We’ve compiled this interior design guide to types of curtains for windows. Here you’ll find 32 photos and descriptions of different curtain types, including sources where to obtain them.

Different types of curtains - Interior design guide

Whether you are seeking curtains merely for decoration and aesthetics, or need them to block out light, noise, or some nosy neighbors, there are countless models to choose from. Since there are so many options available, it’s essential to narrow down your needs in order to select the appropriate ones for each area of your home.

Thankfully, regardless of the type of curtain you are looking for, you’re sure to find different patterns, colors, materials, opacities, attachment designs, lengths, and styles. Even if your window type remains the same from one room to another, it may very well be the case that you need a different style of curtains for each room. Read on to see the advantages of certain kinds of curtains, where they are best used, and why you should be choosing one model over another.

Types

Panel Pair

Panel Pair curtain type

This panel pair model by Wayfair shows a classic type of curtain that is incredibly popular for all styles. With panel pairs, two pieces of fabric hang on either side of the window. The two can be drawn together to conceal the exterior view, or they can each be tied to the sides to allow more light to shine through. This style is versatile since it can provide exactly the amount of light or view outside that you desire.

Single Panel

Single panel curtain type

In this single panel style by Wayfair, you can see that there is only one curtain panel. However, the panel is larger than in the previous pair model and can be pulled closed to entirely conceal the window. This asymmetrical model is a bit quirkier than the panel pair and fits into both classic and contemporary interior styles.

The design is also adaptable since aside from being able to use it to cover the entire window, you can also pull it to either side of the window frame depending on the current angle of the sunlight.

Valance

Valance curtain type

Valance curtains like these decorative ones from Wayfair are a great way to subtly complete your window frame. They can be used to decorate a window in rooms that don’t receive much light without dimming the space. As well, they can incorporate a bit of color or decorative appeal to ordinary blinds. For a grand effect, you can also pair them with matching curtains.

Window Scarf

Window scarf curtain type

This window scarf from Wayfair exemplifies the elegant nature of the design. Simple and airy, window scarves are perfect for adorning a window without too much fuss. While you might want something offering more concealment for your bedroom, they are ideal for rooms where you want natural light to shine through. They can be as plain or ornate as you wish and can be adapted for a different style depending on the weight of the material. Thick creased velvet might be perfect for a formal decor, while whispy light silk might work better in a bohemian design.

Liner

Curtain liner design

This curtain liner from Wayfair shows how a liner can fit in behind a pre-existing curtain. Perhaps you’ve found the perfect curtain pattern to match your decor yet its opacity is less than ideal. Adding a liner provides concealment without compromising style. As well, some liners have extra characteristics in case you require noise reduction or insulation in a specific room.

Opacity

Sheer

Sheer curtain

These airy sheer curtains from Wayfair are perfect for an ethereal look. This style is ideal in rooms where you want to maximize natural light, yet still want some window decor or the option to block out a direct view into your house. While sheer curtains might not be the top choice for a bedroom, they are fantastic for living and dining areas where you spend your time during the day. In case you want the option for more privacy or to restrict light, a liner can be added for extra function.

Semi-Opaque

Semi opaque curtains

This semi-opaque curtain style by Wayfair is a great balance between sheer and opaque. Some light can shine through even when the curtains are closed, yet privacy is greater than with sheer type. Semi-opaque type can be used around your house, even in your bedroom if you add a liner.

Blackout

Blackout curtains

Wayfair has a great selection of blackout curtains including this model. Blackout features are ideal for bedrooms so that you don’t receive excessive sunlight in the early morning hours. Generally, they are made using weightier fabrics and might have other characteristics such as noise reduction or insulation.

Attachment Style

Rod Pocket

Rod pocket curtain attachment

This Wayfair curtain is set up using a rod pocket attachment style. Much like the name, a pocket is sewn at the top of the curtain, and a rod is passed through it to the other side. This design provides a seamless look at the top, and can also include some extra frills to add a stylish touch.

Grommet & Eyelet

Grommet eyelet curtain attachment

This Wayfair model shows the grommet and eyelet attachment style which incorporates large holes (eyelets) for the rods that are supported by a metal border (grommets). Aside from being structurally supportive, the grommets also add a decorative touch at the top of the curtain. This model works well with solid colors by acting as an accent.

Tab Top

Tab top curtain attachment

These types of curtains by Wayfair display a tab top attachment style. Loops of fabric are knotted at intervals in order to support the rod. This style adds a touch of casual elegance, and it fits in nicely in contemporary and classic decors. Simple white curtains are brought up a notch in style by incorporating tab tops.

Hidden Tab

Hidden tab curtain attachment

These hidden tab curtains from Wayfair show yet another attachment style. While the curtains are actually attached using tabs, they are hidden behind extra fabric for a subtler look. This style can be further pleated to add extra body to the curtain or kept simple to fall straight. The hidden tab design is versatile and fits into modern and classic decors.

