Curtains complete a room. They help control the light, lend privacy and warmth, affirm your style, and add texture and color. Maximize their benefits with our guidelines and make your window treatments the most they can be.
Tips 1: Hang High- make the curtain rod sit 4"-6" above the window frame
The higher the curtain rod is, the taller the window will appear, so fix your curtain rod closer to the ceiling than the top of your window. One rule of thumb is that they should sit 4-6 inches above the window frame.
Tips 2: Avoid Too Narrow – Make the curtain rod go 8"-12" wider than your window
Select a curtain rod that is wider than the width of your window. This will allow enough room for the panels to hang on either side of your window, and will force the drapes to cover the window at all times. It also tricks people into thinking the window is much larger than it actually is. The rule of thumb is to go 8"-12" wider than your window.
Tips 3: Use a simple template to ensure the curtain rod at the same height
A simple template ensures you hang the curtain rod at the same height for every window, and that your rods won't be crooked. The one above was made using a couple pieces of cardboard and saved time otherwise spent measuring from the corner of the windows. (Use a level too, especially if you live in an old house with less-than-perfect walls).
Tips 4: Use Enough Fabric – let the curtain panels be 2 times the width of your window
You want your curtains to feel full, not skimpy. When you close your drapes at night, the curtain panelsshould be roughly 2 times the width of the actual window.
Tips 5: Avoid Too Short – let the curtain panels stop 2"-3" above the floor
Unless you are using cafe-style curtains, the fabric should fall to the floor. These are the highwater pants of curtains and not a good look. A little puddling (as seen here in various shots) can be nice if you want a romantic feel, but, if you don't want to worry about them dragging and getting dirty, then stop the fabric just before they hit the floor — about 2-3 inches is good.
Tips 6: Choose Appropriate Fabric & color
Choose curtain fabric that suits both the mood of the room and its function. Lighter blends feel casual and filter light, while denser fabrics feel more formal and provide more privacy. Try something like heavy velvet for drafty windows, or linen for a breezier feel during the summer.