Contemporary or vintage? How to match curtains to your room’s interior design

Picking the right curtain in designer fabrics can complement your room decor.
Picking the right curtain in designer fabrics can complement your room decor.
There's an art to choosing the right designer fabrics and curtains to match the interior design of a room. Here we look at contemporary and vintage styles. 

While they may be the yin and yang of interior design, both contemporary and vintage styles have their merits. While one is more modern, renowned for its sleek lines and sophisticated feel, the other showcases the value of history and uses an antique vibe elegantly. No matter which style you prefer, there are commercial textiles available to complement it. 

Here's a guide for picking designer fabrics for each style. 

Contemporary 

A hallmark of this style is open-plan living, which is light and airy. White-on-white is another key part of contemporary decor, showing off the 'less is more' philosophy with effortless minimalism. There's no better way to give a contemporary feel to your curtains than by choosing sheer drapery, because they provide all of the above elements. 

Sheer curtains are a great choice for a room styled with contemporary interior design.Sheer curtains are a great choice for a room styled with contemporary interior design.

What's more, they allow plenty of natural light into a room, adding to the open atmosphere and also offering health benefits. Indeed, an international study by Human Spaces found that ample sunlight in a room is a feature of biophillic design (natural, organic elements in interiors), and can boost people's overall wellbeing by 15 per cent.

The study also found that natural lighting can also improve creativity levels by the same amount – perhaps artists and other creative professionals should use sheer drapery in their studios to make the most of this finding!

Vintage 

While it is a totally different aesthetic to contemporary decor, the vintage style boasts a charm and elegance. It reminds us of historic palaces and the power of tradition. Typically, vintage decor is full of patterns – think antique furniture, ornately carved and intricately detailed. Floral prints and lace, interlacing in rich patternwork, are iconic of a vintage vibe. Wood is a common material in this look, often contrasted with stained glass in armoires and display cabinets as well as windows. 

Chances are, a vintage-theme home may have stained glass windows too, bursting in jewel colours. Bright, vibrant curtains in baroque floral prints like the Annabel range are a good match for such windows.

While contemporary colours are neutral, such as white or grey, vintage hues are bold and warm – reds, yellows, amber and gold. Psychology Today notes yellow can make you feel happier – curtains in this tone would be great in a bedroom. Similarly, a study from the University of Rochester found red energises us, making it ideal for drapes in the living and dining spaces.

Bright, bold curtain colours in warm tones such as yellow or orange would suit a vintage interior style. Bright, bold curtain colours in warm tones such as yellow or orange would suit a vintage interior style.