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High Style Drapery: How to Choose the Best Drapes for Your Space

Drapery is an essential part of a well-designed room. Like area rugs and throw pillows, it adds a stylish finishing touch, and a chance to add color and pattern to a space. If you’re in the market for beautiful curtains for your home, these three key steps will ensure you pick the perfect pair.

1. Consider pattern versus solids. The first, and most basic decision to make when it comes to choosing drapery is deciding whether you’d prefer a patterned fabric or a solid one. The former works well in neutral spaces, lending a point of interest and adding an extra dimension to the room. Choose a solid if your space is color-blocked, if you want drapery in a decorative fabric like velvet, or if your room is already packed with pattern.

how to choose drapes
A beautiful example of properly scaled prints. Image via Thistlewood Farm

2. Think scale. If you’re opting for patterned drapery, consider the scale of the other prints in your room. If you have a small-scale animal print on your pillows, and a large scale geometric rug, choose drapery in a medium scale print. The key is to vary the scale of the prints in your room, so each has a chance to stand out.

3. Choose a color. The best way to choose a color for your drapery is to underscore the existing color scheme in the room. If you’re choosing solid curtains, pull a color from another textile in the room, like a throw pillow or ottoman fabric. If you’re opting for a print, choose on in a colorway that ties together the other shades in the space.

Sheer drapes feel light and airy. Image via
Sheer drapes feel light and airy. Image via

4. Pick the right fabric. Different fabrics provide different style and functional benefits to a room. Heavy fabrics like velvet and wool feel formal and dramatic and also provide light-blocking benefits. Lighter fabrics like linen or unlined cotton, on the other hand, create an open, airy feel and are better for light diffusion, or pairing with light-blocking window shades or blinds.

For more on how to choose the best drapes for your space, read our post on how to pick the proper length.

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