The curtain colors you choose can have a dramatic effect on your environment and your mood. Warm colors like reds, oranges and golds tend to feel inviting. Cool colors like blues and greens incite relaxation. Stark colors like black, white and gray are refreshing to some, but unsightly to others.

So what’s the best way to pick curtain colors? Should curtains match your wall color, bedding or furniture? By understanding basic color theory rules, you can quickly determine what colors combine well together.

A color wheel shows relationships between colors and how they compare and contrast. Check out Canva’s free color wheel tool to select a combination of colors that works for you.

Try one of these approaches to pick ideal curtain colors:

Monochromatic: choose shades of one color
Complementary: choose opposite colors
Analogous: choose harmonious colors
Neutral: choose “colorless” tones
Accents: choose colors that pop against a neutral base

1. Monochromatic: Choose Shades of One Color
A monochromatic color scheme focuses on one palette of color, like varying shades of blue. Use this method to match the curtains to the wall color, furniture (like couches and bedspreads) or major decorative pieces in the room.

2. Complementary: Choose Opposite Colors
A complementary color scheme incorporates colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. Green and pink (shown below), orange and blue and yellow and purple are examples of complementary color pairings.

3. Analogous: Choose Harmonious Colors
Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. Notice how the reds, pinks and purples work well together to create a rich, vibrant look. It’s a great way to make a cohesive yet dramatic style statement.

4. Neutral: Choose “Colorless” Tones
Neutral colors like gray, black, taupe, beige, ivory and shades of white are fresh and modern. Pick curtains at least one shade lighter or darker than the walls to prevent them from blending in and disappearing.

If you’re choosing white curtains, remember that light colors tend to be less opaque than dark colors. You might need to add a curtain liner to a white curtain if you have privacy concerns.

5. Accents: Make Colors Pop Against a Neutral Base
If the furniture in your room is neutral, use your curtains to a dash of color. You can even go the extra mile by adding throw pillows or rugs that pair well with your new curtain color. Or, use contrasting curtain rods to add a little extra flair.

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