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Should the Carpet Match the Drapes?

This is a close look at a house interior with matching carpet and drapes.

Decorating your first home should bring you joy, not trepidation. You do not need to hire a home decorator, but you do need to understand a few essential basics of decorating to create a pleasing room. Renovating and remodeling also should bring enjoyment. After all, you create a new vibe for your home, one that you create yourself.

One essential question to answer plagues every new decorator, “Should the carpet match the drapes?” The simple answer is yes and no.

Yes, the drapes and the carpet or rug should complement one another. No, you do not need to purchase the exact same hue of carpet and drapes for each room.

Updating either or both provides the simplest and most straightforward way of updating your home’s look and making it seem new. You could change the carpet or the drapes and easily achieve a new look for a room. This low-cost change lets you update a room without investing much money.

Related: What Goes Under Carpet | Carpet Remnant | Who Invented Carpets | Soundproof Carpeting | Rug Sizes Chart

Color Options for Carpet and Drapes

You can blend colors to create ambiance in a room. Using one color or print throughout can overpower the room. A subtle way of creating a pulled-together look for carpet and drapes bears similarity to how to accessorize an outfit. A wholly monochromatic look can create a feeling of drowning whether you use blue or another color. Your drapes should either have a lighter or darker complementary color to the carpet. That does not mean they have to match exactly in color, nor does it mean you have to choose a print for the drapes with the color of the carpet included. You have many options.


This does not mean matchy-matchy in the exact shade, but your gray carpet and gray drapes would remain in the same color family. For instance, try lime green curtains with a soft green carpet.

Neutral colors

This is a living room with neutral tones to its sofas, carpet and drapes.

You can mix the colors of black, brown, beige, and white. These neutrals always look good together. Try nested black over white or cream drapes to complement a beige carpet.


This is a corner of the interior that has a patterned carpet and wall.

You can mix patterns judiciously, or you can use a solid with a pattern. Use print curtains with a solid carpet or solid curtains with a printed or patterned carpet. If you can find a curtain with a small, complementary pattern to a patterned carpet, this works. It requires a deft hand to choose two patterned items for a room though.


Choose matching textures, too. Tweed carpet complements tweed drapes and vice versa. Berber carpet works best with a simple drape or curtain.

Complementary colors

This is a bedroom with complementing colors and patterns to its elements.

Use a color wheel program to find two colors that complement one another. They do not need to be from the same color family but should be close. You could use a rusty orange with a dark red carpet to evoke fall colors.

Contrasting colors

You still use the color wheel program, but to find colors from different families that still look good together. For example, yellow and blue flowered curtains complement a blue carpet. Use a photo of the existing room carpet to determine the base color.

Focal points

This bedroom has a dark area rug by the foot and tall gray curtains to its windows and glass doors.

Keep the focus off of the carpet or the drapes by adding a focal point such as a piece of artwork or a sculpture.

Ignore the advice that says not to match anything and to flout the color wheel use. You will end up with a bedroom or living room resembling a cheap Las Vegas casino or a 1970s movie theater.

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have a few other questions about choosing the right carpet and drapes combination. We’ll try to hit the high points so you can start shopping.

What pattern options exist?

Drapes and curtains typically come in plaids, chintz prints, floral patterns, and art deco designs. You can find large and small prints. Houndstooth also provides a common design for drapes. Stripes, both vertical and horizontal also top the sales charts of patterned curtains.

Should curtains match couch or chairs?

You can choose curtains or drapes that match your couch, sofa, or chairs. You should not, however, use the same print for the furniture, curtains, and carpet. Also, use paint for a solid wall color or choose a different wallpaper than your curtain and furniture print. You may look wide-eyed but many high-end interior designers match all of these items to one another because their client asks them to do so.

Look at photos of the homes of John Travolta sometime and you will understand how literally an interior designer can take what a client says to create an overbearing style. Choose two items in a room that you want to match. You can use the same material for the window treatment that you use to cover the sofa. This provides continuity in design without overwhelming you while you are in the room.

Should your cushions match your curtains?

If you think that the curtains matching the entire couch might be a bit much for you, then you could choose to use throw pillows on the couch that match the curtains. This provides an accent color that complements the curtains rather like a purse that matches your shoes or your socks matching your tie. Also, consider including an area rug with a pattern.

How do you choose a carpet color?

When you renovate, remodel, or build a new home, you can choose your colors from scratch. Certain colors evoke specific feelings so you can pick your decor colors based upon the vibe or feeling you wish to evoke. Decorators refer to this as the psychology of colors. For example, orange and red are high-energy colors. Red also stands for love.

Yellow stands for warmth and happiness, while green means success and growth. Blue evokes calm and relaxation making it an ideal color for a bedroom. Purple stands for creativity and wisdom while black stands for power and mystery. White, the uncolor, means cleanliness and health. You can use these color meanings to create an amenable environment.

Should curtains typically trail onto the floor if the flooring is carpeted?

Whether your floor has carpet or wood or tiling, your curtains, or drapes should not touch the floor. You might want to blackout the outdoor light or noise because you need to sleep during an odd time due to your work schedule. You still should not let your drapes touch the floor.

Hang them about two inches above the top sill of the window on a sturdy curtain rod. The drapes should hang to about one to two inches above the floor. This keeps them from picking up dirt from the floor.

Should all your curtains match?

All of the curtains in one room should match. You can use different curtains in your living room than your dining room even if the carpet is the same color in both rooms. You might use a black curtain with beige accents in one room with a beige carpet and in the next room use beige curtains with black accents.

What color carpet hides dirt best?

Choose a multicolored flecked carpet or a tan-colored carpet to best hide dirt. Avoid white and light gray carpets since every fleck of dirt and stain will show easily.