What You Need to Know Before Hanging Window Curtains

What You Need to Know Before Hanging Window Curtains
Article Intro

The difference between making a room look bigger or closing off the space completely is only a matter of inches.

In home décor, it’s often the smallest additions that pull the look of a room together. Case in point: window curtains.

Curtains put the finishing touch on a room – without them windows look bare. Determining the measurements needed to fill a space can be tricky for many homeowners. Here are our tips to make hanging window curtains much easier.

Curtain Rod

When it comes to curtain rods, you’ll want to keep tabs on three things: where to install, the length, and the finials.

How to Hang Window Curtains

The Placement

Before you even attempt to hang curtains, you’ll want to get a solid idea of where you’ll place the curtain rod. A good rule of thumb is to install the rod at least 4 to 6 inches above the window (or trim if you have it). If you want to fake the appearance of taller ceilings, install the rod at the top of the wall under the ceiling. It’ll make the room look taller and more elegant.

The Measurements

To avoid closing the space off, make sure the curtain rod extends a good 3 to 5 inches past the window’s width. Extending the curtain rod 8 to 12 inches past the frame will create the illusion of a wider window. The curtains will mostly hang on the outer edges of the window frame. Besides making your window look bigger, more width allows more light to enter your home.

The Finials

Finials are the pieces that screw onto the ends of curtain rods and can be as plain or decorative as you’d like. Make sure you know whether or not the finials are included in the total length of the curtain rod. If they aren’t, keep in mind how many extra inches they’ll tack onto your measurements. The last thing you want to do is throw off the curtain to rod ratio.

Window Curtains

Now that we’ve got the rod out of the way, it’s time to get to the good stuff: the curtains.

How long should my curtains be?

Window curtains that measure 84 inches will sit at or just above floor level and is considered a standard length. To add an elegant look to your space, try puddling your window curtains. The idea length for these curtains is at least 96 inches. Curtains longer than 96 inches will create a more dramatic puddled appearance.

Again, this is all relative to how high your curtain rod is installed, but these numbers are pretty good starting points. Higher curtain rod? Add a few inches.

How wide should my curtains be?

Don’t hang your curtains too narrow. Both curtain panels should measure two times the width of the window (and trim) combined. Of course, this is relative to the length of your curtain rod. If it extends further out past your window, you’ll need a few extra inches of fabric.

Aim for the curtains to gather outside of the window for the most part with a little bit of fabric covering the frame. Once the curtains are hung, take a step back and make sure everything is balanced.

When in doubt about the length or width, round up to the next closest measurement. It’s better to have more fabric to make the window treatment look fuller than try to stretch too little fabric too thin.

How to Hang Window Curtains

Every room is different. It ultimately comes down to your personal tastes and what works best for your home. We hope these starting points helped clear up the tricky task of hanging window curtains.

Ready to take the plunge and hang curtains in your home? Shop our selection of window treatments!