How to hang curtains

In continuing our August conversation about window treatments, let’s talk how to hang curtains. Before setting up your step-ladder and searching for screws, it’s important to first consider a few key factors such as height, width and length. Today we will touch on each of these elements and how they impact outfitting your windows. 

How high

The most common mistake that homeowners make is that their curtains are installed too low. Rather than having your hardware hug the window frame, aim to affix it about six to twelve inches above. If you are short on wall space, measure approximately three inches below your ceiling and use that as a guideline. This trick not only helps to visually raise your ceiling, giving the illusion of a taller room, but it also makes smallish windows appear larger. Apply this same tactic to an arched window, hanging curtains high atop the arch’s apex to fully frame the window.

{Patterned curtains hung well above the frame creates the illusion of a longer window and a taller space. Design by: April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

{Patterned curtains hung well above the frame creates the illusion of a longer window and a taller space. Design by: April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

How long

The height at which you hang curtains affects the length of the panels needed. Plot a point and measure to the floor so you can make an educated panels purchase. Also when looking at length, you need to consider how you would like your drapes to lay. For a casual and clean appearance, hang curtains so that the bottom skims the floor. A good rule of thumb to follow is leaving about one finger’s width between the floor and the bottom of the fabric. For a more dramatic or formal affect, puddle your panels so the fabric bustles slightly on the floor. Be sure to account for the extra length when shopping if leaning towards the latter style.

{The puddled panels add a soft and romantic contrast to the crisp, white design details. From: Lonny.}

{The puddled panels add a soft and romantic contrast to the crisp, white design details. From: Lonny.}

How wide

We’ve talked about the vertical now let’s shift gears to looking at the horizontal picture; how wide you should hang curtains. Your drapery rod should extend wider than the frame, enough to allow your panels to stack open without blocking much (if any) of the window. Afterall, we don’t want to obstruct your view and gathering your panels completely outside the frame creates the feeling of a larger window. A thinner fabric and/or narrower window may only require several inches of overhang on either side, whereas a wider window or heavier fabric calls for more space to stack.

{Chevron curtains stacked just outside of the window frames creates the feeling of wide, wall-length windows. Design by April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

{Chevron curtains stacked just outside of the window frames creates the feeling of wide, wall-length windows. Design by April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

With the help of these three tips you can skip spackling and hang curtains flawlessly the first time. Contact us if you need any assistance in updating your window treatments and drafting an expert installation plan.

April Pardoe