For a calm and elegant look earthy colors are the choice you can't make a mistake with. Beige, brown and bit of white will make any space elegant but make sure the colors used fit the overall room design. Curtains should be long, pattern should follow other details in the room and color shades should be connected with the furniture or accessories. Holdbacks should be played down to serve the functionality and let curtains show all the elegance.
One of the design tricks to make the space more interesting is style mixing. If your room has rich, baroque-like elements, you can embellish it with modern furniture of compatible colors. On top of that you can add different curtains. There's no rule that all curtains must be the same, right? So, match each curtain with some elements in the room, vary colors and you may even use slightly different materials. The final result may be a unique mix of old and new, and the room you can proudly call "a designer room".
If you have a room with high ceiling one of the advice will most certainly be "make it shorten" However, you may skip that advice if the space is long and narrow. In that case let curtains flow freely from the ceiling all the way down to the floor. Your space will look bigger but it will also look more elegant and airy. In a case of narrow space colors should be very light, all the way to white, you don't want to "choke" the room with heavy colors.
Now, if the room is high and wide, you can use "make it shorten" advice. That's especially attractive in mansions with windows covering the whole wall. Since we associate large space with something rich and elegant, and even royal, use a lot of material to get that rich look with plenty of pleats. The choice of colors is obvious in this case: with deep rich red you can't miss. Let there be a plenty of folds, allow curtains to touch the floor and you will get that rich look in no time.
Curtains are created with the idea to be placed inside the house but there is no reason to keep them inside forever. They can be a great addition to your outside space when you have that nice tea table and chairs for you and your partner to enjoy in a lazy afternoon. And while you are outside, you can go wild! Red, orange and yellow will make your space full of sun but you can also add green or white or any other color as long as sunny colors are dominating.
In which case you'll choose black and white curtains? Most people won't in any situation. But if you have a very modern space with just a few details here and there, black and white curtains may fit just perfectly. They will be the absolute focal point of your space with a bit of drama and a very strong design statement. Don't be mistaken: black and white curtains will fit modern home or office space perfectly but they have their place in other room, your dining room for example.
And if you can't find those perfect curtains for your space, remember that there's no rule that every room must have them, sometimes they are not necessary at all. ■