The Right Way to Hang Curtains

Read on for the best ways to hang curtains and drapes.

Few window coverings add the same level of glamor and style to a room than a set of drapes. They provide softness, beauty, and texture to almost any living space. However, there are some common mistakes that can keep your windows from looking their best. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of your investment and elevate the look in your home by hanging curtains or drapery right way.

A modern, spacious bedroom features sheer drapes with a light grey chevron pattern.

Chevron Print Sheer Shades in Fog

Mistakes to avoid when hanging curtains

The first mistake is not getting the sizing right. Whether it’s a fear of having the window treatment overwhelm the room or a willingness to cut corners to save a few bucks, curtains too often do not cover a large enough area.

Where should I hang my curtain rod?

Many people hang their curtain rods too low, that raises a question "How high to hang curtain rods?". The best practice is to take the rod roughly 6 inches above the frame of the window. You can go even higher to make the room’s ceiling look taller. This is an old interior design trick and while it may sound silly, it really does work. Of course, common sense should prevail and adjustments to these guidelines should be made if there is some other element in the way.

A modern living room features sheer drapery paired with woven wood shades.

Velvet Drapes in French Blue with Roman Shades

Make sure curtain rod brackets dont crowd your window or door

You also want to extend the rod on either side of the window a similar distance. Curtain rod brackets placed too close to the window frame is a bit like squeezing into a coat that’s too small. Sure, the coat technically fits, but it just looks and feels uncomfortable. We all want out rooms to feel gracious and inviting. Getting the proportions of your drapes right is an important step to achieve the best look. Blinds To Go curtain rods are telescopic, which makes it easy to adjust the width of the rod to cover the desired distance.

How wide or full should my drapes be?

The second mistake is skimping on curtains fullness. There should be enough fabric to cover at least one and a half times the distance between the brackets. This is the minimum recommendation and you can even go fuller for a more luxurious look. For example, if the rod is going to be installed at a width of 80 inches, you’d want the flat width of your drapes to be a least 120 inches. (The calculation is 80 x 1.5.) Four panels (two on each side) of Blinds To Go Custom fit curtains will cover 192-200 inches. This will give you an elegant fullness of two and half times the width. If however, you only used two panels, the fabric would look almost flat when it was pulled shut.

A modern living room with large windows features sheer white drapery on matte black rods paired with woven wood shades.

Drapes in White with St Lucia Woven Wood Shades in Sand

What if I never intend to fully close my drapes?

Some people chose to hang curtains never intending to close them. In these cases, you can downgrade the fullness a little but they should still provide the illusion that they would cover the window.


Choosing the Right Curtain Rod Style:

Don't forget to pick a curtain rod that enhances your decor. Finally, the third mistake is to ignore the style potential of the right curtain rod. Rods come in a variety of colors. The best advice is to try to pick up on a color that is somewhere else in the room. In the case of metal rods, places to look for inspiration are your kitchen appliances, picture frames, lamp bases and drawer pulls. This may seem like a small detail, but it can really tie a room together.

A modern living room with large windows covered with cellular shades and drapes.

Cellular Shades paired with Sheer Grey Linen Drapes

What are finials and do I need them?

Choosing the right curtain finials (that’s the decorative bit on the end of the rod) is also important. The finial hides the hollowness of the curtain rod and keeps the curtains or drapes from easily being pushed off of the end of the curtain rod. The default is often to pick the most subtle and smallest, and this is the best move in a minimalist decor or in a room that already has a lot going on in the design. However if the room needs a pop or you want to layer on the details, a larger finial will make a big impact. Blinds To Go offers a range of finials that will match your room’s style, whether it be modern, traditional or glamorous.

The biggest mistake though is to not consider drapes at all. For some, curtains have gotten the reputation as being out of fashion and fussy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Drapes are timeless and versatile. Whether they are paired (cozy up with layered curtains) with another window covering or are hung on their own, drapes can add beauty and functionality to any space. Explore our full range of curtain rods and accessories.

- Sonia Gueldenpfennig, Design Consultant

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