Welcome to The Deep Dive, a series in which we search high and low for the best of the best in any decor-related category, from affordable lighting to vintage rugs. Next up: curtains.
They’re usually a finishing touch—or even an afterthought. “The living room gets so hot in the afternoon,” one roommate will eventually complain. “We should get curtains.” But while drapery isn’t often at the top of our shopping list, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Hanging curtains is the best decor decision you can make in a rental apartment.
We’re not alone in this hypothesis. Emily Henderson’s editorial director, Arlyn Hernandez, swears by them as the ultimate way to personalize a temporary space—as evidenced by her own Los Angeles home. They conceal unsightly window frames, draw the eye up in tiny rooms, and add a small dose of luxury, all in one. “Always go with at least 96-inch curtains, and get those rods higher up to make your room seem grander than it is—that is my number-one trick in any place I decorate: bigger, taller, wider curtains,” Hernandez recommends.
Hernandez heads to IKEA or Target for inexpensive options, then dresses them up with antique hardware. Her final trick? “I love adding thick grosgrain ribbon (about 3 to 4 inches) for a grown-up look, or pom-poms and tassels for something more eclectic and fun,” she says. “You could add trim to literally a flat bedsheet and it would look fabulous.”
With these tips in mind, here are the best curtains on the market, in every color of the rainbow:
Bring the drama with a deep navy option, or go graphic with a checkered pattern.
Turn your home into the relaxing oasis you know it can be via curtains the color of a forest. Whether you take the more direct approach with a botanical print or opt for a more subtle solid hue is up to you.
Haven’t you heard? Ochre is trending—though we’re not ready to bid vibrant citrons goodbye just yet.
Take a risk and try out a juicy citrus shade. Orange curtains are less of a commitment than orange walls—and this way, you get your security deposit back.
In a watercolor print or paired with a bold contrasting color, these rosy picks aren’t overly sweet.
The Charcoals and Blacks
The key here is to pick something in a lighter material (like linen) or a two-tone print (like stripes) to avoid turning the room into a cave.
The Whites and Creams
Sometimes simple is best. Brighten any space with curtains lighter in both color and weight that will let the sun fully stream in.
See more of the Deep Dive:
24 Stylish Glassware Ideas, Because You Deserve a Matching Set
These 20 Outdoor Chairs Are So Good, You’ll Want to Bring Them Inside
Friends Don’t Let Friends Settle for Boring Side Tables