should curtains be lighter or darker than floors

Should Curtains Be Lighter Or Darker Than Floors?

Should curtains be lighter or darker than floors? Am I overthinking the tonal relationship between my drapes and carpet by even asking? Curtains are accent pieces that can enhance the appearance of any room. I’ve researched the advice of the experts and looked at lots of interiors, and I’ve learned it’s a good idea to pick a curtain color which connects them to another feature in the room. Beyond that though, you can choose a tone which is lighter or darker, depending on the feeling you want to create.


Should Curtains Be Lighter Or Darker Than Floors?

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to whether curtains should be lighter or darker than floors. The curtains you choose are a way of expressing your own design passions, and there is nothing right or wrong about liking what you like!

Curtains can be several tones darker than floors to create a cozy feel or bring drama to a space. Alternatively they can be much lighter than floors, for a chic, airy aesthetic. In my house, we have classic hardwood floors and sheer white curtains. Our curtains are lighter than the floor and it just works. If you’re not confident in making bold design statements, then choose curtains which do not stray far from your floor’s color palette, and the room is sure to look stylish and cohesive.

Should Curtains Match Floor Color?

Your curtains do not need to match your floor color exactly, or even at all. As long as the texture and color of your curtains complement your room overall, instead of clashing with it, you shouldn’t have to worry.

should curtains be lighter or darker than floors

If you’re worried that matching curtains too closely to your floor will make the room look boring, consider complementary colors instead. For example, if you have sand-colored bamboo flooring, consider complementary pink, white, or brown curtains. It doesn’t matter too much whether the curtains are lighter or darker than the floor as long as the colors complement each other and do not clash.

Choosing Your Curtain Based on a Rug or Other Accent Pieces

Most carpets these days are chosen in neutral colors, intended to recede from our attention. You can choose the same for your curtains, which works well if there is already something else eye-catching in your room, such as a brightly colored sofa. If your room doesn’t really have anything that stands yet though, why not choose your curtains based on a color you love elsewhere in the room, like a favorite lamp. Alternatively, you may wish to have your curtains match your rug – or even the throw pillows on your couch. Some people have great success by choosing a color from a piece of artwork and using that for their curtains.

Matching Your Curtains to Your Carpet

If your carpet has a distinct color or texture, curtains that do not complement it can make the room feel disjointed. For example if your carpet or main area rug is an earthy plaid, do not choose sheer pink curtains! Instead, look for heavy curtains in a color which matches one of the stripes in the plaid.

Interior designers recommend bringing home fabric samples before choosing curtains. Holding a swatch of fabric up to your windows at different times of day can help you determine whether it goes well with your floors. It is less about whether the fabric is lighter or darker than your floor, than whether they go together in a way which makes the room feel harmonious. If colors, patterns, and textures are complementary, your room will feel put together.

Is It Better to Have Dark or Light Curtains?

It depends. What are your goals?

Light-colored curtains may make a room feel bigger, and are less likely to be bleached by the sun. They let warm light in during the winter and deflect heat during the summer. On the other hand, they can show dirty fingerprints from young children and general wear and tear quicker.

Dark-colored curtains can add coziness to a large space or make a room feel less clinical. They also tend to block more light, which is good for a bedroom or a room where you watch television.

Should Curtains Be Lighter Or Darker Than Floors to Make a Room Look Bigger?

Light-colored curtains are often recommended to make rooms look bigger. Light colored curtains set against light colored walls create a seamless, uncluttered look, which also usually feels more spacious. But, curtains can’t work miracles! A very small room will look small no matter what you do to it. One option is to lean into that, and choose dark curtains which give the room a snug, cocoon-like vibe.

Think about the overall feel you want, rather than the size of the space. If you want a light, airy bedroom, for example, light-colored curtains are better; but if you want a lush, romantic bedroom, dark-colored curtains are the way to go, regardless of floor color. In small rooms, clashing floors are easily covered with area rugs anyway!

Do Dark Curtains Make a Room Hotter?

Dark curtains absorb light and can make a room hotter, which is great during the winter but less ideal during the summer. Nevertheless, dark curtains can be adjusted to make a room cooler. For instance, adding blackout curtains behind decorative curtains can keep the sun (and its warmth) from invading a room. During summer it will also block low sunlight from coming through a dark curtain and reflecting off your television.

Help! How Do I Choose Curtains that Complement My Floor?

To choose complementary curtains, decide what you want your room to look like. Choose a feeling or a theme and build your room around it, then add curtains as a finishing touch. Floors are usually fairly neutral, so it isn’t usually necessary to worry about whether your curtains are lighter or darker than them.

If you have a statement floor, like a raven-colored hardwood or an orange shag carpet, you will need to make sure your curtains – and all the other decorations in your room – are making the same statement.

Should Curtains Be Lighter Or Darker Than Floors – Summary

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether your curtains are lighter or darker than your floor. Ultimately, it’s all about the mood or feeling you wish to create. For a light, spacious feeling, choose curtains that are lighter than your floor, and for a lush, cozy feeling, choose curtains that are darker than your floor. In very plain rooms, consider a color or pattern to bring the decor to life.

I hope you have as much fun decorating as I did writing this blog – let us know what curtain choices you make in the comments box down below? Did you decide to go out of your comfort zone, and it really paid off? We’d love to hear!

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