Length

Sill

Sill length curtains

These cute and simple sill-length curtains from Wayfair demonstrate how practical this design can be. They are great for shorter windows that are often used so that you don’t have to constantly swing large pieces of fabric from side to side. As well, they are ideal for bathrooms that receive plenty of humidity, or kitchens where steam and aromas are constantly present.

Floor

Floor length curtains

Wayfair displays these chic floor-length curtains, ideal for bedrooms or living areas. They are great for pulling a look together and they fit seamlessly into modern elegant styles without overwhelming the space. The length is perfect to cover an equally long window, or in the case of sliding doors to keep them easily accessible.

Puddle

Puddle length curtains

Look at these striking puddle-length curtains from Wayfair. Hanging several inches longer than the window, they drape into a puddle-like display for a quasi theatrical allure. While these aren’t great for window areas that receive a lot of foot traffic, they are the perfect detail for framing a window in a grandiose manner.

Features

Insulating

Insulating type curtains

Insulating curtain types like these ones from Wayfair are more than just decorative. By using thicker materials such as velvet, burlap, and synthetic thermals, you can significantly reduce your home heating needs. Insulating types are especially useful if your windows are single pane or drafty. Instead of redoing all of your windows, choosing the right curtains can be a budget-friendly way to have similar benefits.

Noise Reducing

Noise reducing curtains

You wouldn’t know from looking at them, but these curtains from Wayfair are actually noise-reducing. Designers are constantly seeking new synthetic materials to create effective sound blocking characteristics. These can significantly improve sleep quality for people living in cities or on busy streets! If you’re not ready to change your favorite window decor, you can add a liner to have some noise-canceling effects.

Outdoors

Outdoor curtains

If you’re lucky and have a patio or garden space, you might find you need some types of curtains to complete the look. Depending on their purpose and the climate you live in, different materials will be more suited. For example, these breezy sheer curtains by Wayfair are ideal for creating a Mediterranean atmosphere on your patio, regardless of where it is. They may even keep the bugs away! Alternatively, you may want some thicker thermal types to create a cozy vibe in a cooler climate.

Pattern

Solid-Color

Solid color curtains

Sometimes, solid color curtains like these ones by Vivaraise are just what you need to tie a look together. Look for colors that complement your decor, or perhaps choose a contrasting hue for a striking accent. Neutral or bright colors can fit into both classic and modern decors. Whatever you choose, solid colors make a great foundation for other interior design accessories.

Striped

Striped curtains

If you’re looking to add some pattern that is streamlined and simple, look no further than stripes like these curtains by La Fabbrica del Lino. Vertical stripes add the illusion of length, making the walls look longer and the ceilings higher. This can be a useful trick to make small spaces appear larger or to simply add some flair.

Decoration/Weaving

Printed

Printed curtains

For a unique and stylish decor, try printed curtains like these ones by Lelievre. Whether you mix and match for an eclectic style or use your window decorations as a focal point, prints will undoubtedly make a statement in your interior design.

Embroidered

Embroidered curtains

If you like the idea of printed curtains but find them too flashy, try an embroidered design like this one by La Fabbrica del Lino. Embroidery has the benefit of incorporating some pattern and texture while maintaining a subtle appearance. This is a good option if you already have other prints in your decor and want to keep the look sophisticated. They also work well in a minimal design to add some understated elegance.

Hand-Embroidered

Hand embroidered curtains

If you have the budget for it, take the embroidered style one step further by opting for hand-embroidered curtains like these ones by La Fabbrica del Lino. You’re certain to have something that is one of a kind and of the utmost quality. Keep in mind that delicate material and needlework will require gentle handling and cleaning might be more upkeep.

Materials

Linen

Linen curtains

For a simple and casual look choose linen curtains like this model by La Fabbrica del Lino. They are durable and generally straightforward to wash. Most linen lets in a bit of light and tends to hang in a loose and billowy fashion. Linen fits well with contemporary and classic styles of interior design.

Cotton

Cotton curtains

These cotton curtains by Vivaraise show off their timeless appeal. Cotton may be pure or a blend, and each option will have a slightly different look and feel. Whether you want something crisp and tailored or lighter with movement, cotton is a good choice. Depending on the tightness of the weave, more or less light can pass through. It is also incredibly practical to wash in a machine and can usually go through a dryer as well, making cleaning a simple process.

Synthetic Fibre

Synthetic type curtains

These striking synthetic curtains by Lelievre are a perfect example of the assortment of styles possible. Synthetic materials are very adaptable and can mimic other fabrics in both texture and design. They are also usually a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive materials. As well, some synthetics may have specific characteristics such as insulation that make them particularly functional.

Velvet

Velvet curtains

Nothing is more glamorous than velvet curtains like this model by Art Casa. For a dramatic and chic option that often has thermal and noise-reducing qualities, choose velvet. While the style factor is extremely high, so is the upkeep as velvet is generally cleaned professionally. However, there’s no denying they’re worth a little extra hassle!

