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10 Living Rooms That Prove Drapes Can Still Be Cool

living room drapes

Design: Emily Henderson, Photo: Sara Tramp

When you think of drapes, the ruffly, heavy, floral variety of your grandmother's living room might come to mind. However, drapery has come a long way from the visions of your childhood memories. Don't believe us? We've rounded up 10 living rooms that prove drapes can still be cool. 

But before we dive into the inspiration in all its glory, let's get into a little lesson on drapes. While curtains boast a light, sheer, airy quality, drapes are heavier and lined, sometimes with fabric thick enough to block natural light. They attach to a rod on grommets, rings, hooks, or a built-in fabric sleeve and hang down to the floor, sometimes even puddling beneath the window. If you're looking to create a layered look over sheers or add an element of natural light control, drapes are the way to go.

01 of 10

Try A Tonal Look

living room drapes

Dazey Den/Dazey LA

While drapes can often be used to bring dimension and contrast to a space, we love how this tonal living room uses drapery in a practical way, while keeping things minimal. The brown fabric against the woodgrain walls adds just a bit of texture when they're drawn open and blend into the walls when they're closed. Overall, it creates an aesthetic all its own, and leaves the spotlight right where it belongs, on that show-stopping marble mantle.

02 of 10

Hang Them As High As Possible

living room curtains

Tali Roth

Because they hang from high above and boast vertical fold lines, drapes have a way of elongating any room. Our favorite trick for making a room look even taller is to install your curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible, no matter the placement of your windows. Doing so tricks the eye into thinking the room is taller than it really is. It's a super easy décor trick, but it makes a massive difference in the outcome of your design.

03 of 10

Use Drapes To Bring Color To Bland Walls

living room drapes

Design: Emily Henderson; Photo: Tessa Neustadt 

Whether you're renting or just prefer not to disrupt your pristine white walls, drapes can be your answer to adding floor-to-ceiling color without a can of paint. This room boasts a pop of soft pink, courtesy of drawn drapes, but when the drapes are closed, they make for a stunning alternative to a pink-painted wall. A pair of drapes in a bold accent hue is perhaps the easiest way to give your living room a brand new wash of color, and the best part is it's temporary, so feel free to switch things up seasonally, or whenever the mood strikes.

04 of 10

Play With Patterned Drapes

living room drapes

Becca Interiors

Patterned drapes can be difficult to style, but when you find a print that works, it can mean the difference between a nice room and one that stops you in your tracks. If you're looking to work with patterns, it's important to take color schemes and other prints used around the room into consideration. In doing so, you want to create a cohesive design and not make the space look too busy. Take note of the geometric cream and black pattern on these drapes and how they perfectly tie in with the colors and composition of the art piece hanging on the adjacent wall.

Forry Panels - Celeste
Z Gallerie Forry Panels Celeste $129,139.00 $3,841.00
05 of 10

Use Them To Keep Natural Light Out

living room drapes

Design: Emily Henderson, Photo: Sara Tramp

Drapes are the perfect addition to living spaces that double as media rooms because of their ability to block out natural sunlight. While we love bright and airy spaces, it can be impossible to binge your favorite series when the sun is glaring at your TV screen all afternoon. Install heavier drapes on all the windows in your living room to transform your space into the perfect viewing room when you want it, but take comfort in knowing you can simply draw the drapes any time you want natural light to peek in.

06 of 10

Consider The Rod Design

living room drapes

Design: Emily Henderson; Photo: Sara Tramp

Although the subject in question is drapery, the rod you choose to hang your drapes on is just as important as the fabric you pick out. Although it's a necessary piece of hardware, a curtain rod can boast any décor style from industrial to rustic, or shabby chic to modern glam. The black rod and white drapes combo on these windows does an excellent job at tieing in the achromatic color palette flowing throughout the rest of the living room.

Room Darkening Curtain Rod & Wall Bracket
Pottery Barn Room Darkening Curtain Rod & Wall Bracket $44,124.00
07 of 10

Find The Right Length

living room drapes

A+B Kasha

We love how long, luxurious-looking drapes can make a room feel, but the length plays a huge factor in the overall design of a room. If they are too short, they can look cheap and throw off the décor of your entire space. If they're too long, they can look messy. Instead, install a pair that just grazes or slightly puddles on the floor for a tailored, and thus expensive, look. Our advice: Measure the height of your windows before you invest in a pair of drapes you like.

08 of 10

Use Them To Fill In Bay Windows

living room drapes

Studio Peake

Bay windows can be difficult to dress because of their shape, but leaving windows bare makes a room feel unfinished, no matter how curated your décor is. Do yourself a favor and go the extra mile to find the right rods that fit here and install some drapery. Your living room will finally look complete from all angles.

09 of 10

Keep Them Uniform

living room drapes

Katie Hodges Design

If you have more than one window in your living room, dress them in the same drapery, using the same rods, and hang them at the same height to create a cohesive, expensive look. If you can't find multiples of the same design, try to stay within the same color palette for a uniform feel.

10 of 10

Use Drapes To Convey A Theme

window drapes

Dan Rak Design

While drapes can feel like a utilitarian item solely used to keep light (and nosy neighbors) out, they're an extension of the design of your room. If you're working with a slightly retro '70s vibe, for instance, it only makes sense to install a pair that feels equally nostalgic. Think velvet in a golden hue to tie the rest of the room together.

Luster Velvet Curtain with Blackout Lining
West Elm Luster Velvet Curtain with Blackout Lining $109,218.00