‘Matching wallpaper and curtains is back in style!’ How to embrace the trend without it feeling dated

The trend of matching your curtains to your wallpaper is making an unexpected comeback, and it can actually look really modern

Study with black wooden desk and light colored wallpaper that matches the curtains
(Image credit: Molly Culver. Design: Daley Home)

If the notion of matching your wallpaper and curtains makes you think ‘old school’, I encourage you to think again. Interior designers are having a lot of fun at the moment playing with different ideas, and matching wallpaper to your window treatment is one trend having a comeback. 

Surprisingly, it looks very much ‘now’, and dare I say it’s the interior design trend revival we didn’t know we needed. I for one definitely did not see it coming, especially with the rise of minimalism recently taking over most design aesthetics. 

It’s maybe a more eclectic response to minimalism that can be easily adapted to fit both a maximalist and a more neutral style if that’s your vibe, but bringing it a bit more interest. 

I spoke to one interior designer who matched the wallpaper and curtains in one of her recent projects, and the result looks so good, I couldn’t help wanting to learn all about how she got it done so well. 

When should you match your curtains to your wallpaper? 

Dining room with green patterned wallpaper matching the curtains

(Image credit: Molly Culver. Design: Daley Home)

In a recent project by Shelby Van Daley, Founder and Principal Designer of Daley Home, the pattern of the bold, green wallpaper is reflected on the curtains. The effect achieved with this wallpaper idea next to the curtains is very intimate and welcoming. The view of the window with the pattern framing it on both curtains and walls looks almost like a stage set, traditional and modern at the same time. 

Shelby tells me it all started with the walls treatment. ‘We chose the green wallpaper from Thibaut for a traditional and bold statement, and we wanted it to really bring home the pattern by using it for the drapes as well. We love the way the two textures of the paper and fabric help one another to set the tone, and really let the floral pattern do the talking!’

If you want to bring warmth to a space and add interest with a layering effect that is more subtle than contrasting, this is a great idea. ‘Using both of the materials in a room creates a warmth and a layering effect that compliment each other, and draws you into the room. Also, with such a bold print and color scheme, matching the fabric to the paper ensured that we didn’t create competing design elements in the space which has the potential to take away from the richness of the wallpaper,’ explains the designer. 

Don’t think you have to go full out on pattern and bold colors to be aligned with the latest wallpaper trends. A similar effect can be achieved with a more subtle print too, if a more neutral color scheme is more to your liking. 

Is this trend having a revival?  

dining room with green patterned wallpaper matching the curtains

(Image credit: Molly Culver. Design: Daley Home)

The short answer is yes, in Shelby’s opinion, if you’re looking for a full, layered effect for your space. However, be balanced in your approach. You can fall into old fashion territory if you overdo it, and it will take away from its elegant effect. 

‘We prefer to use it selectively in spaces where our clients really want to create a wow factor! In this case, the purpose of this room was meant to be a retreat for our clients, but also a place that was inviting to guests while entertaining,’ explains the designer. 

If you were wondering what you can do if your wallpaper doesn’t come in a fabric option Shelby thinks pulling a color from the wallpaper for the window treatments is still a great way to add interest and a bit more contrast to a room. 

When should you not match the curtains and the wallpaper?  

study with tall ceilings and light patterned wallpaper matching the curtains

(Image credit: Molly Culver. Design: Daley Home)

While the look can be adapted to suit different styles, it’s not for everyone. If you prefer a more simple look to your interior, this might not be the right choice. 

‘I would not suggest matching the wallpaper if you are looking for more contrast or a more simple look for your space. We use a lot of solid linens in our designs as well for rooms where we want to put a greater emphasis on other design elements such as furniture, lighting, or rugs. For example in a recent project we did a beautifully patterned grass cloth wallpaper but finished it with a coordinating solid linen,’ adds the designer.

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Raluca Racasan
News writer

Raluca is Digital News Writer for Livingetc.com and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.