Mastering Mismatched Curtains: A Guide to the Perfectly Imperfect

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Ever since I spotted this photo from Living Etc. in an old Apartment Therapy post, I've been thinking about mismatched curtains. Not just mixing different shades in different rooms of the home (doesn't everyone? Who matches the windows in their entire house?), but mixing two or more different curtain panels in the same room, on the same window. Crazy? Not really. The look is easy to master if you start with some ground rules.

Color blocked curtains, from Domino via The Paris Apartment.
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Start slow. Ease in to the idea of mismatched window treatments by trying out the same curtain or fabric in two different colors. Different shades of the same hue is more subtle. Or pick out complementary colors for a big impact.

Mismatched curtains seen on Designers Guild.
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A foolproof formula: Pattern plus solid. Grab one pattern you love, and pick out a solid panel that matches a shade in the print for the other side of the window.

Going totally mismatched? Marry something. Maybe they're the same texture, or there's a shared color between two seemingly different patterns. The look can be eccentric without sacrificing balance.

Mixed curtain panels in a bedroom from Traditional Home.
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Split pairs and get started right now. Shift around the curtains already in your home to split up pairs and mix up all your windows. Even if they were bought separately, all your drapes are suited to the same taste, so you might be suprised at what works!

Stay consistent with the hardware. You don't want one grommeted curtain and one back-tab style. Or maybe you do. When you're having this much fun with decor, anything goes!

(Image credits: Living Etc.; Domino; Designers Guild; Traditional Home)

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