Simple, Airy Curtains
Curtains made of lightweight fabrics give a feeling of spaciousness, especially when they are unlined and allow sunlight to filter softly through. One reason is because a well-lit room feels more spacious than a dreary, dark one. Another reason is that lightweight fabrics take up less space in your room, both literally and visually, than curtains made of multiple layers of heavy material. If you prefer a step up from plain-Jane panels and would like some detail on your curtains, keep those light and simple as well, such as ties at the top, simple fringe along the bottom or small tassels down the sides. Multiple stuffy details -- for example, poofy swagged top treatments and heavy trims -- add weight and take up more visual space in your room.
Hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible, then let them drape all the way to the floor. These long panels of fabric will make your ceilings seem higher and your room larger. Hem your curtains so they fall just to the floor, because while "puddled" curtains look rich and luxurious, the extra fabric takes up valuable floor space.
Keeping a cohesive color scheme is another way to give your room more visual square footage. When you match your curtains to your wall color, the monochromatic color scheme gives walls a longer, wider, taller look and feel. Contrasting curtain and wall colors divide walls and break them into shorter sections, which makes your walls appear chopped and divided and seems to subtract space from your room.
Calm, light colors add visual space, while strong colors take it away. This is doubly true if you have matched your curtain color to your wall color. Choose curtains and walls in soft gold, light tan, spa blue or pale gray over louder, more intense colors such as dark red, bright purple, teal or dark brown.
Open the Curtains
Open your curtains whenever possible. This lets in light, which adds space. It also extends your room to the outdoors, making it seem larger. If your room is quite tiny, keep visual clutter to a minimum by using curtains that draw only to one side of the window as opposed to being split in the middle and drawing to both sides. Keep furniture placement simple and uncluttered so it is not necessary to crowd furniture around your window. Too much furniture placed near your window blocks views and incoming light and sometimes even prevents you from opening your curtains.