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Finding the right pair or set of curtains does a lot more than simply shield light from the room. Far beyond providing functionality, curtains are able to set the tone and mood of a room. Imagine how dark curtains add a brooding or almost romantic feel to a den or bedroom, while sheer, light curtains cheer up a kitchen or living area. With a myriad of different color and fabric choices, you can use the right pair of curtains to set the stage for decoration in any room of your home.

Shopping curtains by fabric will aid you in deciding how you would like your curtains to function. For example, linen curtains typically have a medium thickness, allowing you to easily block unwanted light while letting enough natural light pass through for a bright, open feel. Linen also has a crisp, fresh texture and can be a good choice for a lightly colored bedroom or living area. Darker linen curtains in hues such as navy blue offer exceptional coverage in rooms where you want much of the sunlight blocked, while off-white and beige linen curtains complement nearly any existing decor in a room.

Another excellent fabric choice for curtains and drapes is a cotton material. Cotton can be sheer, adding minimal light coverage, but dependent on thread count, can also be thick, providing ample coverage. When it comes to care and maintenance, cotton is one of the easiest materials to care for. If it’s likely that you plan to wash your curtains often, perhaps due to pets and young children being in the home, cotton is a smart choice. Choose from light, simple patterns that add flair to a room, or opt for solid colors that simply match existing color schemes. To set your room apart, opt for bolder patterns, such as stripes or lattice embroidery, to really bring attention to the windows.

For an air of elegance in your dining room or den, velvet curtains are an exceptional idea. Velvet is a thick material, providing much coverage should you want to black out light. However, velvet makes for more of a decorative curtain. You may want to add special touches to fabric curtains, such as rope pulls or ribbons, to decorate your drapes. For a bit of fun, some velvet curtains available from west elm have exquisite patterns with colors that easily match your home. Choose from white velvet to dark navy blue, depending on your desired color palette.

For curtains that function best as decorations, sheer curtains always manage to add an elegant air to any room. Sheer curtains are typically available in neutral colors, such as white, off-white and beige. In addition, you’re able to choose from other colors such as dark blue and gray. Sheer curtains bring cheer to a kitchen or patio but also work well in living spaces, such as living rooms and family rooms. Floor-length sheer curtains look stately and elegant. If you want curtains with functionality, blocking out most natural light, blackout curtains are a good choice. Easily push blackout curtains to the side during the day, and pull the drapes at night for privacy. Not all blackout curtains must be dark in order to function. Look for blackout curtains in more neutral colors, such as beige, off-white and gray. If your goal is to contrast colors in your living space, remember that dark curtains often offset a lightly colored wall, while lighter curtains contrast well against darker walls. Neutral colors tend to look great and add warmth to any space; however, you may prefer to lighten up your rooms with more vivid colors or patterns. There are many choices available to properly set the mood for any space.