We've rounded up our favorite country curtain ideas to get your design pulses going.
Just the thought of a country home conjures up thoughts and feelings of a welcoming warmth, which is hard to achieve in reality without something to keep out the cold or soften harsh light.
Whether you love a heavy drape curtain or sheer voile, or the addition of a Roman blind or a shutter on your window, there's the ideal window treatment for your country home.
Country curtain ideas – the rustic view on window
Country homes tend to be characterful properties, with windows that need carefully thought out curtain ideas to celebrate the architecture of the property.
Whatever the quirks of your house, such as bay windows or deep alcoves, there is a perfect window treatment fit – and we've selected expert ideas here to help you decide on the best look for your home.
1. Coordinate country curtains with a headboard
Interior designers use color trends and furnishings to pull a room scheme together, repeating motifs within the decor to create a sense of harmony. Here, that’s achieved by using the same fabric for the headboard and the curtains – Pavilion Adriatic by Iliv.
Your bedroom curtain ideas should always complement, rather than clash, with the rest of the decor to promote that feeling of tranquillity you want in this room. But there are tricks to stop the overall look appearing too same-y. Here, fabrics in the same tones but in different patterns and scales are used across the bedding.
2. Use curtains to zone an open-concept living space
One of the beauties of a barn conversion is the lofty dimensions – huge, high ceilings and acres of floorspace. In a home like this, don't feel that your curtain ideas should be confined to windows and doorways.
Long curtain ideas can be used to divide the space, being closed for privacy around a bedroom at night, for example. Or separating the kitchen from more relaxing lounge areas.
Consider lining your curtains for sound insulation and warmth. Or put up a double-layered curtain with a different fabric on each side, allowing you to change the appearance of the room each one faces.
3. Match your curtains with your walls and floor
Country style is about warmth and relaxation, and using wraparound color is a great way to bring that cocooning, comforting look.
‘The subtle sheen of velvet curtains makes them perfect for a glamorous room, but they are equally at home in a relaxed space such as the corner of a country breakfast room,’ assures John Smigielski, Marketing Director, Linwood. ‘Here, Linwood Java Lotus – which is stain resistant, so can certainly take the knocks of everyday life – is teamed to perfection with terracotta tiles and salmon pink panelling to highlight the beauty of the pattern in the curtains.
‘For those rather afraid of bold designs, this a great way to introduce a colorful pattern without it overwhelming a room.’
4. Repeat columns of identical drapes
This is a smart look for country curtain ideas – columns of identical drapery framing the windows of a room.
‘This is a look you’ll see in stately homes and prestigious country houses, but it translates really well to more typical family homes, too,’ says Andréa Childs, Editor of Country Homes & Interiors magazine.
‘If you have a row of windows, choose matching curtains to frame each view along a wall. Simplicity is key to making this look work, so choose a limited living room color scheme, and a large-scale pattern like this blue and white Delft pattern from Iliv.
5. Cover a door with drapes
A large entranceway, spacious enough to count as a room in its own right, can be a feature on country homes. But having the exterior door opening into the space can let draughts in, and detract from the cozy ambience.
Adding a curtain over the doorway is the answer is a brilliant entryway idea. If there's room, put up an extra-long curtain rod that extends beyond the width of the door. That way, the curtain can be pulled back fully to lose easy access. Otherwise, opt for a curtain rod designed to fit on to the door itself, which will allow the curtain to move with the door as it is open and shut.
In the evening, the curtain can be pulled across the doorway to close off the room and keep it warm and snug.
6. Layer drapes for a luxe look
Using more than one window treatment idea allows you to filter light, add layers of color and pattern, or add texture and depth to a scheme.
‘If you are blessed with large windows, you can really have fun when it comes to patterns and colors,’ says Amy Wilson, interior designer for 247 Curtains. ‘Layering works really well to help give your windows a luxurious feel. You could try a bold patterned Roman blind along with some made-to-measure curtains, or translucent drapes with heavier curtains in front.’
