How does hanging curtains make a room look more polished? Let us count the ways. No matter your preferred design aesthetic, a good set of curtains can add a tremendous amount to your home. Even the sheerest pair of curtain panels can be the finishing touch needed to truly tie the room together.

“Curtains set the mood and attitude, and the right ones give a room a finished, tailored look,” says Julia Diamond of Julia Diamond Interiors.

But beyond making the room look good, curtains can also change the feel of a room.

“Curtains can transform a room on many levels,” says Paula Grace of Paula Grace Design in Northern Virginia. “You can bathe yourself in soothing color, soften architectural elements, and muffle sound.”

In some instances, they can even affect the dimensions of the room and make it look bigger.

The following examples show how hanging curtains can be the best design decision you can make for your home.

1. Hanging curtains can make a room look taller

Did you know that curtains can raise the roof of a room? Not literally, of course. But while most people tend to put them at eye level, high-hung drapes can actually bring the eye upward.

In bedrooms and common areas such as the living room and family room, go for floor-length drapes and hang them above the window frame.

“I hang my drapes right under the crown molding, to elongate the space,” Grace says.

Janice Simonsen, U.S. design spokeswoman for Ikea, advises mounting the drapery rod as close to the ceiling as possible.

2. They can make a room look spacious

You might also be surprised that curtains could make your room seem wider. It’s as simple as extending the curtains past the window frame on the wall.

“If the windows have wall space flanking them, I’ll extend the drapes wall to wall, to give the illusion of large windows and thus a large room,” Grace says.

3. They can keep out the cold (or let in a breeze)

“In colder climates, a heavier drapery with an insulated lining will keep a room much warmer,” says Simonsen.

Thick drapes also do a good job of keeping hot sunlight out of a room. Conversely, light, gauzy drapes will allow in a warm summer breeze.

4. They can improve the sound in a room

Sound bounces off drywall, brick, cement, and glass, and that can make a room feel cacophonous. But if you draw the drapes, you can reduce the echo. When you want your room to feel more intimate, or you want to better appreciate the pure, sweet music of your favorite recording artist, your curtains can help with the acoustics.

5. They can introduce color into the mix

Curtains are an ideal way to add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral room. A subtle print can go a long way toward bringing interest to a monochromatic space. If you don’t want to commit to painting your neutral walls, hanging ready-made drapes may be just the ticket for adding warmth and interest.

6. They can change the mood of a room

The type of curtains you hang can affect the ambiance of a room and dictate how laid-back or formal a room is.

“Rich fabrics, swags, cascades, cornice boards, and tiebacks add a level of formality to a room,” says Simonsen. “Thin, neutral fabrics or curtains in bright graphic prints lend a much more casual look.”

Once you decide on the mood you want to set, you can pick your drapes or curtains accordingly.

7. They can be used outside

There are times when you want to enjoy your backyard or front porch, but the idea of having your neighbors staring in at you is not very appealing. That’s when outdoor curtains come in handy. They can transform your outdoor space into the ultimate party space; just pull them closed when you’re hosting a party and entertaining al fresco.