What Color Curtains Make a Room Look Bigger

BY |

Choosing light-colored curtains can create the illusion of a larger space. Light colors reflect more natural light, making the room feel brighter and more open. This can make the room appear bigger and more spacious.

Bigger Windows


Choosing the right color for your curtains can significantly enhance the perception of space in your room, making it appear larger. Light-colored curtains, such as whites, creams, and pastels, can brighten the room, creating an illusion of more space. However, if you have large windows, consider using sheer curtains or those with a slight texture or pattern, which allow natural light to filter through. The interplay of light and shadow can add depth, making your room seem larger and more inviting.

White Curtains

The color of your curtains can greatly influence how spacious a room feels. Opting for white curtains is an excellent choice to enhance this effect. White is known for its ability to reflect light, fostering a bright, airy atmosphere that can make a room appear larger. Whether used in small rooms to maximize perceived space or in rooms with large windows to amplify natural light, white curtains are a versatile option. Their crisp, clean appeal adds a sense of depth and expansiveness, making any room feel bigger and more open.

Sheer Curtains

The choice of curtains can play a significant role in influencing a room’s perceived size. Sheer curtains, regardless of their color, have a unique ability to make a room look bigger. This is due to their semi-transparent nature, allowing natural light to filter in and illuminate the room. This light creates a sense of depth and openness, making the room feel more spacious. The delicate, airy look of sheer curtains contributes to this effect, creating an illusion of boundless space and offering a feeling of expanded room size.

White Lace Curtains

White lace curtains can be a strategic choice when trying to make a room appear larger. The delicate and intricate patterns of lace can create an impression of increased space by drawing the eye around the room. Furthermore, the white color not only reflects light, enhancing the room’s brightness but also promotes an airy, open feeling. White lace curtains allow ample light to permeate the room, further adding to this spacious effect. Their elegance and intricate detail add depth and visual interest, contributing to the perception of a larger room.

Wine-Colored Curtains 

Though deep hues like wine typically visually shrink a space, the right wine-colored curtains can actually make a room feel more expansive. Go for sheer curtains in a light, blush wine tone to delicately filter light while opening up the room. Hang rods high and wide to elongate windows. Add reflective accents like champagne bronze rings to bounce light. Keep walls and furnishings light. Done right, wine-hued sheers create an ethereal, romantic vibe while making a cozy room appear more generous in size.

Vertical Stripes

Curtain patterns, specifically vertical stripes, can significantly influence the perceived size of a room. Vertical stripes draw the eye upwards, creating an illusion of height and space. They can make the windows, and thus the room itself, appear taller and more expansive. Light-colored curtains with thin, vertical stripes are particularly effective as they combine the space-enhancing qualities of both light colors and vertical lines. This can make your room feel larger and more spacious, creating a welcoming and comfortable environment.

Spatial Reasoning 

The color of your curtains can significantly influence spatial reasoning or the perception of space within a room. Light-colored or sheer curtains can manipulate perception to create an illusion of a larger space. They reflect light and enhance the sense of depth and openness, effectively ‘pushing’ the walls outward. This creates a psychological impact, leading the brain to interpret the room as more spacious than it actually is. Therefore, careful selection of curtain color and material can play a key role in enhancing spatial reasoning to make a room appear larger.

Vertical Lines

Curtains featuring vertical lines can significantly boost a room’s perceived size. Vertical lines draw the eye upward, emphasizing the height of the room and creating a sense of elongated space. This pattern, particularly in light colors, can make your room and windows appear taller, effectively enhancing the illusion of a larger, more open space. Thus, curtains with vertical lines are an excellent choice when looking to make a room appear larger.

Unassuming Stripes

Wide, bold stripes tend to overwhelm a space, but unassuming thin stripes can lend the illusion of expanded size. Opt for sheer white curtains with faint gray pinstripes to add subtle detail while maintaining an airy feel. Hang striped panels outside solid drapes in similar muted hues to elongate windows. Keep stripes clean and minimal without strong contrasts. The eye will move vertically up and down slim stripes, which draws attention to the window height rather than width. Unassuming stripes add delicate detail while tricking the eye into seeing a more generous space.

Light-Colored Curtains

Curtain color can significantly affect the perceived size of a room. Light-colored curtains, including pale blues, soft pinks, or creamy yellows, are particularly effective at making a room seem larger. These shades reflect light well, brightening up the room and creating an illusion of more space. They also lend a serene and airy atmosphere to the room, enhancing the feeling of openness. Especially when paired with good natural lighting, light-colored curtains can turn any room, regardless of its actual size, into a welcoming, spacious sanctuary.

Window Frame

The color of your curtains relative to the window frame can greatly affect a room’s perceived size. Using curtains that match or complement the color of the window frame can create a seamless visual line, making the room appear more spacious. For instance, if you have white or light-colored window frames, light-colored or sheer curtains can enhance the sense of space. This harmony between curtain and frame blurs the boundaries, allowing the eyes to travel easily across the space, thus making the room seem larger.

