Should Your Curtains Match Your Walls? Nate Berkus Weighs In

Oprah's pal, Chicago interior designer Nate Berkus, has offered up some pearls of wisdom regarding curtain choices we thought we'd share with you. After all, it's an age-old question: should the curtains match the walls? The answer is, most of the time it's a safe choice, but not necessarily. Keeping the curtains tied to the room in a meaningful way is the most important thing. But when in doubt, matching them to the walls is a good start.

Curtains add a touch of elegance to our spaces and give them that finished look. They can tie an entire room together just perfectly and accentuate the colors in the theme of your decor. They can be used perhaps even more effectively when part of a layered design. You can use them in every room of the house, and they work great with other window treatments. But there's a big mistake that people often make with curtains, according to Berkus. Without further adieu, let's pull back the, well, curtains.

Tips from Nate Berkus

Speaking to My Domaine, Nate Berkus said, "The curtains could be a standalone feature if you're working with a really specialized material, but most of the time, there should be a connection to what else is in the room for the space to feel unified." In other words, the curtains can be chosen to match another design feature of the space. For example, the curtains could be the same shade as the chairs. In certain circumstances, they can even be a "standalone feature," but matching them to the walls is always a good choice, especially if you're going for a more unified or minimalist design scheme.

He also said it's a good starting point to match the curtains with the walls and light fixtures, and then use a bold trim such as a dark, natural wood. Another Berkus curtain tip (via Apartment Therapy) is to use the same curtains throughout the house and not to be afraid to go long. Choosing longer curtains and allowing them to pool at the bottom is in vogue. The advice is to hang them higher up than usual as well, giving the room a bigger, more spacious look. In fact, that directly ties into Berkus' big complaint.

The most common mistake people make with curtains

Nate Berkus said the most common mistake people make with curtains is not choosing them long enough: "I really can't stand curtains that don't hang the full length from the ceiling all the way down to touching — or just skimming — the floor." Hanging them higher and longer gives the room the illusion of having higher ceilings and more space overall. Long, sheer, flowing curtains look terrific in the living room and bedroom in particular.

He suggests Roman shades in the kitchen for plenty of natural light and to keep drapery away from the cooking area. Matching the window coverings with the walls is one suggestion. Another idea Berkus gave is to match them to the cabinetry. Keep your curtains closely intertwined with the rest of your design scheme, and the results will be stunning. Don't take our word for it — take it from Nate Berkus's design tips.