This approach works well when you're looking for ideas for large windows, as sheer curtains can soften extensive areas of glazing.
7. Play with geometric and natural patterns
Are you in the country checks and stripes camp? Or the florals and botanicals bunch? The beauty of combining wallpaper and curtains in a decorating scheme is that you can be both! In fact, by contrasting the formality of graphic patterns with the whimsical look of nature-inspired motifs, you bring a contemporary edge to rustic decor.
In this look from Laura Ashley, the striped curtain fabric is mirrored in the area rug, creating instant synergy.
The type of curtain you choose plays an important part in the look, too. Here, curtains with an eyelet top bring an informality that suits a country room.
8. Mix it up with modern monochromes
A single fabric can add interest to your country curtain ideas, but three different tones will bring an extra dimension to your window treatments.
‘This room coordinates Majestic paint and Restore Midnight curtains, creating a simple monochromatic colour palette to add a contemporary edge to the more traditional room style,’ explains Amy Bant, Soft Furnishings and Interiors Expert at Graham & Brown.
Pick two or more fabrics in shades from light to dark. They can be put on a single track, creating a trio of toning colors extending across the window. Alternatively, create a layered effect using separate tracks with a different fabric on each. That way, the curtains can be pulled across singly or together, to create a range of monochrome total effects.
9. Soften a home office with curtains
Getting the balance between functionality, formality and fun can be tricky in a home office, especially in a rustic home But this is where country curtain ideas can really help.
'These may be our workspaces, but they're also where we live, where our kids draw and do homework, and where we do the household bills as well as our day job,' says Andréa Childs, Editor of Country Homes & Interiors magazine. 'Softening the decor, with carpet, rugs and furniture in natural materials can make put the "home" in home office.
'For a country-inspired scheme, I'd look to floral and foliage-print fabrics that bring a touch of the rustic landscape inside.'
10. Dress patio doors
Jamie Elliott McPherson, an interior designer and founder of J.Elliott Style in North Carolina, created this stunning formal country dining room featuring elegant curtains framing French windows.
Despite the amount of fabric used in the room, the subtle design and wall-matching color mean the curtains blend into the background of the room. Instead, the windows themselves take centre stage.
11. Blend the curtains with the view beyond
The position of curtains at the very edge of a room makes them the perfect bridge between indoors and out. Blur the boundaries even further by choosing a fabric that reflects the garden or scenery outdoors.
Here, a leafy green botanical print simulates the garden view and connects this dining room with the world beyond the window.
The same trick is used from indoors to out, with the grey flooring of the dining room replicated in the grey brickwork of the garden wall.
12. Choose the right country curtain color
The color of country curtains is mostly determined by the shades you already have in your space, and whether you want the curtains to make a statement or gently meld in.
'Pale earthy blues and greens can provide a relaxing haven whilst rich shades of plum or scarlet create an intimate space and luxuriant tones of ochre or burnt orange can induce a feeling of warmth,' says Romo's Emily Mould.
Another approach is to take into account your rural surroundings. 'Country house window treatments suit colours that bring the outside in as this helps create a gentle harmony with the outside,' advises Philippa Thorp, director of Thorp.
13. Make plain curtains more interesting for a country-style room
If you're concerned that a block color or neutral shade of curtain is going to be too simple, or you're looking for an easy way to update and refresh your plain curtains, there are a few options you have without replacing the fabric.
Tiebacks come in all shapes as sizes, from dainty ribbons to oversized tassels, so you can update these easily with the season.
Another approach is to change the curtain pole – although you would have to check with the company if your current curtains would fit on these, as types of hooks and the weight of the fabric need to be taken into account. New finials on either end would also provide a mini facelift.
14. Choose the best pattern for country curtains
When choosing a patterned fabric for your windows, you'll need to make sure it looks just as good when the curtain is pulled back.
