Changing up your bedroom curtain ideas is an easy way to switch the vibe of your space. Through different curtain fabrics, styles, and ways of hanging, you can transform your room's energy. You could turn a more formal bedroom design into an ideal relaxing haven with just a small change.
Drapes are a major design factor when it comes to your bedroom ideas. They're a dominant element of the room's soft furnishings, while also working hard for privacy and keeping the light out when needed.
'Windows and curtains define the mood of the space,' says interior designer Rohit Bhoite (opens in new tab), 'so choosing them is a big decision.'
With help of some top interior designers, we've pulled together our favorite bedroom curtain ideas, ranging from different fabrics and styles to eye-catching patterns, pelmets, and trims.
1. Try wrap around bedroom curtains
When we think of bedrooms as cocoons, drapes can play a big role in making that a reality. Here curtains wrap around the whole room, making this space a textured, cozy and decadent room.
Also by enveloping the room with curtains, the light is blocked or filtered all through the day – a big factor in how to get a good night's sleep.
The made-to-measure sofa bed was inspired by designer John Galliano (opens in new tab)’s love of the bias cut. The diagonal lines elongate its perfectly square two-meter dimensions.
2. Consider double bedroom curtain sets for more functionality
Layering drapes is a great modern bedroom idea that serves several purposes. The curtains add layering, inject color and also help modulate light that enters the room, giving you more control over both mood and privacy.
'Privacy was a major concern in this apartment as the windows look out towards other buildings,' says Ravi Vazirani, interior designer, Ravi Vazirani Design Studio (opens in new tab). 'The sheers help bring in light during the day and are paired with thicker curtains made with two shades of taffeta silk, that allow for complete darkness. The sheers contrast the richness of the tafetta and compliment the textures of the wall.'
3. Install blackout bedroom curtains
Blackout curtains are perfect for blocking out the glare of streetlights, the sun, or even passing cars. These are ideal for those who have trouble relaxing and need a pitch dark bedroom to fall into deep sleep. Making this small change in your master bedroom can help you sleep better.
‘If you like to sleep in a blackout, install full shades with side channels to avoid a light leak. If you prefer to rise with the sun, unlined drapery works well,’ advises Anna Beeber, interior designer, Champalimaud Design.
Bedroom curtains have to be practical and easily maintainable. 'So be careful about shape and form and fabric choices. Pick ones that are machine-washable,’ says interior designer Naomi Astley Clarke.
4. Make a modern bedroom curtain choice with sheers
There's something so charming about sheer curtains, and they're perfect for a luxury bedroom idea. Light and loose, sheers can make a space feel airy while still giving enough privacy during the day.
See-through drapes give this loft bedroom an ethereal, light, and airy look. These work for people who don't need complete darkness to sleep, and for rooms that already have some privacy – for example rooms that face private gardens rather than street-facing rooms.
'Depending on the drape of the material, different kinds of fabrics create drama within the space,' says Rohit. 'With multiple options of long/short curtains and sheers, the options to filler the light and to match the upholstery for the interior space are aplenty.'
5. Bring in fabric blinds as an alternative to bedroom curtains
Roman blinds ensure whether the room is either well-lit or dim and moody. In a sense, these heavily affect the quality of the environment inside. When it comes to alternatives to curtain ideas, many interior designers advise blinds for modern bedrooms.
While choosing the blind material, you must think of the amount of maintenance you can give it. If you don't have a lot of time to indulge in household upkeep, you'll want to choose a fabric that can be easily unhooked from the railing and put in the washing machine. Opt out of super plush fabrics and textiles like taffeta, velvet, and faux silks; unless you can take them to the dry cleaners now and then.
Also carefully consider the window length, width, and depth to determine the size of slats or fabrics. Ideally, deeper windows look best with the wide blind slat sizes, and small, shallow windows work better with row slats.
