Should Curtains and Carpet Match? Designers Give Their Verdict on This Design Rule

Is it a good idea to match curtains and carpet? Here's what designers have to say

a luxury bedroom with carpet and two nightstands
(Image credit: Andrea West Design)

Although there are no official style rules when it comes to interior design, there are some best practices that people use to make their home look more elevated.

For starters, many people hang up curtains by the windows. Not only do they work to keep the light out, but also can serve as an added element of your interior design. That said, there’s one question that people still seem unable to wrap their heads around — should curtains match the carpet? 

To get to the bottom of this, we spoke with interior designers about everything including curtains and carpets, how to hang curtains properly, and what types of curtains are trending this year.

Should your carpet match your curtains?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to whether or not your bedroom or living room curtains should match the carpet. The general consensus from interior designers is that you’ll want to have curtains that work well with the space. 

'Curtains do not necessarily need to match the carpet; however, we do recommend them to be a color that is pulled from another element in the space,' says Andrea West, interior designer and founder of Andrea West Design.

What should you match your curtains to?

a living room with red curtains

(Image credit: Claire Paquin)

In terms of what you should match your modern window treatments to, our interior design experts say it’s not really about any specific element of the room, but more of the design as a whole. 'They should either tie in with the decor or go completely neutral so they soften the space but disappear in the overall design,' says Jennifer Stephan, interior designer and founder of Jennifer Stephan Interiors. 

On the flipside, Natalie Papier, interior designer and star of Magnolia Network show Artfully Designed says that while matching the color of your curtains to a rug in the same space isn't necessary, it can help achieve a seamless flow of your home's color story.

What kind of curtains go with anything?

A red office with red curtains

(Image credit: Pierre Frey)

If you’re looking for curtains that’ll match any room in the house, then neutral colors are the way to go. 'Neutral colors work with most everything: grays, beiges, taupes, and greiges,' says Claire Paquin, founder and principal designer at Clean Design Partners LLC. 'Smaller, more textural patterns can work in a variety of situations and pair well with almost anything.'

Darrell Gardner, director of product development at CORT, adds that shades are timeless and can serve as a backdrop that calls for other elements in the room to stand out — lighting fixtures, coffee tables, throw pillows, etc.  

On the flipside, Paquin recommends trying to avoid putting too many patterns in a single space. 'If the rug has a strong pattern, then leave the drapery and other fabrics more textured and luxurious and vice versa,' she adds. 'Select either the rug or drapery to pop, but not both – too much will overwhelm the room.'

What types of curtain are on trend?

A curtain track

(Image credit: Wovn Home)

Not sure what type of curtains to add to a living room or bedroom in your home? Pleated curtains are a timeless trend that can suit any space and are having a revival this year in the home improvement space. Other types of curtains that are on trend include those made from eco-friendly materials and textured fabrics that add dimension.

Do curtains absorb sound waves?

Not only can curtains enhance the style of a space, but also they can be functional. For those who live in loud and crowded areas including major cities or by main roads, curtains can help absorb the noise. This is particularly noticeable in heavyweight curtains, especially those that are pleated, which create a thicker barrier for sound to travel through.

What is the proper way to hang curtains?

After you find a set of curtains that you like, it’ll be time to hang them. Some people find this process to be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the proper curtain rods. 'Our number one tip when adding curtains to a space is to mount your rod almost to your ceiling height so that you can have extra-long drapes that add height and drama to your space,' says Andrea West. 'Another visual trick is to mount your brackets 18 to 24 inches past your window so that when open, your curtains are clearing your window to make your space feel larger.'

Casey Clark

Casey Clark is a freelance writer from New York City who covers beauty, home, and lifestyle. She has been a writer for nearly four years and has been featured in The Spruce, Better Homes & Gardens, Oprah Daily, and more. She's constantly working to debunk myths, test trends, and review the hottest products.