Why Curtain Color and Material is Important

If you have a place for a curtain, chances are you have a window with a light source. The outside light extends your space, so take advantage of it to help you get the most out of your room.

If you aren’t sure where to start, you may as well start at the top with the curtain rod.

It may tempt you to just get a basic curtain rod, but choosing well is an important part of the equation and should not be left out.

It is actually a good idea to get a rod that is more on the decorative side. If it is made of nickel or bronze plated, it can help reflect the light in the room.

Using a decorative rod will also encourage people to look up, which opens up the room and makes it seem bigger.

Besides the color, another thing to look for when picking out curtains is the length. Many people think they are limited by the window ledge, but this is usually far from the case.

Unless there is a good reason to keep your curtains on the shorter side, such as keeping them from being attacked by a pet, there is no reason they shouldn’t reach down to the floor or as close as you feel comfortable. 

Having a longer curtain has a stretching effect on the room, much like how high heels help posture.

It shows that you have a sense of pride in your space and helps you and your guests feel more at home.

With the material of the curtain, lightweight is best, especially in a living area. Linen is an excellent choice. It allows you to maintain privacy while still letting in light.

Pay attention to the texture as well. Vertical patterns can help elongate the curtains even more. Along with the lighter-weight material, light colors are the best choice. 

Light neutral colors are always a safe bet because they easily adapt to. Examples include white, beige, or silver-gray.

Other options that bring in a spacious and mellow feel include off-white, eggshell, or pale yellow, peach, or pastel pink that will work with the sun to make the room feel larger and more inviting.

If a pattern is your style, keep it simple, such as stripes that include lighter colors and materials.

Compliment the Space With the Right Accents

Too much stuff in a room can make things seem quite cluttered and can undo all your efforts in making the most out of the room.

It is important to choose pieces that bring character to your room and make the most of the light and the space. Consider having a decorative mirror hanging in the room

Neutral vs Light Colors

The first suggestion for opening up a room is to stick with neutral colors, the beiges, and tans, and varying degrees of white.

These options are tried and true, and as long as they are properly cleaned, they can survive through varying decor changes and possibly even a new home.

But not everyone is content with low-key colors and need to have a gentle pop in the room in order to feel like they are giving their living space a sense of their personality.

There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but it is still important to keep things light. 

The biggest recommendations come with pinks, peaches, and yellow tints, although some other pastels can be incorporated, such as pale blues or lavenders, especially if they are accented with some neutral tones around them.

Having these lighter colors brings a billowy feel to the room.

Keeping Your Options Open

While during daytime visits it is good to have things bright and light in order to have good company and conversations and make the space feel as big as possible, sometimes too much light can be an issue too.

Excessive sun can create glare on screens, including televisions and computer screens. There may be times you are willing to temporarily give up the larger feel in order to have the option of blocking out some of the light.

If the curtains are in a nursery or a child’s bedroom, they can darken a room for nap time.

Blackout curtain liners are a good way to keep this option on the table. Having liners in your arsenal will ensure that you maintain flexibility for your own personal needs while keeping your home inviting for whomever you choose to have come over.

Blackout curtain liners can serve multiple purposes.

The most obvious, of course, is to block out light when it is not convenient, such as when someone wants to nap or is trying to recover from a headache or watch a movie before dark.

It also offers another layer of material that can help reduce drafts from the window. Because it is a curtain, it can be drawn back when it is time to enjoy the light of the outdoors in your home. 

Just because a curtain is a blackout curtain, it doesn’t mean it is black. There are many liners available that are light-colored, so they won’t detract from your main curtain.

These curtains should be chosen to complement your main decorative curtains.

Some people like to use shades or blinds that they can roll up or down to varying degrees depending on how much light they are comfortable with.

Another benefit to having an extra blackout curtain or shade is it provides you with an opportunity to maintain privacy in your home when the curtains are being laundered or are at the cleaners. 

It is important to properly measure any area that you want to get new curtains, shades, or blinds for so that you can invest in the right sizes. Shades and blinds require more precise measuring with a firm steel measuring tape, whether you are opting for an inside or outside mount.

Curtains will measure up to two feet wider than your window to allow for a free-flowing and billowing feeling and to allow for light exposure while maintaining privacy.

Before you make your final decision, it is important to talk it out with people with who you are planning to share your space.

If it is your home or apartment, the decision is ultimately up to you, but getting other opinions can help you think things through and assure that you are making the right choices for your space.

After you buy your curtains and other decor items, hold them against your window and your wall to get a feel for how the colors and textures fit together.

If you are shopping for curtains in person, you can take pictures of your walls, furniture, or other decor items in the room on your phone and get a sense of how things might go together while you shop.

You can even ask the salesperson to offer their two cents in order to give you all the information you need in order to make a choice you can feel confident about.

Light and neutral curtains are classic choices that will go with almost anything or in any room.

Even if you get a larger home someday, there is still a chance you will be able to still use your curtains, or perhaps you may know someone else who is starting out in a smaller home or apartment who needs some tips for how to get started and make the most out of their space by using the right color curtains for their space.

Leave a Comment