For the pattern itself, just as with the color, 'consider whether you want to make a statement with a strong pattern or contrasting texture or whether you want a subtler look,' advises Emily Mould of Romo.
'A bold, large-scale design can create a striking focal point and will work best when used for large windows where the full repeat can be fully appreciated,' continues Emily. If you have smaller windows, opt for a small-scale pattern to create a more refined look.'
15. Match curtains to a traditional country window treatment
Traditionally, country homes would be built with solid shutters, to maximize the warmth retained indoors.
If you're lucky enough to have these in your home, a refresh of paint will make them a lust-worthy feature. If you prefer more softness, adding curtains around these works wonderfully, too.
16. Go white for a light look
White country curtain ideas, or at least pale neutrals, seem like a no-brainer selection as they are sure to match most schemes, but is it sensible?
On the plus side, you will achieve a light look to your windows, even if you have chosen a heavier fabric, and not distract from any other strong designs in the space. Additionally, you don't have to worry about the sun fading the color.
That said, there is the practical consideration of dirt to contend with. Curtains are one of the least regularly cleaned items in a home, and so a white curtain will show any soiling, either from dust on a windowsill or dirty paws on the drape of a floor length curtain. If possible, choose a stain resistant fabric to prevent this from becoming an issue.
17. Pick sheer curtains for dark rooms
Sheers provide a lovely and gentle touch to a country window which beautifully filter light into a room.
If you still want the privacy offered by traditional curtains, then consider pairing these with a decorative voile to stop the windows from looking bare when the curtains are open, while offering an opportunity to play with pattern.
Sheer fabrics also work well to soften the 'harder' areas of the house, such as bathrooms. Choose a design with spots of color for impact and to add interest to what is often a neutral space.
18. Combine curtains with blinds for a sumptuous look
Curtains and blinds are a wonderful combination, and give you the best of both worlds. By layering these two up you also have the opportunity to play with color and pattern – two different patterns can be a fun addition, although do stick to one key shade to ensure cohesion.
Bedrooms in particular will benefit from this combination, as the blind effectively blocks out sunlight, and the curtains can provide extra softness and decoration.
19. Get curtain length just right
When deciding how long or short you would like your country-style curtains to go, take into account what type of window you are dressing.
Cottage or dormer windows suit curtains to the windowsill, while floor-length is the the best for tall sash windows and bays.
'If you want to puddle your curtains, go for no more than 15cm extra length to ensure the effect looks intentional,' says Harry Cole, founder of Loom & Last.
20. Dress a country bedroom for comfort
Bedrooms are the perfect place to indulge your softer side with curtains.
Simple patterns and tonal shades are the way to go in these spaces, as it is primarily an area for rest and relaxation. A lovely way to add decoration here is the use of a pelmet, which will frame the window while creating the illusion of height and neatly concealing poles and tracks.
21. Match country curtains with blackout material
In a bedroom, country curtains are often light and filmy, but that won't block out the light, so consider also blackout blinds or lined curtains for your bedroom so you can effectively block out unwelcome light.
'I always line curtains,' says Victoria Walker, product manager at Hilarys. 'It makes them look fuller, helps reduce light leakage and provides extra privacy.'
Another alternative is adding a layer of voile, which are sheer and translucent and a great way of letting the light in while still offering privacy.
22. Combine curtains with shutters
'Country houses also benefit from shutters where possible as well as curtains not only for practical reasons but together they frame the window and set off the view,' says Philippa Thorp.
As lovely as shutters are by themselves, windows can sometimes look bare without additional dressing, so by layering up in this way you can achieve a neat solution without detracting from the window's elegance.
23. Use country curtains to dress awkwardly shaped windows
Country homes are more likely than most to have awkwardly shaped or sized windows.
If you wish to dress a tiny window, you could use a curtain to lengthen the appearance of the space, even if the fabric ends up being considerably bigger than the glazing. Patterns help, too. Vertical stripes, for example, naturally trick the eye into thinking something is taller than it is.
