More so than in pretty much any other room in the house, dining room ideas have licence to be opulent, bold, engaging and dramatic. As an area that can hold pattern and texture, curtains are a great place into which you can explore this pursuit enthusiastically.  They can, however, also allow for a gentler, softer aesthetic, permitting soft morning light to glow through lighter fabrics in a breakfast room, or provide an oasis of simplicity in a complex scheme. 

Dining room curtain ideas

Whatever your style, curtain ideas can create a feeling of snug luxury. From luxuriously long patterned drapes, to gentle neutrals perfect for relaxed farmhouse dining, we found a host of dining room curtain ideas to inspire you, and gathered tips from the experts too. 

1. Make a maximalist statement with a bold pattern

The dining room is the part of the house where you really can go all out with your wildest interior dreams. Even among small dining room ideas, patterned curtains are a great way to make a statement – here, the curtain fabric even matches the wallpaper. You do, however, need to be really sure you love the pattern you’re going for.  ‘It’s worth noting that although bright and bold fabrics work well at creating a statement or in a maximalist décor, it has the potential to date very quickly,’ say Jenna Choate and Mariana Ugarte, Co-Founders of Interior Fox (opens in new tab). ‘Bright colors may also fade in the sunlight, especially in a bright south-facing room.’

2. Invert the room’s color scheme

Bold color schemes were made for dining rooms – but if you’ve already gone into chromatic overdrive elsewhere, use the curtains as a space to pull it back. In this impressive space designed by Windsor Smith (opens in new tab), the curtain pattern inverts the rest of the scheme. The bold blue takes a back seat in the pattern, while the white of the marble table and its dining table decor ideas serve as the base color. 

3. Get a modern feel with lightweight curtains

‘We have seen a recent shift in favour of curtains as homeowners are looking for a way to introduce a softer and more homely feel to their space,’ say Choate and Ugarte. ‘Curtains were once seen as too traditional or outdated, but more recently we have noticed retailers offering more contemporary solutions that feel modern and fresh.’ Perfect for modern dining room ideas in this example, lightweight linen which allows a little light through is great for bringing softness to rooms that focus on slick natural materials. The fold top and black piping adds a touch of character too. For more inspiration, see our collection of modern curtain ideas.

4. Mirror your dining chairs

Dining rooms aren’t spaces overflowing with soft furnishings – so why not create a special relationship between those that you have? The trend for cozy, cocooning furniture means that upholstered dining chairs are back in fashion, so consider coordinating your curtain and chair fabrics. This is what has been done here by Claudia Afshar (opens in new tab), where both a contemporary chandelier and large windows light a dining room that has a clean, minimal aesthetic. 

5. Keep it simple

‘A formal dining room benefits from a simple flowing design which acts as an elegant backdrop for the rest of the room,’ says Louise Wicksteed, Design Director at Sims Hilditch (opens in new tab). ‘To add an element of interest, you might opt for a neutral fabric with a block of color at the foot of the curtain, as we did in our Malvern Family home project.’  When your dining room is already filled with lots of details, your Curtain ideas can take a backseat. This is the case in this dining room by Sims Hilditch, where the neutral base and dark green details are distilled into two color blocks.

6. Lean into opulence with rich colors 

As we mentioned before, dining rooms are a place where you can really indulge a love of color. Darker, richer colors find a great place here as they look fabulous in the evenings. Here, the blue dining room ideas are taken a step further, and deeper, with the inky base echoing the surrounding wall paint, while the white flower patterns pull in the light fittings and the ceiling, as well as the warmer orange tones from the chairs. 

7. Layer up for luxury and warmth

If you want a look that looks considered and luxurious, as well as one that literally gives you a warm feeling inside, double up on your window treatment ideas. This is exactly what designer Jamie Ivey has done in this dining room, layering curtains over a set of blinds.  ‘The high-quality fabric used in Roman Blinds and Curtains will act as a thermal barrier in any home,’ says Harry Cole, Founder of Loom & Last (opens in new tab). ‘By opting for a heavier fabric such as faux velvet, consumers can benefit from increased insulation properties. There is also an option to include a thermal lining, this adds a layer of protection to the already-robust material whilst contributing to its luxurious visual appeal.’

8. Add a pop of color to a neutral scheme

If you’re not totally sold on the bold and daring dining room color ideas, use your curtains to test the water. Curtains can add a bright and exciting pop of color to a dining space – and are easily changed if your mind does. In this country kitchen diner space, the red and white geometric pattern of the curtains adds excitement and personality to the neutral scheme, helping to differentiate the dining space and add character. 

9. Allow for a puddle to create a lavish feel 

If you’re wondering how to measure for curtains in your dining room, think carefully about length. As a low-traffic part of the home, dining room curtains are ripe for a puddle – in other words, an extra portion added to the length which allows it to gather in a lavish manner at the bottom. Add an extra inch for a delicate fold, or go for up to 12 inches for a flowing, luxurious feel. 

10. Choose a delicate floral for a farmhouse look

When it comes to farmhouse curtain ideas, it’s always pleasant to reflect the natural bounty of rolling countryside you can likely see out of your window. Natural patterns are a great fit in this instance, while keeping colors neutral and pale will create a relaxed but sophisticated aesthetic. Pair cream and taupe tones with a blazing fireplace, and you have a room where you could happily spend the whole evening. 

What curtains should I use in the dining room?

Dining room curtain ideas are a really personal choice. As a space for entertaining, dining room drapes practically beg to be bold and luxurious, with velvets, rich patterns and dark colors that look wonderful in candlelight. For less formal rooms that are used for daytime lunches and breakfasts, you may want to consider lighter fabrics like linen that let a little bit of light in, and that are easily moved to reveal a view.