So, there is no doubt that one of the most common things we do when we begin decorating a room is hang curtains. Draperies can easily add color, softness, dimension, and your own decorating style flair. You may be surprised to know that hanging curtain panels is one of the easiest things to do incorrectly! Honestly, I think the reason so many people unknowingly hang their curtains this way is because of what we can find at our local retailers. When I first began decorating our home, I was so frustrated with the measurements of stock curtain panels at places I frequent, like Target. Bed Bath and Beyond has even disappointed. The measurements just weren’t right!
There are a few rules I like to follow when I hang curtains to make sure that they are not only making a statement, but making one that is aesthetically pleasing. Isn’t that what we all want, anyway?
Here is an example of a DON’T I currently have in my home. The curtains cover part of the window and the rod is too close to the top of the window. The rod and curtain panels do not extend past the window enough. It cramps the room, and blocks sunlight.
I was lazy and just used what was already provided when we moved in:
Here is a DO I have in my home. It is amazing what a little measuring can control. The window appears wider, more sunlight is allowed in the room, the ceiling looks taller. All of this creates the illusion of a larger space:
1. Measuring for the Rod
Measuring for Width
The first thing you want to do is make sure that your curtain rod is longer than the width of your actual window. Allow for a minimum of 4 inches to a maximum of 10 inches on either side of the window for the curtain panels to hang when open. Keeping the curtain panels resting on the wall, and not over the actual window, will make the window appear larger; this will also allow more sunlight in to the space. The more sunlight the better, in my opinion!
Hang ’em High
Never hang your curtain rod at the top edge of the window. Allow for 5 inches to 12 inches above the window frame when measuring where to hang your curtain rod. Creating this illusion of height in the room will make the room appear larger and give your window dressings a more professional, tailored look.
I always prefer a more substantial look to decor I purchase; thicker, taller, wider, chunkier. The same goes for curtain rods and hardware, but you also need to consider whether or not your curtains actually require the more durable rod. While the thicker rod looks prettier, it is sometimes also necessary to hold your curtains without bowing, or being lost in the background of your drapes.
Color and Style
While your draperies are probably the star of the show, make sure to consider the color and style of your hardware, as well. I always look to the rest of the room for this inspiration. If there are lots of cool tones, or a metallic feel in the room, I often opt for a brushed nickel. If the room is geared toward warmer tones, or there is plenty of wood in the space, I go for a bronze. This preference is all your own. *Don’t be afraid to mix metals, either!
3. The Draperies
It seems so simple. Measure the height of the window and buy curtains; however, you should take into consideration the 5-12 inches you allowed above the window, and also allow for the space from the bottom of the window to the floor. You want your curtain panels to just reach the floor. Or, if thinking about your lovely new curtains touching the floor bothers you, allow your curtains to hang just one inch above the floor. This will still give the illusion that the drapes are kissing the floor.
Keeping each curtain panel approximately double the width of the of the window will create a fullness on either side of the window when the panels are opened and gathered. So pretty!
Phew! That seemed like a lot, but I promise it is not as intricate as it appears. I really love what curtains do for a space. When these simple tips are followed, your space will appear larger and look like a professional styled your windows!
If you have any questions, or just want to say hi, comment below! I’d also love some suggestions on what decor tips and tricks you’re interested in!