Metal

Metal curtains

These metal curtains by TTM Rossi are a unique option with plenty of advantages. First of all, they add a distinctly cool vibe to any decor. They can be made in a variety of styles depending on the metal used and the manner in which the material is used. Chain links, mesh, coils, and woven models are just some of the many designs possible. While you may not think about the safety of curtains, metal is also fire-proof which is a bonus.

Silk

Silk curtains

We love these elegant silk curtains by Wayfair, as well as the versatility of the material. From thinner light silk that is almost sheer to thicker fabric with a more tailored look, you can find something adapted to your room. Handmade silk is a beautiful form of art and you can incorporate it into a simply styled room as a striking accent piece. Like velvet, silk requires professional cleaning so if you plan to go with silk, be sure to consider the associated costs.

Lace

Lace curtains

Wayfair shows how charming lace curtains can be. We love this dainty model with added frills but the range of possibilities with lace is wide. From simpler modern patterns to elaborate decorations, lace makes a statement. If you’re looking to block out any light then you’ll need an extra liner. Otherwise, lace is perfect for rooms where you want to let in plenty of light. Try them in your kitchen or sunroom for an eye-catching touch of detail.

Styles

Contemporary

Contemporary style curtains

Contemporary types include a multitude of models such as this one by Solaris. Semi-sheer curtains act as room dividers, allowing light to shine through. Contemporary styles often use solid colors that may be vibrant or neutral in accordance with the rest of the design. If you’re looking for an interesting look to add a bit of character to a room, search no further than a contemporary type for your curtains.

Classic

Classic style curtains

Classic types like this model by La Fabbrica del Lino need not be boring. They tend to fit into a number of styles of interior design and can range from simple and casual to more ornate. While a classic model fits into classically designed interiors, it is also a good option to tie together eclectic decor. Various materials, colors, and patterns can be incorporated into classic curtains.

People also ask…

Which curtains are best for bedrooms?

Unless you are especially early to rise, you’ll want thick light-blocking curtains for your bedroom to avoid waking up any earlier than your alarm. As well, noise-reducing options are also important to consider in order to ensure you get a good night’s sleep regardless of the surroundings.

An alternative to thick sound and light-blocking curtains is to use a liner paired with a lightweight type. This is a good choice if you tend to spend time in your bedroom during the day and want to have the option of natural light.

Bedroom curtains are the perfect spot to venture outside of the ordinary and experiment with fabrics and patterns that might not be practical in other areas of the house. Choose something you’ll want to wake up to every morning and you can be sure you’ll sleep better.

What color curtains make a room look bigger?

Opt for bright colors for your curtains in order to make a room appear larger. By introducing paler hues, natural light is reflected and the entire room becomes more illuminated. This helps the overall room seem bigger.

You can achieve the effect by using white, tan, light gray, bright colors, and simple patterns such as stripes. Soft colors make any room appear more welcoming, by broadly expanding your gaze. Choose paler colors that complement the rest of your decor for a stylish look.

Which is better, blinds or curtains?

Depending on your purpose, both blinds and curtains have their advantages. From a purely decorative point of view, curtains have more potential for embellishment. Fabrics, patterns, and styles can all influence the overall design.

Blinds are usually simple slats and can be very effective for blocking out light or adjusting exactly how much enters. As well, the material is easy to clean, maintaining a good condition over time. On the other hand, insulation and soundproofing characteristics are often more successful with curtains due to the weightier material.

You don’t have to choose between the two, a third option is to use blinds together with curtains for a complete look that is both charming and practical.

What curtains are trending?

Currently, natural materials are particularly popular. Linen, silk, and airy lightweight fabrics flow smoothly and contribute to a casually chic design. Common colors are neutral tones, with simple designs that are effortlessly timeless.

These styles, often in solid colors, fit in with an assortment of interior decors. With minimal effort, you can create a fresh look in your space without having to change the entire design.

Should curtains touch the floor?

Different types of curtains require different lengths. If you plan to have a floor-length design, keeping them half an inch from the floor is a good idea for simple cleaning. It’s easier to slide a mop or broom under the curtain when there is a slight gap. As well, by leaving a small gap, the curtains hang straight, resulting in a sleek and polished appearance.

However, other styles of curtains hang to the floor, puddling together for a pooled effect. These have a certain dramatic flair that creates a stylish look but might be less practical for areas with a lot of foot traffic.

Why are curtains so expensive?

They can be expensive for a variety of factors. For example, the specific material can greatly affect the cost. The quality of the fabric will be reflected in the cost, though over time the investment may be worth it.

As well, certain types can be customized which will result in a greater cost. The cost comes with the added benefit that you will be able to design them to your specifications. Finally, any extra features such as insulation, noise reduction, or blackout will likely add up in the final cost.