Contemporary curtains are a favorite with many of us. Perhaps we recall the traditional drapes and curtains our parents had, and while they were fine for our childhood, we want something different.

And there's no shortage of suppliers trying to entice us by using the word contemporary in their sales literature. So what exactly should we be looking for in contemporary curtains?


You can't successfully use this style of curtain if the rest of the room is from another era. If your room doesn't readily suggest a particular period or style, then you might get away with using contemporary curtains in it.

But to use this type of curtain successfully, it really needs to fit in with the rest of the room furnishings. So you might want to think about the whole room as a complete decorating project (or at least the important parts of it). Just changing the curtains may not work very well.


bedroom curtains

The curtain fabric in this room has been chosen to match the color in the contemporary wallpaper. This provides a contrast with the wall and wallpaper. (See the section on Room Setting below.)


Pattern and color

Of course you can use a plain fabric for your contemporary curtains, in which case you need to select a suitable color.

Contemporary colors are quite different from traditional or other styles. If you're in any doubt, the staff at your local store can help, or if you're buying online, the products should be easily found in the appropriate section.

Don't forget you can also use two or more colored fabrics for your curtains. By using strips of fabric - down the edges, across the base or top, or whatever design to choose - you can add to the appeal of your curtains.

Contemporary fabric patterns are quite distinctive. They often have no more than three colors, and the designs are often (though not always) stylistic. Again, it should be easy to find these whether in a store or online.

Room setting

As we mentioned in the style section, use this type of curtain in the appropriate setting. Although designers have many ways of incorporating curtains, here are two you may find useful.

Curtains to blend with the room

With this method the fabric used, whether plain or patterned, blends with the other colors and furnishings in the room. For example, you might have a beige carpet, a slightly lighter wall color, dark brown sofas and chairs, and then have the curtains in the same color as the carpet.

Curtains to contrast with the room

In this case, taking the example above, instead of having the curtains the same color as the carpet, you would use the dark brown of the sofas and chairs. This way, the curtains would provide a contrast with the walls.


Contemporary curtains will fit in well when the rest of the furnishings are of the same style. Contemporary style is simple yet colorful. And by colorful we don't mean gaudy or brash. The simplicity of this style is not quite minimalist, but certainly doesn't have the clutter of country or victorian.


contemporary style



Track and treatment

Your curtains need to be quite straightforward in design. Don't go for complicated drapes, with swags and suchlike. Keep it simple. Hang the curtains from a track or pole.



One method which is used successfully is to use the grommet or eyelet system. The tops of the curtains are not headed up into pleats, but are kept flat. Rings are inserted into the stiffened heading, and the pole passes through the rings.

Tabbed headings are sometimes used, but be aware that the tabs don't always run smoothly on the pole. This method if fine if your curtains are going to stay in the same position, but if you intend closing and opening them regularly then avoid tabs.


Remember, contemporary curtains are usually simple in design. So stay simple and you'll get it right.


You can find out more about contemporary window treatments here.


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