When decorating a room, people tend to think about the curtains last, after they’ve made all of the other decorating decisions. I understand the impulse, after all they’re just strips of fabric that hang in front of your window. But don’t do this!
Your curtains are just as important as every other piece of your decorating strategy. And they’re not just strips of fabric that hang in front of your windows. Curtains frame the room, bringing the rest of the decorating scheme together. They also control the light, provide privacy, and add color and texture to the room. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re just something to toss up onto the window and be done with.
If you’ve never hung curtains before, or never taken the time to learn how to do it correctly, keep reading for some tips on the right way to hang them to best frame your room.
First and foremost, always Measure! I know I say this in almost every one of my posts, but it’s so important! For this project, you’ll want to measure from the floor to the top of the window frame, and the width of the window frame. To make this even easier, you can create a template for hanging your curtains using cardboard or some other easy material. HGTV has a great tutorial on how to do this. This way you only have to measure one window and still be sure everything is hung uniformly.
Now that you’ve measured and you’re ready to go - the first thing that will go up is the rods. The rods should be longer than the window – between 8 and 12 inches longer. This will make the window look bigger than it is and ensure that the curtains actually cover the entire frame. Hang the rods about 6” above the top of the window frame to make the windows look taller and elongate the space. This is the same concept fashion designers are using when they tell you to wear your same-color fabrics in as long a line as possible. Doing this creates an unbroken vertical line which tricks the eye into seeing more height than is actually there.
When you’re purchasing the curtains themselves, keep in mind that even though they’re normally open and bunched up on the ends, the actual purpose of the curtains is to cover the window, so you’ll need enough fabric for this. Each one of the curtains should be 2-2.5 times the width of the window that you can easily close them and cover the entire window. Even when the curtains are open, if there’s not enough fabric, it can look skimpy.
The curtains should fall to the floor. They can even pool there a little bit if necessary, but you definitely want to avoid curtains that miss the floor. Going back to the fashion comparison, this would be like wearing pants that are just a bit too short. Even if it’s not immediately obvious what it is, it’s clear that something is slightly off when you do this. Anyone who looks at your curtains will get that “something’s off” feeling if they’re not long enough.
Choose fabrics that are appropriate for the rooms and your style as well. Lighter fabrics give a more casual look and filter the light, while darker, heavier fabrics will block the light completely and give the room a more formal look.
Hanging curtains doesn’t have to be complicated, but if this is overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start, give us a call or shoot us an email and we’d be glad to help out!