Choosing curtains for your living room

Tania Naudé
Written by Tania Naudé
Russells Consultant
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The living room or lounge is one of, in not the most lived in room of the house. Curtains in this area need to be practical, functional and decorative. You need to consider the space they’re covering, where they’ll hang in relation to the window, how they’ll operate, what you need them for, and of course the myriad of colours and patterns they could have. Here’s why:

Window size

The bigger they are the more your curtains will cost simply because you’ll need more fabric to cover them. If you’re on a budget this may mean compromising with a shorter length or a less expensive fabric. At Russells, our fabric collection has something for every budget.

Room size

Make a small room seem bigger with simple, extra long curtains that hang from almost ceiling height right down to the ground, or make a large room seem more cosy with thick, full curtains in bold colours, patterns or stripes.

The size of the window and rooms should also factor into the fabric colours and patterns you choose; for example, too big a pattern on a small window will look silly but too intricate a pattern across a large window and it may be lost.

Purpose and performance

What do you want your curtains to do? Is look more important than function or vice versa?

Often the living room is where you watch TV so having block out lining allows you to make it dark if watching during the day or early evening in summer.

For privacy during the day while still letting in light, consider pairing your curtains with a sunscreen roller blind or a double track with sheer curtains underneath.

Tresillo by Harlequin in Coral Blush Denim


This is an interesting one. During winter, thicker fabrics are recommended to help reduce heat loss through windows. However, in summer, a thicker fabric traps heat in the room. If the budget allows, you could splash out on both summer and winter weight curtains. If not, opt for something medium and insure it’s thermally lined.

Opening and closing

Living room curtains will be opened and closed regularly so you want them to be easy to operate. Some heading styles move more freely than others; for example, tab top curtains don’t move as fluidly as those on tracks.

Also put some thought into how you want them to look when they are open. Leave them hanging loose for a streamlined yet informal look or fix them back with ties or hooks for a soft, decorative look.

Night and day aesthetic

Consider how they look in daylight and artificial light at night. This is something your Russells consultant will help you with during your free in-home consultation.

Learn what to consider in picking the right curtains for your home

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