Dark Curtains See the Light

I like light, airy interiors, and my inspiration rooms usually include breezy white curtains or no window treatments at all. Yet there's something to be said about dark curtains. They can lend a sense of drama, contrast and elegance to a room when used appropriately. But there are a few key points to remember when considering moody panels. 

First, dark-colored curtains work best against light walls. Dark walls plus dark curtains equals a movie theater effect, which can feel oppressive. Dark curtains work well with warm white, cream, gray, light tan and even smoky blue walls. 

Another design trick is to use dark curtains in large rooms or rooms with very high ceilings to visually shrink the space and give it a cozier vibe. Just repeat the color of the drapes somewhere else in the room for cohesion. It's one thing for the curtains to look dramatic and another for them to look misplaced.

Finally, if you can't commit to a solid dark panel, try a printed fabric that comes across as mostly dark but includes lighter colors as well. For example, a black and ivory floral could work well. Dark, printed curtains lend drama as well as interest to a room.

When used correctly, dark curtains can be a striking graphic element in a well-appointed space. So don't rule them out just because you prefer airy interiors. I'm taking my own advice on this one and plan to hang charcoal linen panels in the family room of the house we are currently renovating. Of course, I'll couple them with light walls.

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