24. Know when to swap curtains for blinds
If you're not wedded to curtains, or have an awkward shape to deal with, then tailored fabric blinds make a sleek alternative to curtains that are certainly worth considering. Aligning two or three across a wide window offers flexibility, ideal for situations like dressing a bay window.
'Roman blinds are ideal, as they provide privacy and you can adjust the amount of light,' adds Chris Lapthorne, head of marketing at Luxaflex.
25. Pick curtains to match the room's tones
Ready-made curtains are ideal if you need something in a hurry and they are an affordable choice if your windows are standard sizes, or if you are looking for something simple like voile panels or curtains for a small window.
Here, tactile fabrics and graphite accents add depth to this scheme where the clean lines of crafted wood furniture take center stage. The vertical lines on the tongue-and-groove panelling contrast beautifully with the horizontal lines on the curtain.
26. Line curtains for warmth and luxury
Although some lighter weight fabrics are suited to a relaxed look, most curtain fabrics benefit from lining to boost the quality of their drape, as well as protecting the face fabric from sunlight.
Lining also boosts heat retention, and you can buy thermal lining which is helpful if you have large expanses of glass. Here, smart asymmetrical banding has a strong modern look.
27. Add a pelmet
Consider how to complete your look. You might choose to fit a pelmet across the top of the window to conceal the track. You can also use a pelmet as a decorative feature or to create the illusion of height. Usually made of plywood or MDF, they can be painted or covered in fabric.
28. Frame a window seat
For a crisp, modern look, blinds are very effective, and can be just as eye-catching as curtains. Bought ready made or made to order in the same way as curtains, they use minimal fabric, they tend to be cost effective, and can be used alone or layered under curtains. The Roman blind, which draws up into horizontal pleats when raised, has a soft and dressy look, tying beautifully with the window seat below.
29. Add detailing with trimmings
A white sheer provides privacy while still allowing soft light to filter through its fabric. Here, delicate embroidery has been used to add a pretty detail, creating a subtle statement on a simple design.
30. Hang double-height curtains
Having a double-height space with extensive glazing doesn't mean you have to forgo curtains. In fact, they can add the decorative element often missing from repurposed working buildings, such as barns, haylofts and stables.
If your windows are super-tall, an automated curtain rail system will be your friend, allowing you to open and shut the drapes at the touch of a button.
You can also order bespoke solutions, such as arched rails, that will echo the shape of the window.
How do I measure for curtains?
Measure twice, cut once isn't just a rule for carpentry. Curtain fabric can be expensive, so you want to be precise in your measurements.
In fact, even if you have chosen to use a made-to-measure service, we would recommend having an idea of your measurements in advance. This will allow you to more accurately calculate fabric quantities and labor costs.
If at all possible, it's best to install your tracks and poles before you measure, for a more accurate account. Make sure to take into account the space needed for the curtains to be drawn back either side of the window, which is usually around 15-20cm/6-8in depending on the thickness of the fabric.
How do you modify curtains?
One thing people seem to forget is that curtains can offer much more flexibility than they suggest.
When having curtains made, if you choose a double lining, you can reverse the pattern or color. Opt for a simple heading that can be threaded onto a pole; this will ensure the curtain is easily reversible, allowing you to change the look with the seasons.
Alternatively, invest in clip-on thermal panels to bulk out summer curtains to keep things cozy over the winter.
Andrea has been immersed in the world of homes, interiors and lifestyle since her first job in journalism, on Ideal Home. She went from women's magazine Options to Frank. From there it was on to the launch of Red magazine, where she stayed for 10 years and became Assistant Editor. She then shifted into freelancing, and spent 14 years writing for everyone from The Telegraph to The Sunday Times, Livingetc, Stylist and Woman & Home. She was then offered the job as Editor on Country Homes & Interiors, and now combines that role with writing for sister title homesandgardens.com.
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