Consider fabrics that have small stripes or subtle patterns so your window treatment doesn't overwhelm the bedroom. 'Roman shades are always a great alternative to curtain panels. You can dress up the design with added trims, pleats, or a fun fabric to make them unique to the room,' says Jenni Warsitz, interior designer and founder of By Design Interiors (opens in new tab). 'They can also be streamlined, clean, and simple if needed. I love utilizing woven wood shades. They add a natural element to the room that can soften the space.”
6. Go for matching pelmet and curtains
While designing a bedroom, think of interesting window treatments that look grand. When designing a glam bedroom idea, bringing in pelmet frames that add structure to the drapes can really up the level of luxuriousness.
By using the same fabric on the pelmet and drape, you can create a pretty vignette by the window. Also, consider picking a curtain pole that coordinates with your fabric and suits your furniture style. From wooden rails to metallic ones, you can take your pick.
The thick drapery also aids in privacy, adding extra functionality. 'I like the idea of doing laser cut panel designs inside a window for privacy. It adds a decorative look while maintaining simplicity and low maintenance,' says Jessica.
7. Try this wall-to-wall curtain idea
In this architect's home, a single curtain is used along the whole width of the wall, rather than keeping to individual windows. The blush pink drapes soften the room, contrasting the raw concrete used in the bathroom.
Using wall-to-wall curtains can also work to trick the eye into believing that the bedroom is a long, voluminous space. As you cannot see the windows or walls behind the curtain, you are coaxed into believing that there is more than you can see.
This trick works particularly well in small bedrooms, like the guest bedroom. Choose light-toned cotton drapes to keep the interior feeling airy and relaxed.
8. Introduce a colour pop in your bedroom curtains
In a largely neutral room, curtains can add a generous pop of color that defines your palette. It's a great way to bring an extra level to something like a beige or grey bedroom idea, and can be handled in a few different ways
You might want to create a color palette across your soft furnishings, mirroring the headboard, cushions, rugs and more in some of your color choices, or let the curtains do the heavy lifting by themselves.
In this scheme, vibrant green patterned curtains create a focal point for this neutral, modern bedroom, an example of where your curtain ideas can really make a space.
9. Add a decorative trim to your bedroom curtain
Curtains are a great way to bring new, interesting bedroom trends into your space without completely re-designing it. Ideas like fabric trims, which have become much more of a trend again in recent years, and can also easily be applied.
Don't forget, curtains take up such a large area of your room's vertical space that they can be really influential in the overall look of your bedroom. Making choices with trims should play into the overall scheme.
10. Don't be afraid of bold bedroom curtains
When it comes to patterned curtains, the print makes all the difference. An Aztec-inspired print adds to the eclectic look in the bedroom. The wall art, the bedspread, and the printed cushions, all contribute to this boho bedroom idea.
To boost the look of your drapes, you could also consider adding a lining that adds a subtle touch of texture or deep color. Ideally, choose a hue that can be seen across the space to give the overall look some grounding.
11. Decorate your bedroom with pleated curtains
Pinch pleat curtains are an elegant, classic, and timeless choice. Often used with simple fabrics, they look smart without distracting from the rest of the room.
Pinch pleated curtains essentially gather the pencil pleats into groups of two or more for a more decorative heading. This works with most types of fabric, but bear in mind that the more pleats, the more fabric is needed and so there will be an increase in the cost of the finished curtains.
Pencil or pinch pleats are the most traditional curtain heading and will work with all types of tracks and poles. They're the perfect choice for a classically pretty bedroom scheme that flirts with more traditional style elements.
12. Make way for XL-size bedroom curtain ideas
Doesn't this room remind you of high-end stores with the plushest changing rooms? Long, cascading curtains can change the soul of a room, and take a small modern bedroom from drab to fab.
For added volume, drama, and grandeur, you could consider using extra long fabric that bunches up at the bottom. It's a hard look to get right, but when the fabric bunches up in just the right way, the effect is quite beautiful.
13. Hang bedroom curtains above the window
Give height and drama by hanging the curtains higher than the window. This will create an illusion of a larger space, making it a great small bedroom idea. It also gives an estate-kind of feeling to the room, like the grand, big rooms of old palaces and resorts.
