How to Hang Curtains

How to Hang Curtains. Curtains and window treatments do more than just offer privacy. They are as important to a room’s overall design as any other element such as paint selection, artwork, and accessories. They are often the finishing touch a room needs to look complete. The right window treatment has the ability to transform a room. It can make a space seem larger, taller, and more grand. Curtains and drapes can also be used to turn a small nondescript window into an impressive focal point. One of the secrets to a successful window treatment is knowing where to install them. Even less expensive curtains will have look better if they are hung at the proper placement. Here are some designer tips and tricks on how to hang curtains.

How to Hang Curtains

 

How to Hang Curtains: Living Room

Hanging the Rod

  • The standard mounting height for a curtain rod is 4″ to 6″ above the window frame.
  • The higher you hang the rod, the taller the window will appear. To make a window appear taller, hang the rod from 8″ above the window frame to as high as the ceiling or bottom of crown molding, if you have it.
  • If you have low ceilings and want to create the illusion of greater height, hang the rod as close to the ceiling as possible.
  • To allow more light to come in when the curtains are open, the curtain rod should extend a minimum of 3″ beyond the window frame on each side.
  • To make a window appear wider and more grand, extend the rod 3″ to 6″ beyond the frame on each side.
  • Generally, the rod should be no more than 1/3 the width of the window. For example, with a 54″ window you can add up to 18″.
  • If you have decorative trim that you’d like to reveal when the curtains are drawn back, allow at least a 12″ extension on both sides.

How to Hang Curtains: Living Room

Width of Curtains

  • To ensure that the curtains look full when closed, the combined width of the panels should be 2 to 2-1/2 times the width of the window.
  • If the curtains are just framing the window and won’t be opened, you only need 1-1/2 times the width of the window.
  • For more fullness, opt for three times the width.
  • Always round the number up when determining the width of your panels. And when in doubt, go for the wider width.

How to Hang Curtains: Bedroom

Length of Curtains

  • Floor length curtains should just skim the floor or hang a 1/2″ above it.
  • You could allow a break of 1″ to 3″. This break is similar to what they do for trousers. This style is great for helping to compensate for uneven floors.
  • To create a more extravagant puddling effect, allow for an extra 6″ to 9″ in length. Tuck the fabric underneath and “poof” it up.  Keep in mind, each time you vacuum the floor you’ll have to readjust the puddling. And if you have pets, they love to curl up on the extra fabric. ;)
  • To determine the measurement of floor length curtains, measure from the top of the rod to the floor. Then subtract as necessary to allow for hanging hardware. If you plan to puddle the curtains on the floor, add the additional inches needed to do so.
  • In kitchen and high traffic areas, consider choosing a curtain length that skims the window sill.

How to Hang Curtains: Living Room

More Tips

  • Cafe curtains should be installed half-way up the window and be parallel to the fixed horizontal mullion. The length should just skim the window sill.
  • It’s easier to hem curtains than to make them longer. Always round up your measurements.
  • Always press or steam your curtains to remove the wrinkles. Don’t just take them out of the bag and hang them up.

How to Hang Curtains: Living Room

I hope you found these tips on how to hang curtains helpful. Keep in mind they are all general rules-of-thumb or guidelines. As a decorator, sometimes I have to break these “rules” to compensate for odd shaped windows. I’ll share more on that in a future post!

If you have any questions on your window treatments, just Ask The Decorating Files. For fun ideas for window treatments, check out these tutorials for DIY curtains and no-sew curtains.

Peggy

Images: Better Homes and Gardens

Facebook Twitter Plusone Email

Comments

    • 2

      Peggy Pardo says

      You’re very welcome; so glad you enjoyed the post. I’m sure these ideas would look great with your blinds! :)

  1. 3

    Kay VanGundy says

    I have a triple wide sliding glass door I’m trying to get curtains for. What do I do about a rod(s) as none of them are long enough? I just need them in the morning sun to protect the furniture and wood flooring. What fabric would you recommend?

    • 4

      Peggy Pardo says

      For wide sliders, you’ll need to have a long rod that allows you to add extensions to it. You’ll find these rods at Lowes, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Walmart, and department stores that sell window treatments. Make sure you add extra brackets for support. Since you are looking to block the sun, you’ll want drapery with lining that offers sun protection. :)

  2. 5

    Lisa Lynn says

    My new apartment has windows that are wide and short. To make matters worse, the two windows in my living room aren’t at all the same length. I really want sheers. How can I pull it off?

    • 6

      Peggy Pardo says

      The best way to hide uneven windows is to treat them all the same. Use sheers that hang to the floor on each window and use enough to make them really full. This will still allow enough light in, but help hide the actual size of the windows. You may even want to go with a textured sheer. I’d also recommend hanging a second rod in front of the sheers and adding a couple of floor length drapery panels on each end to frame the window. They don’t have to be closed, so you won’t need the fullness. By doing this it will help to make all the windows look the same size. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>