Dressing your windows with drapes is one of the most impactful ways to elevate a room’s style. But should you go for bold patterned drapes or opt for timeless solids? The answer comes down to assessing the existing design elements in your space and choosing drapes to create a cohesive aesthetic. This guide provides everything you need to know when selecting between patterned or plain curtains for the best effect in any given space.

Key Factors to Weigh for Patterned vs Plain Drapes

window drape

Several elements come into play when deciding on the right drapes to match your décor. Analyze the following factors before making a drapery purchase.

Overall Style of the Space

What is the predominant decor style in the room – modern, contemporary, traditional, coastal, minimalist, rustic, etc.? The overall style should guide your drape choice. Bold patterned drapes often pair best with eclectic, contemporary, or boho spaces. Meanwhile, rooms with a restrained, classic aesthetic are generally better complemented by timeless solid drapes. Choose drapes that align with the look you’re going for.

Existing Patterns in the Room

Take stock of other visible patterns and prints throughout the space – upholstery fabrics, area rugs, wallpaper, or artwork. Rooms mixing multiple competing patterns and prints can start to look messy and disjointed quickly. Limit patterned drapes to spaces without a lot of other major patterns to avoid visual overload. Opt for solid drapes if the room already has abundant textures and prints.

Size of the Windows

The scale of your windows matters when selecting drapes. Oversized bay windows, floor-to-ceiling windows, and large window panels can appear overwhelming fast with bold patterned drapes. A large number of patterns end up dominating the room. For substantial window expanses, neutral solids are often the smarter choice. Smaller windows can handle patterned drapes without becoming distracting focal points.

Lighting in the Space

Ambient room lighting impacts how drapes look. Bold prints show best with ample natural light. Darker spaces tend to diminish the vibrancy and depth of patterned fabrics. Factor in the room’s lighting when deciding between bright prints versus solid drapes.

Personal Style Preferences

At the end of the day, choose drapes that appeal to your personal vision! If you love the look and feel of patterned drapes, select ones that work with your existing aesthetic. Or, if solid drapes better fit your minimalist or traditional leanings, opt for those instead.

Style Ideas for Patterned vs. Plain Drapes

Now that you know what to consider, here are some drape ideas for key décor styles.

Modern Patterned Drapes

For contemporary modern spaces, graphic prints and bold patterns make great drape options. Go for vibrant colors, geometric shapes, nature motifs, or abstract designs in large-scale prints to make a statement. Modern patterned drapes look especially great in linen, velvet, satin, or other texture-woven fabrics for an updated look and current feel.

Traditional Solid Drapes

In traditional, formal, or classic rooms, timeless solid drapes are the way to go. Rich solids in navy, wine, forest green, ivory, and other luxurious neutrals establish an elegant, refined aesthetic. Traditional drapes look exquisite in fabrics like silk, velvet, damask, linen, brocade, or thick textured sheers. Tailored details like double-sided drapes, opulent valances, and architectural shaping add classic elegance.

Transitional Style Drapes

For transitional spaces blending modern and traditional elements, semi-solid drapes can provide the perfect middle ground. Go for subtle tone-on-tone fabrics, thin stripes, small-scale prints, textured solids, or colored linen sheers to bring in patterns without overwhelming. Metallic sheens, abstract prints, tone-on-tone wovens, and jacquard fabrics work well too. The resulting drapes feel current yet classic.

Answers to Common Drapes Questions

Still deciding between solids and prints for your space? Here are answers to some frequently asked drapery questions.

1. Are patterned curtains a choice of décor to make my room vibrant?

Patterned curtains can look gorgeous when selected carefully! Just be mindful of the room’s existing aesthetic and decorative elements, so patterned drapes complement instead of overwhelm it. Study before selecting statement-making prints.

Carefully analyze your home’s predominant décor scheme, from colors to textures to era influences. Drapes should align with the overall style – bold graphic prints for modern lofts, solid drapes for traditional dens, and tone-on-tone textures for transitional living rooms. Seek drapes that complement what’s already there.

3. How do I choose drapes to match my home’s style?

If you want to bring patterns in, limit drapes to smaller-scale prints like ditsy florals or narrow pinstripes. Or introduce a pattern through sheers behind solids. Start with just one patterned element, like drapes or pillows, not both. Finally, vary prints by scale and motif so they don’t blend together.

Choosing the perfect drapery to pull your whole look together can be tricky. For expert guidance on selecting custom drapes to match your unique style, contact the designers at Shutters & Blinds by Design in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their seasoned team can analyze your space and recommend the ideal window treatments unique to your home’s aesthetic. Reach out today to get started creating a beautifully dressed, polished look!

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