Remember, when measuring the window, make sure to take the full length from the ceiling to the floor so the curtain drops with no gaps.
14. Try tie-back curtains for a whimsical look
In rustic bedrooms, tie-back curtains can add a touch of softness. Tie-back curtains can be used to give volume, but here they were used with more delicate fabric to create a light and ethereal look.
For a stiff tie-back look, you could consider woven leather, beaded, or even tasseled fabrics. For the tie-backs, choose something modern like a leather tie or rope ties with wooden hearts.
If you have sheer curtains layered with heavier curtains, you could consider a sheer layer tied to the outer layer as a tieback. You could even use the fabric to create a flower shape for a tieback. Simple, DIY silver rope or knotted rope tiebacks are casual, yet classy.
If you want something more creative, then try ribbons. From a burlap and lace ribbon or even beaded upholstery ribbon, there are many unique ways to tiebacks.
15. Choose valance for your bedroom windows
While some may believe valances are an acquired taste, if done right, they can fit very well into bedrooms that have a certain grandeur to them. In this space, it's not only the 'grandma-chic' wallpaper, curtain fabric, and furnishings that give the room a vintage feel, but the shape of the valance too – complete with ruched texture and beaded trim.
Valances frame the top of the windows and give the entire space a decorative touch. They also bring in a touch of fabric but do not sacrifice natural light.
'One of my favorite tricks to make a statement, add a bit of personality, and soften a space is to design a decorative valance,' says Jennifer Morris, interior designer, JMorris Design (opens in new tab). 'A full fabric shade can impede opening windows, whereas a 12-16” valance creates a touch of texture and pattern that is manageable.'
In this design, belonging to style maker Pearl Lowe, the heavy velvet valance plays into the eclecticism of the furniture and bedroom wall decor ideas.
16. Don't limit curtains only to windows
A cozy, romantic bedroom for couples can be created just with the magic of curtains. But no, these don't always need to be hung by the windows. A bed canopy can make the space look glamorous and one you never want to leave.
Ensure your bed curtain fabric is made-to-measure and fits right above and across from your bed. To give it a more whimsical feel, consider adding string lights to the canopy, to give it a 'sleeping under the night sky' feel.
If this seems a little complicated to execute, then hang curtain rods above your bed and create a makeshift canopy. Plump up the space with a few floral or lace pillows for a wonderful cottage look.
What type of curtain is best for bedrooms?
For the uninitiated, curtains play a big role in our circadian rhythm or the internal clock that makes us go to bed or wake up. As curtains control the intensity of light coming into the room, these play a big role in ensuring whether we get good sleep or not.
As a rule of thumb, drapes should be mounted four to six inches above the window frame. While ideally curtains are sold in 108 inches, 96 inches, and 84 inches, it's always best to get custom-sized ones as they will fit perfectly on your windows and not cause any light leakage. Blackout privacy curtains are typically preferred in bedrooms, but it's a good idea to pair them with sheers or cottosn to not make the room look too caved in.
It's best to opt for machine-washable fabrics for convenience. However, if you want a luxury vibe, consider a heavier, more sumptuous fabric like silk or taffeta. Silk looks rich and has a forever sheen but is prone to stains and UV damage. Velvet is heavy and excellent for insulating. It's also ideal for late sleepers but the material accumulates dust easily and can be difficult to maintain. Polyester is budget-friendly and easy to maintain. The only two drawbacks are it is flammable and it absorbs odors.
Another factor to consider is the colors. In most cases, cool tones work well, especially when the sunlight passes through them. As for patterned curtains, these can make a big statement in the room so perhaps think of them as wall art. Think of the kind of drama you'd like to create in your room and choose curtains as per that.
If you prefer heavier drapes, a thick curtain rod is required so it can hold the weight of any fabric. Remember, the fixtures should blend in with the curtains. Usually, silk or satin drapes pair well with wrought iron or wood. Linens and cotton work with metal finishes.
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.
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