicker panels for formal spaces and lighter tones for modern rooms.

Of course, you have several options when it comes to looks, per Blinds.com. Rod pocket curtains are rather popular and cover the entire curtain rod, while grommet coverings have open rings and are easier to open and close. Curtains with pleats will create a more elegant and upscale appearance. According to Designing Idea, create a formal look by using a valence, or an extra piece of fabric, on the top of your window. For a casual look, choose a style that doesn't draw too much attention. More traditional spaces typically use pattern and color, while modern rooms use solid colors and neutrals.

Keep your budget in mind

When perusing curtains, you'll probably discover a range of options, and every type will have a different price point. In fact, according to CostHelper, one panel can cost anywhere from $7 to $1,500 and up. Therefore, it's important to keep your budget in mind when shopping. Say you're trying to cover your windows on a budget. You're in luck, as Love To Know has a helpful tip. Their experts note that a cheap way to create a formal appearance is by using a valance and blinds.

Adding curtains for looks? Then Ulinkly recommends using narrow panels that don't cover the whole window when closed. Or, you could make cheap fabrics look more luxe by adding beading or tassels. Finally, The Classy Chics offers some more practical advice, like shopping around, looking in clearance sections, mixing expensive pieces with cheap ones, and having patience. Do all this and you'll find the perfect curtains in no time.