To use curtains or not to use curtains? That will forever be the question. With the right pattern and fabric, they have the power to completely switch up a room's aesthetic. If you're still undecided on the room accessory, take a look at these 40 living rooms that put fabric to good use. Revitalize your space with these colorful and elegant drapery options from the ELLE DECOR archives.
In the living area of interior designer Kimille Taylor’s apartment on New York’s Upper West Side, the sofa is upholstered in a mohair, the vintage chairs are covered in a cotton, the lounge chair is by , and the cocktail table and wooden lamp are ; the midcentury secretary is French, the chandelier is by , the curtains are of a satin, the rug is by and the photograph is by .
In the library of a Parisian home, the sofa is upholstered in a cotton damask, the armchair is covered in a silk velvet and the slipper chair is based on a ; the desk is Louis XV, the chandelier is Louis XIV and the 19th-century rug is Persian.
In a Long Island home, the family room’s custom furnishings include a sofa upholstered in a fabric, a tufted sofa in a weave, a leather ottoman and a pair of armchairs covered in a linen blend; the 1950s cerused-oak side table and 19th-century copper lantern are French, the curtains are of a fabric and the wallpaper is by .
In a colorful Manhattan apartment, the vintage Milo Baughman sofa is in a velvet and a pair of 1970s chairs are in a velvet. The cocktail table and floor lamp are by , the side tables are by , and the pillows and rug are by . The portraits are by Kimberly Brooks.
In an Ibiza home, local-limestone floors covered in custom Spanish esparto rugs from Antonia Molina, walls in a sandy lime plaster, and a wood-beam ceiling set a rustic tone in the living room. Custom sofas by Atelier Tapissier Seigneur and curtains in a quilted Braquenié fabric; the Oeil cocktail table by Pierre Chapo is vintage, the lacquered-coral sculpture is by Maurizio Epifani, and the painting over the mantel is by Alex Katz.
In the great room of Cathryn Collins' home, a row of French doors affords panoramic views of the Hudson Valley. The couple’s French spaniel, Georgie, rests on a custom velvet sofa. Collins purchased the antique console, wooden chest, and wingback chairs on trips to Italy. The 19th-century limestone columns are from New Delhi, the custom lanterns and laurel reed–and-leather rug are from Morocco, the pendant above the sofa was fashioned from an antique Italian tole lantern, and the curtains are of a .
At the 2017 Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach, designer Nick Olsen anchored an eclectic modernist sitting room with Sonateet Claire de Lune, a dreamy Lurçat tapestry from the 1940s inspired by the Debussy piece. The Bright yellow curtains pick up the pale sunny tones in the tapestry.
In the bedroom of a Soho loft, a daybed upholstered in a fabric by Chapas Textiles is topped with an antique Asian throw; the curtain is of a Bergamo silk, the photograph is by Robert Mapplethorpe, and the brocade on the Louis XV chair is original.
The dining room walls in designer Garance Aufaure's Paris home are sheathed in a linen toile and hung with a collection of Moustiers ceramics. The custom curtains are of a blue linen.
This Connecticut country house isn't afraid of color, and the patterned curtains are no exception. In the dining area, a table is surrounded by Indian cane chairs, the striped dhurries are by , and the armchair in the background and its fabric are by Robshaw for Duralee.
In the living room of a weekend home in Bridgehampton, New York, designed by , the custom sofa is upholstered in a fabric and the same linen is used for both the curtains and the armchair.
Custom designs fill this vibrant London townhouse, including sofa covered in a Donghia patterned velvet, another upholstered in a Le Manach silk velvet, and a round banquette, which is topped with a 1940s French bronze sculpture. The curtains are of a Jim Thompson silk, and the walls are painted in Farrow & Ball's Cornforth White.
In an industrialist San Francisco loft, a curtain is used to divide the living area, offering privacy and a simple design transition between the rooms. The bookcase is a custom design, the sculpture on the floor is by and the floors are polished concrete.
In the Manhattan living room of interior designer Frank de Biasi and textile artist Gene Meyer, the curtains are of a John Rosselli linen that gives the otherwise eclectic room a more grounded look.
A glam-meets-grit Illinois home uses sheer curtains to accessorize an otherwise stark space.
In the master suite of an Upper East Side home, the curtains in this monochromatic blue room perfectly match the decor. The armchairs is a 1950s Gianfranco Frattini design and the painting is by Friedrich Kunath.
In a historic English estate with modern accents, jovial red curtains of a brighten the living room. The walls are painted in Tablecloth by and the artwork above the mantel is by .
The breathy, translucent beige curtains in this Palm Beach apartment echo the lucid nature of a nearby glass chair by and René Coulon. The 1970s Italian cocktail table is by and the concrete wall plaques are by Radu Comsa.
In a ski house designed by at Montana's Yellowstone Club, the living room is stylishly trimmed with curtains of a alpaca. The barnwood cocktail table is a custom design and the side table is by .
The lively patterned curtains in this living room add a playful yet sophisticated touch to a glamorous São Paulo duplex, evoking the same collected spirit as the Moroccan Berber rug and the Jean Prouvé chair by .
In a Danish couple's black-and-white weekend retreat, gray curtains are a striking accent to the monochromatic color scheme. The patterned rug is by and the floor lamp is Achille and Pier Castiglioni's Arco for .
When Jeffrey Bilhuber decorated this home in Tuxedo Park, New York, the vibrant red curtains were original to the house. The same touches of red can be found in the pillows, which are covered in a velvet ikat and a silk floral.
In the living room of a London townhouse, neutral curtains add a bout of English elegance to the space, which is furnished with a vintage sofa by Ico Parisi and Otto Schultz chairs covered in a fabric. The light fixture is by .
A pop of sunny yellow brightens an otherwise neutral living room in Todd Alexander Romano's home, in which the curtains are of a silk taffeta from . It's the perfect contrast to the charcoal vintage sofa, upholstered in a velvet.
In the living room of Evan and Ku-Ling Yurman's TriBeCa apartment, curtains of a Kravet linen add to the airy, bohemian aesthetic of the room. The neutral hues of the curtains are echoed by an Iranian rug from .
In a dreamy Hamptons summer home, curtains of a linen lend a breezy whisper to a beachy aesthetic, completed with a library sofa by and artwork by .
In an East Hampton home decorated by , the living room's patterned curtains are of a fabric, which are situated adjacent to more muted furnishings — a sofa and club chairs by , an ottoman by , covered in a leather, and early-19th-century Louis XVI-style armchairs upholstered in a cotton.
In the living room of a New Jersey mansion designed by Nannette Brown, a fabric is used for both the curtains and the custom-made sofa. The rug is by , and the drawing over the sofa is by Catherine Jansens.
In this Manhattan townhouse, Quadrille fabric curtains with just a touch of blue play off the bold turquoise walls, painted in C2 Paint Luxe in . The sofa and club chair, both by , are covered in wools.
silk curtains with a custom ombré dye add a lively spirit to this dramatic New York City apartment.