A big challenge for many of us when we redesign or decorate our place is working out what our interior design style is, and how best to match different design elements we like to this style. Curtains and curtain poles can be one of the hardest things to choose but are often one of the things that make the most difference to the look of a room. Use this crash course on the main interior design styles and which curtains will go with them.
1. Modern Interior
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Modern is a broad design term that usually means a home that has clean, crisp lines, uses a simple colour palette, and often uses materials like metal, glass, and steel. Modern design sticks with simplicity in every element, including the furniture and soft furnishing. Modern design is often described as sleek, without cluttered spaces. When you decorate in modern style, think of the functionality of décor elements first.
So, how to dress windows in modern style? Keep sleek and strong lines in mind when choosing window dressings. Stay away from anything too fussy. Instead, pick simple shapes and natural colour palette. Plain colours are usually better than patterns. We recommend using curtain tracks or very minimalistic curtain poles.
Modern and contemporary design is often used interchangeably. Indeed, they have many similarities – they both evolve around simple, uncluttered looks. The truth is contemporary style is always changing (and will be different in a couple of decades) while modern style is a strict interpretation of design that started in the 20th century. Contemporary style is more fluid and can be current without having to stick to just one style. For example, add more dramatic, contrasting elements or you could introduce curve lines and ornamental décor details, which you can’t do with modern.
Contemporary curtains have similar rules to modern ones. Look for clean lines and minimal details. Curtains that go to the floor look more contemporary than ones that only reach the window sill. When it comes to choosing colours, go to neutral, black or white colours or their combination. The most distinctive element for this style are lines, so unlike in modern, consider curtains with vertical or horizontal or curved lines. But don’t overdo it – two colours are more that enough. After all – contemporary style is all about plain, airy spaces. Match the fabric with chrome or silver curtain poles.
As the name suggests, industrial style takes inspiration from warehouses or urban lofts. A lot of the elements of industrial design will have an unfinished rawness, and you will often see exposed brick, wood, black metal and ductwork. Think high ceilings, old timber, and dangling metal light fixtures, with sparse but functional furniture. You could make use of one or two pieces of abstract art of photography to add colour to a neutral space.
For an industrial style, blinds are a better choice than curtains, especially if you have large windows. Stick to a minimal colour palette so the blinds don’t draw attention. Slatted blind styles, perhaps made from a material like wood, or in black colour will complement the raw materials around the room.
4. Mid-Century Modern
Mid-century modern style is a popular throwback to the design style of the mid-1900s, usually from the 1950s to the 1960s. Mid-century modern design uses elements of minimalism and retro nostalgia. A key theme of the style is functionality and fuss-free pieces. There is a focus on geometric forms, and natural shapes, such as chairs and tables with wooden tapered legs. Incorporate materials like wood, metal and leather and do not be scared of bold patterns.
When choosing window dressings for a mid-century modern style, take inspiration from the 50s and 60s. This a good excuse to experiment with colour and pattern. Large-scale patterns and rich colours like mustard or burnt orange were very popular and will fit your style perfectly. To finish your mid-century modern window tretment, add wooden poles to match your furniture.
Scandinavian style is very simple, inspired by the simplicity of life that is strived for in Nordic countries. Scandinavian furniture design is often made to feel like a work of art, although it will always be simple and understated.
Furniture should be functional but have some interesting lines with a sculptural influence. Other common characteristics of Scandi design includes all-white colour palettes and natural elements like form-pressed wood and enamelled aluminium, steel, and wide plank flooring. If there are any pops of colour in the room, this will usually come from art, natural fibres like throws or furs, or one piece of furniture. Scandi design uses natural lighting, functional furniture, and fewer accessories.
Keep window dressings minimal and as unobtrusive as possible to allow as much natural light in as you can. White is the best colour to use, or pick a natural-looking fabric in a neutral tone. Add contrast with minimalistic black curtain poles and you have classic scandi-style windows.
"To create the Scandi feel in both our home and holiday lodge I tend to use white and pale grey tones on the wall and create warmth with accents of blush pink, caramel and copper. I introduce texture mainly with natural materials such as wood, linen and sheepskin."
Bohemian is a very popular home design style created to reflect a carefree lifestyle with few rules. A bohemian home might include lots of vintage furniture and light fixtures, textiles and rugs from around the world, displays of collections, and items sourced from travelling or from flea markets and antique stores.
This style often makes use of floor pillows and lots of comfortable seating spaces. The style is very eclectic and can incorporate many different elements, like a very glam chandelier paired with a mid-century chair and a well-worn rug.
When it comes to your Boho-style window dressing, bright curtains work well. Choose a very full style in an interesting fabric. You could play with pattern, take inspiration from global influences, use bright or rich colours, or choose curtains that are or just appear to be a bit worn. You could buy vintage curtains, or use draped fabric or wall hangings as an interesting alternative.
"I always follow my heart and don't listen to others. I love natural accessories, wood, rattan. If I don't know whether this wall colour will look good with the furniture and floor, I add a couple of photos together and see if they look good together or if I need to choose something else. Surely, wood and light accessories always go well together. And when you have a base, you can add your favourite colour."
7. Traditional English Style
The traditional design uses classic details, more texture in furnishings, and lots of accessories. Homes decorated in this style often use dark, finished wood, rich colour palettes, and a variety of textures and curved lines. Furnishing often has elaborate and ornate details, and use fabrics like velvet, silk, and brocade, in a mixture of patterns and textures. There’s a lot of depth, layering, and dimensionality with most traditional designs.
Add more texture and depth with your window dressing. Choose curtains in fabrics with a lot of interesting texture, like brocade or velvet. Experiment with rich colours and patterns that will complement the rest of the room, like flower prints. Choose a curtain that is wider than your window for a fuller finish. Finish the look by wooden curtain poles with ornaments.
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