Living room curtains influence your design as much as furniture selection, paint color, or wall hangings. This fabric addition to a room is a key style feature with practical benefits. The best living room curtain styles are the ones that provide the light you need and the privacy you want, in a style that complements your interior design.
There are many types of curtains for living rooms, enabling you to create a cozy, elegant, or dramatic effect. Whether using the fabric or texture of the curtains to blend in seamlessly or make a statement, the living room curtains you choose create an impression.
Here are 15 living room curtain ideas to show you the difference the right window covering makes in your home.
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1. Neutral Ceiling Drapes
Floor-to-ceiling drapes often exude elegance. Keep the room light and airy by choosing neutral colors for your living room curtains. Not only do neutral tones make a space feel bigger, but these hues also offer a timeless style for a living room.
Use curtain tiebacks to hold the curtains open. These little fabric ties are flexible. You can tie curtain panels individually on each side, framing the window, or tie them together in the center to add more style and limit the amount of light coming in.
2. Sheer Linen Curtains
In small rooms, curtains can overwhelm a space. If this concerns you, opt for a simple two-panel curtain set that elegantly blends into the living room. Sheer linen curtains, like this highly rated option available at Etsy, strike a great balance. They provide a room with diffused natural light—even when closed (making them well-suited to rooms with low-maintenance plants).
When opting for simple, proper sizing makes all the difference. If you want your curtains to open and close easily, pick a length about ¼ to ½ inch above the floor to minimize dragging. To get the right size curtains for your windows, a curtain size calculator can help you find living room curtains that fit just right.
3. Multiple Panels on a Single Rod
Living rooms with multiple smaller windows in a row often look beautiful using one long curtain rod and several curtain panels to add texture to the room. This technique works for everything from patterned curtains to white curtains for living rooms. If your living room faces a busy street, you may prefer curtains made of a thicker fabric to offer some more privacy when the curtains are closed and also give the room a more opulent feel.
4. Curtains and Blinds
Layering design elements can add style to a space without making a living room feel busy. Not only does this look work in many types of homes, but it also gives you greater control over the amount of light in your living room. With curtains alone, light is essentially an all-or-nothing proposition. Adding the blinds enables you to angle the light and balance the amount that comes in.
5. Sheer Bohemian Curtains
Curtains with neutral tones are easy to pair with your home’s aesthetic, but clean and simple designs may not quite fit your vibe. Infuse some bohemian style into a home with translucent, vintage-feeling curtains that give off effortless design without overpowering the space. This style pairs well with hanging plants, wood accents, and cozy rugs.
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6. Rod Pocket Panel Curtains
Certain curtains for living rooms are always in style. Simple and classic, rod pocket curtains are easy to conceal curtain hanging hardware and have clean lines that don’t distract from the rest of your decor. Some consider the most basic styles the best curtains because they look good even when aesthetics change.
For this style of living room curtains, opting for semi-sheer fabric diffuses sunlight, so even on the brightest days, you get the natural light benefits without the glare.
7. Valance Curtains
Perhaps you love dramatic curtain details, or elegant design enchants you. When sophistication and opulence are the goals, valance curtains help you achieve them by adding style, formality, and dimension to your living room window treatments. Standard panel curtains hang on either side of the window, but the valance frames the top, often covering the hardware used to hang the curtains.
The valance in this curtain goes behind the panels, but often you see valances for living rooms in front of the panels, much like the curtains you see framing the stage at a theater.
8. Blackout Curtains
Often, blackout curtains are used in bedrooms to help aid in better sleep. However, blackout curtains also work in the living room to block light during an afternoon nap or remove glare from the television if you’re streaming movies during the day.
Thicker curtains like this highly rated set available at Amazon—a favorite in our researched guide to the best blackout curtains—come in many color options, so you’re not limited to dark hues. These curtains grant you a lot of privacy, too, because unlike sheer options, people outside your home cannot see through the window with the curtains drawn.
9. Contemporary Patterns
Neutral tones and single-color living room curtains are not for everyone. Instead of making your curtains a backdrop, turn them into a bold design focal point, which is an excellent option if you want curtains for gray living rooms. Tie the curtains into the rest of the room by incorporating a similar color or design element used in the existing style. This is a highly stylized option where it’s vital to strike a balance between the curtain pattern and the rest of your decor, otherwise, your choice may be overwhelming.
10. Thermal Curtains in a Neutral Color
Thermal curtains can be an excellent living room addition. Often, living room windows are quite large. Since glass is a poor insulator, this window can hinder your energy conservation efforts. Though thermal curtains are thick due to the added layers and insulated backing, they work for many living rooms. Some may consider thermal curtains the best of all worlds because they filter out unwanted light, offer great privacy, insulate the home, and act as a sound barrier—making them well-suited for city living.
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11. Patterned Curtains in Calming Colors
When selecting a living room curtain pattern, consider how it will look with closed and open curtains. When open, the design takes up less space visually. Once you close the curtains, a charming pattern can become too much—especially if you have multiple windows with curtains. Whether you buy or sew your living room curtains, selecting calming and tranquil colors like blues, greens, and purples can help you strike a balance with your color and pattern.
If you like simple patterns but want a subtle effect, choose a pattern that uses neutral hues so it doesn’t demand attention but still offers a bit of depth to the curtain.
12. Crown Molding and Curtains
Some of the best living room curtain ideas are in the installation. Typically homes hang curtains from a visible rod or track. You can elevate the appearance of your living room curtains by installing them behind crown molding. Hiding the hardware creates a seamless style with clean lines, and it’s an idea that works with many modern and traditional styles.
13. Layered Print and Sheer Curtains
Above all else, your living room curtains should fit into the style of the space. You can add charm to your living room curtains by pairing printed panels with another texture. Soften the look of printed curtain panels with sheer, neutral-tone curtains underneath to create layers that complement each other. Leaving the print curtains open, you can enjoy filtered natural light with some privacy from the sheer curtain.
14. Color Block Panels
Certain design aesthetics allow for some creative curtain choices. For example, some contemporary spaces work well with the intrigue of asymmetrical design. Instead of having traditional matching curtains on either side of a window, large windows can use different color curtains to span the length of the glass. This mismatched technique suits solid color curtains that match other hues of the living room design.
15. Layers of Texture
Some living room curtain ideas eliminate the need to decide between privacy, style, or window insulation. If you need a lot of function and fashion out of your curtains, look for some that have it all. This highly rated style available at Wayfair—a favorite in our researched guide to the best thermal curtains—has a base thermal layer, which acts as backing for an elegant layer of tulle, resulting in a fusion of practicality and sophistication.
If you sew, you can create a similar effect by buying simple thermal curtains and adding a layer of tulle, lace, or other fabric. It’s an easy way to make beautiful curtains for a living room.