What to consider when buying curtains for your living room

The curtains for your living room should be equally as elegant as the rest of the furniture inside it. They will also help define the style and tone you have been going for. In this article, we’ll go through some key things to consider when buying your living room curtains so you can buy curtains that are a perfect fit!

1) How much space do they need to cover?

Living room curtains need to provide enough coverage, but not too much that they swallow up all of the natural light coming into your living space. Measure out where you’d like them to hang and decide how long a drop you’re comfortable with. It’s a good idea to leave some extra length in case you change your mind or if they shrink in the wash!

What to consider when buying curtains for your living room, Zazzy Home

2) How much light do you want in your living space?

Living room curtains should balance providing a degree of privacy and preventing unwanted views, with not letting the sunshine too brightly through. The two most common curtains styles for a living room are sheer and blackout. Sheer curtains allow some light to come through during the day but offer privacy by hiding what is going on inside from those outside. Blockout curtains can completely cover windows and prevent light from getting around them at all – these are often used as bedroom or lounge room curtains!

3) How will they complement or contrast your existing decor?

Your living room curtains need to flow seamlessly into the rest of your living space, so make sure they fit in style-wise! This applies to both your existing furniture, artwork, and any rugs you have. If they’re too plain or ugly, it’s going to stand out like a sore thumb!

4) What style do they need to be?

The style of curtains should match the overall look of your living room. This doesn’t mean that you can’t switch outside tables if your curtains look dated down the track – far from it! But having complimentary styles will make all your accessories tie together nicely. For example, if you have floral print sofas, then put some floral print curtains up behind them!

5) How much privacy do you need?

Are you planning on hosting formal gatherings in your living room where people may want to change? Do you have noisy neighbors or a busy road nearby? The level of privacy you need will be different for someone who uses their living room to chill out and watch Netflix! Make sure your curtains are dense enough to prevent people from seeing inside.

6) What color do they need to be?

Grey, cream, white – these all work well for most living rooms. As long as the curtain color works with your upholstery and other accessories, then that’s great! If it doesn’t look right, try a contrasting color instead. For example, dark red curtains behind a brown couch would be a daring but modern choice! Check out our article on how to decorate with color for more tips and tricks on working with various colors in your living room.

7) What material should the living room curtains be?

For a more modern look, choose light and sheer fabrics such as linen or silk. These styles will also let some sunlight filter through during the day, which acts as a natural mood light! For a cozier effect, you can go with something thicker or heavier – velvet is a popular choice for this. Blockout curtains are another option if you live somewhere that gets strong sunlight all year round. The options are endless!

What to consider when buying curtains for your living room, Zazzy Home

8) Do they need to have a lining?

Sheer curtains will only work well if you have other layers covering them up at night time, as they don’t block out any stray light from seeping through onto your furniture. If you hang them by themselves, then you won’t be able to see anything when the sun is up!

9) How do you want them to look?

Curtain rods are available in a huge range of styles, so it’s important to consider what’ll suit your room best. Think about hanging them from wall hooks or suspending them from tracks on the ceiling – they can even be hidden behind cornices for an ultra-modern style or draping down from curtain rails.

10) Is price important?

If budget is no option and you don’t mind paying top dollar for quality, then handmade curtains may be the way to go! The initial outlay will mean that they last longer than cheaper options and will always hang beautifully. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, go for something in the middle of the price scale, and you should still get decent quality.

11) Do they need to be machine washable?

When it comes to curtains, stains are almost inevitable! If this is an issue, then make sure your living room curtains can be thrown straight into the washer when needed. Otherwise, keep backup cleaning materials on hand so you can quickly clean them outside before bringing them back inside.

12) How much time will you actually spend looking at your window coverings?

If it’s just something temporary that you’re using until you find that perfect piece of furniture or artwork, then go ahead and buy some cheap IKEA curtains. Otherwise, if your living room curtains are going to be there for the long haul, make sure they’re high quality and look like they belong in your space. There’s nothing worse than chipped or fraying curtains ruining the overall appearance of your room!

13) What shape are your windows?

Some styles will work better with certain shapes – for example; rounded bay windows mean curved curtain rods may be necessary. Double-check that you’re buying enough fabric if you have a very large window so it can hang nicely. If you have multiple windows close together, then pick a style that suits them all, such as roman style for two matching windows.

14) Do you need them to protect against heat?

This is an important factor if you live somewhere particularly warm! Thermal-lined curtains will keep some of the heat out while blocking cold air from entering in the winter months. A thermal lining is usually a cream material that looks quite dull when it’s lining your curtains but does an excellent job of blocking out drafts!

15) What are you prepared to sacrifice?

Curtains need to go with everything else in your living room – but what if there’s something you’re looking for and they don’t come in the right color or style? If you’re spending money on high-quality fabric, then it might just be worth dyeing them a different color to get exactly what you want. This may cost extra money but can also add another unique touch to your space.


When buying new curtains for your living room, you must choose the right fabric and color and decide how much money and time you’re willing to spend. There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” window covering – everyone needs something different!


Claire is a blogger, writer, and designer with a passion for making the most out of any space. She's worked in interior design and maintenance for over a decade, and has learned how to make the most of even the smallest room. Claire shares her expertise, where she offers tips and tricks for creating beautiful, functional spaces on any budget. When she's not blogging or designing, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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