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5 Best Curtain Colors to Brighten a Room

If you are looking to brighten a dark room, choosing the right curtain colors is one of the easy ways to do that. Here are the best curtain colors to brighten a room.

We all know that painting a dimly lit room a bright white or yellow helps create the illusion of light and space.

Well, it makes sense that the colors you choose for curtains will also influence the room’s brightness. Curtains frame the source of natural light: the windows. Let’s look at the best curtain colors for brightening a room.

Curtain colors that brighten a room reflect and radiate light, like white, yellow, and green. For light-starved rooms, hang bright yellow, red, or orange curtains to add warmth and create the illusion of sunshine. Add decor that picks up the curtain colors in accents like pillows or throws.

How Do Curtain Colors Affect a Room’s Brightness?

Researching the ideal choices of curtains for a room presents you with lots of information. This includes measuring length, choosing curtain rails, and coordinating color palettes. However, curtains will also impact the amount of light and brightness of a room.

Because curtains frame windows, their fabric impacts how much light enters the room, whether it is filtered or dappled, and the quality of that light.

Apart from their weight, the color of the curtain will also affect how bright or dull a room appears, according to color psychology.

What are the Best Curtain Colors for Brightening a Room?

Your choice of curtain color (and material) should be influenced by the amount of natural light a room receives. When pulled back from the frame, curtains reflect any natural light into the room. For example:

  • In rooms with plentiful natural light, you should choose curtain colors to match the light’s warmth and maximize its brightness. Curtaining materials should filter or tone down the intense light.
  • Darker colors and heavier fabrics will absorb the light, reducing the amount reflected into the room.
  • In light-starved spaces, where minimal light will be reflected, choose curtain colors that create the illusion of light and space. Lightweight, soft fabrics will add to the effect and allow as much natural light to enter the room as possible.

#1. White

Room with white curtains and couch.

The ideal color for maximizing brightness in both naturally light and dimly lit rooms is white.

This light color—and its off-white relatives like ivory and cream—reflect light. White bounces light around a room and making it look larger, airier, and brighter.

For dull rooms, paint the walls in a similar light tone as your curtains to increase the effect.

Sheer white or muslin curtains will allow the most light into the room and create a gorgeous, romantic billowing effect.

They’re not ideal for bedrooms where you need to block out light to improve sleep quality. Combine them with heavier drapes for the evening. (They’re also not ideal if you have kittens in the house, as tiny claws get stuck easily. If you didn’t know, kittens climb curtains.)

White curtains are versatile enough for any decor style or color palette. Choose crisp white linen curtains for a more sophisticated interior; they make a bold and elegant statement against any wall color.

Roughly woven cotton curtains in an off-white are perfect for a Boho or rustic interior and won’t distract from other color accents you want to introduce.

(This post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated if you make a purchase through a link on this page.)

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#2. Green

Green and white curtains.

While warm colors reflect yellow and red-toned light into a room, cooler colors, green, for example, will reflect a cooler light. This effect is perfect for naturally sunny rooms! It introduces an element of tranquility and calm, especially if you choose a lightweight or sheer fabric.

Green is also an excellent option for rooms with several windows. Warm colors advance, so many bright curtains can overwhelm a room. Instead, cool green curtains recede, making the space appear larger.

You can choose curtains that are the same color as the walls so that they blend into the surroundings and don’t make a bold statement. However, do not choose green for a darker, north-facing room, as it can become too chilly and stark.

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#3. Yellow

Room with yellow curtains and blue couch.

Yellow will reflect light into your room, giving it a warm undertone. This bright shade will also maximize natural light.

Known as the sunshine color, yellow will illuminate and cheer up dull rooms. Yellow is versatile, working with most color palettes. Include decor with a touch of yellow to provide cohesion and balance in the room.

Combine yellow with fabric with a sheen to radiate as much tinted light as possible into a dim room. Fabrics like satin also add a luxurious touch.

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#4. Red

Room with red curtains and white chairs.

Like yellow, red is a warm color and will reflect a softer, cozier quality of light. This color is perfect for both naturally bright and light-starved rooms. It draws your eye to the window and emphasizes the light and the view beyond the window.

Red is a bold, vibrant choice for curtains and adds energy to a light-starved space. Choose a white-and-red print, like gingham, to tone down brightness. And accessorize with red accents. Keep the fabric lightweight to ensure a glowing, dappled light.

Red can be overly theatrical, especially if combined with a heavy fabric like velvet. (Red velvet curtains always remind me of movie theaters as a child.)

In a bright, sunny room, add cool, calm elements to your decor to balance the intensity of the red. For example, choose a lighter shade for the walls—pink, pale blue, or cream will all be effective.

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#5. Orange

Orange curtains.

I am delighted that orange is coming out of the seventies and eighties and returning to our interiors. You don’t have to go for sunburst orange if that’s too vivid in a sun-kissed room. Choose paler peach and apricot shades for sunny bedrooms.

Other shades of orange, like tangerine and amber, are gorgeous and will have a brightening and energizing effect in sun-starved living rooms or home offices. Keep fabric light and sheer to maximize the natural light.

To avoid a dated vibe, keep orange decor subtle, with small patterns, interesting textures, and delicate detailing.

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Tips for Accessorizing with Bright Curtain Colors

If you’ve chosen curtains to brighten up your room, how do you decorate the rest of the room without making it seem like a kindergarten? I’ve got some great tips for accessorizing with bright curtain colors.

Choose Patterned Fabric

Brightly colored curtains can be overwhelming, so go for a patterned fabric or print. This option has two advantages. First, it balances vivid colors and tones them down. Second, it can combine several colors to create a cohesive color palette.

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Layer Curtains

Room with layered red, yellow and white curtains.

To avoid overkill with bright colors, layer your curtains with a neutral curtain. Hanging two layers of curtaining immediately softens the room, adds textural interest, and balances out the more vivid color.

Framing the window with a lighter, sheer curtain means more light reflected.

Alternatively, layer two bright colors if your room is dull and light-starved. Keep the lighter color, preferably yellow, next to the window to radiate light and warmth into the room.

Keep Decor Subtle

Boho room with yellow curtains and large wicker lamp.

You won’t want brightly colored curtains to be the only colorful element in a room—that will look unbalanced. At the same time, adding garish decor isn’t the answer.

Introduce bright colors like red and yellow to your interior with subtle accents, for instance, natural wood and wicker elements that tone with glowing shades.

Embrace More is More

I must admit to getting a little weary of the passion for neutral colors. Part of me wants more-is-more maximalism, the perfect aesthetic for colorful curtains.

Embrace the bright color contrasts, add pattern and print, and layer wallpaper and curtains. This look is refreshing and modern and suits those with exuberant, character-filled homes.

Final Thoughts

Curtain color and material can play a significant role in brightening up a room. Choose white, yellow, or green curtains in sheer fabrics for rooms blessed with sun and light. For north-facing rooms, choose white, yellow, red, or orange to add warmth and the illusion of sunshine and warmth.

More Curtain Colors Resource:

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