How to Hang Curtains

There is nothing that can bring a room down quite like bad drapery or improperly hung drapery.  One of the biggest design mistakes that I see are clients hanging their curtains incorrectly. Curtains can truly make or break your room! Let’s look at some of the biggest offenders.

Curtain Rod Too Low  

See how this cuts off the wall!

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Curtains Not Long Enough  

YIKES! This one is bad! I like to call this example “waiting for a flood”, see how this can ruin a perfectly good room! It’s like a pair of jeans that are too short!

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So let’s look at how it should be done. Really there is not a lot of measuring or deep math involved in achieving the right look. The point of great drapery is to bring your room together and add height and dimension to your space. 

So where do I begin? Start by measuring the width of your window. Yes, you want your curtains to completely cover the window but when they are closed you want a little extra give so you should add an additional 15 inches on each side. Then do the same for the position of your curtain rod. You want the rod to extend about 6 to 10 inches outside of the window frame. 

Now let’s look at the height of the rod. The higher the better! Forget the 20” above the window and focus on hanging the rod just below the ceiling or crown molding. You want the rod to be as high and tall as possible creating dimension and exaggerating ceiling height. The height will draw you eye to the entire window space and not cut off the wall.  

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Last but not least let’s look at the length. Store bought curtains typically come 84”, 96”, 108” or 110” in length. Unless you have very low ceilings you will almost never need the 84” length. These are usually far too short. You want the bottom of the panel to at least kiss the floor. However, this perfect kiss requires precise and accurate measuring from the rod or curtain rings. This look is also great if you are concerned about drapery in a very high traffic area such as over a backdoor where there is a possibility that someone may trip.  If this is not a concern then my favorite length “the pool” can be used. The pool does just what is says, it leaves a pool of extra fabric on the floor below the panel. This is especially beautiful if your drapery fabric is really high quality. It creates a more luxurious and timeless look and I’ve seen it work in even the most modern of spaces. 

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The Kiss Photo 

from Cote de Texas

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