Do the curtains match the colours?

Ever walk into a friend's living room and feel immediate discomfort? You can't figure out what's causing it, but it's there, pulling you away from your discussion. 

Don't worry: You're not going crazy. Chances are, the living room in adorned with a curtain that simply does not complement the colour of the walls. As a person with a sense of style, this may drive you to insanity.  

So, we're going to tackle this issue: Should the curtains match the colour?  

Compare or contrast?   

Many stylists would argue that a room's curtains can diverge from the wall colouring, and they're not necessarily crazy in doing so. All things considered, matching or mismatching the curtains and walls depends on three factors:  

  • The number of windows in the room and their dimensions  
  • The personality you're trying to create within the vicinity  
  • The size and position of the room  

Although there are a few general guidelines, nothing is set in stone. For instance, some may conclude that pairing a green wall with white drapes isn't necessarily the best decision, but there likely are some situations when such a duo is appropriate.   

Consider painting an airy, open living room Resene Green House. Then tie in Resene Meander – Blonde Voile across those large windows, and the effect isn't too hard on the eyes. 

What if you do want to match?    

Again, it comes down to the type of feeling you want to create. More often than not, choosing to match the colour of your walls with the curtains can create a feeling of simplicity. It will probably inspire a strong sense of space for you and any visitors you're hoping to entertain.     

If you do choose to maintain colour continuity, be aware that the saturation of the curtains and wall should have subtle difference. For example, suppose you want to adorn your bedroom with blue. While the walls may be dark and have that 'rich' characteristic people sometimes speak of, the drapes could be lighter, possibly something like Resene Metaphor – Bud.  Or pick out one of the colours in the drapes and use it as inspiration for your wall colour. 

What's so wrong with choosing curtains that are the exact same shade as your walls? Depending on how much natural light enters the room, the effect could be a bit overwhelming. Spaces that get enough sunlight may be able to get away with this, although it's best to err on the side of caution.    

Find an equilibrium  

When contrasting drapes and walls, you can always assess how different colours create a sense of harmony. Many designers have this practice down to a science, and it comes by breaking down colour groups into several categories, a few of which are listed below:  

  • Complementary shades are those that are on the opposite ends of a standard colour wheel. For example, a light green works well with a light violet. Be wary that this pairing may seem harsh if it's not managed properly.   
  • Analogous colours come in threes, and are adjacent to one another on the wheel. They tend to create serene, placid designs.  
  • Triadic colour schemes are three shades that are spaced evenly around the circle. It's recommended that one colour remains dominant, while the other two accentuate the latter.  

Maybe your friend's living room simply has too many saturated colours. You can't blame them for not having the eye of a professional designer – it's a talent that few people possess. However, following some of the tips above will help you coordinate colours between your curtains and walls effectively. 

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