A good night's sleep is so important, so it makes sense to ensure when you're designing your bedroom that it is a haven for relaxation. Dressing the windows well is a vital consideration; if your curtains let in too much light you might wake early, especially in the summer months.
Fabric choice is key. Light and airy options look lovely and can provide privacy, but are not effective if you like to sleep in complete darkness, in which case bedroom black-out curtains might be a better choice. Heavier fabrics such as thick cottons, slubby linens and rich velvets, especially if lined with blackout fabric, will keep the light at bay as well as draughts. Or, why not layer a light cotton curtain with a heavier blackout option or even shutters for the best of both worlds?
Ready-made or made-to-measure?
You can buy curtains ready-made or made-to-measure. Ready-made tend to be cheaper, and you won't need to wait for them to be made, but it can be harder to find options to fit some windows, in which case you'll have to measure up for curtains. If you buy made-to-measure curtains you will get exactly what you want and while this tends to come at a premium, there are some great brands now offering the service for very reasonable prices online. We recommend requesting fabric samples first if you take this route.
Follow our guide to bedroom curtain ideas to choose the best curtains for your needs and style.
1. Go for a vintage-style print
This stunning Dulcet in Old White linen mix fabric is inspired by the work of landscape painters from the 1800s onwards, and was hand-painted by Annie Sloan in her famous Chalk Paints. It features abstract trees and scenery in three of her classic paint colours, Old White, Paris Grey and Amsterdam Green, and looks fabulous set against dark walls. The pale fabric colour means it's worth matching it with blackout lining, blinds or shutters.
2. Layer fabrics for a versatile window design
Why go for a layered curtain look? Doing so will create a feeling of luxury, even if you haven't spent a fortune on the curtains and blinds. Opt for two curtain types, one solid and one filmy, perhaps, and hang them on separate or dual poles. The result is a pretty look that filters the light and offers privacy as well as subtle colour.
The white Sparvort sheer curtains cost £25 a pair and can be hung on a curtain rod or track; in front, the green Sanela curtains, made from a cotton velvet, cost £39 a pair; blinds, from a selection; all Ikea.
3. Create a relaxed look with pale fabrics
Bedrooms are the ultimate place to relax in, so choose textures and colours that are going to help create a restful atmosphere. Don't shy away from floaty fabrics or light colours – if you want to block out light you can pair them with a lining made from a heavy or black-out fabric in a pale shade.
We love the chilled out cosy look that Loaf offers. They’ve recently added curtains to their repertoire and we adore this Faded Pink brushed cotton pair, £385. Choose from a huge range of fabric types and colours, and add a standard or blackout lining.
4. Embrace pattern in curtain fabric
In a neutral scheme, textiles give you the perfect chance to add a bold print, the perfect solution for anyone wanting to inject a little interest into a plain room in rented accommodation. Find a bright set of curtains in your favourite colour or pattern and pick out the colours with the rest of your accessories.
Clarke & Clarke have teamed up with fashion brand Oasis to create an exciting floral range of bedding and fabrics. Seen here is Ava Black Velvet, £39 per metre, which is a striking botanical print on a jet black background, making it perfect for creating an eye-catching pair of curtains for a bedroom. The same print is available in cotton (£20 per metre) and on wallpapers in different colourways.
5. Mix materials for dramatic effect
If you love the look of a fabric or colour, but are wary of using it in one solid block, why not match with a more neutral material for balance? It's a brilliant idea for anyone on a budget, too, since you can use the more expensive material sparingly but to great effect. For a truly unique look opt for a bespoke service that will allow you to mix and match.
Neptune will make bespoke curtains for you using their beautiful fabrics, and we love this two tone look that features their rustic Hugo linen in Pale Oat with the stunning Isla velvet in Fox at the bottom. It’s the perfect combination for a sumptuous bedroom. Price on application due to individual requirements.
6. A twist on traditional bedroom style
If you want to bring a touch of modernity to a traditional bedroom design, the key is to make sure at least one element of your curtains breaks the rules a little. You could, for example, go for a traditional pattern in an outlandish colour, or choose a classic pair of curtains in an unexpected fabric.
The textural weave of the Bagatelle range, £52 per metre, from James Hare sits cleverly between contemporary and traditional styles. The colour used in this bedroom is Foxglove. Team with yellow, bright pink and lilac accents for a contemporary feel.
7. New neutrals create a laid back look
Neutrals give a romantic feel to a bedroom – and soft pinks, off whites and taupes are also conducive to a calming bedroom atmosphere. So why not carry that through to your curtains? Choosing a fabric that blends with these colours will be an easy way to add the finishing touch to your bedroom and, lit by bedside lamps at night, it will glow invitingly.
This pretty striped material is by George Spencer Designs and is called Capalbio Sheer. It’s 100% linen sheer, £110 per metre.
8. Hang curtains floor-to-ceiling
The drop of a curtain is very important in creating the look you desire. While from a functional point of view, a curtain need only reach just below the window sill, allowing the curtain to skim the floor will look more contemporary and elegant. It will also mean the curtains frame the window nicely when open.
This charming geometric dot pattern by John Lewis is called Kasmanda in Saffron, £15 a metre. Their made-to-measure service allows you to create your own curtains. You choose your fabric then pick a heading style – there’s pencil pleat, double pinch pleat, triple pinch pleat and eyelet to choose from, you then pop in your measurements, choose a lining and they’ll do the rest.