No matter how stylish your window treatments may be, if you don’t install them properly, they will never make the impact that you are trying to achieve. Poorly hung curtains can actually make ceilings appear lower, windows appear smaller, can block your views, and limit the amount of natural light necessary to warm your home. Today, I’m going to walk you through the simple “rules” of hanging your window treatments like a professional designer to not only beautify your space, but also make your rooms appear larger in the process.
There are two height “rules” that designers follow to achieve the most beautiful look. Either option elevates the appearance of your window and the structure of your curtains. Choose the option that not only increases the look of your windows, but also works well with the length of your curtain panels. If your curtains won’t hang all the way to the floor by following the first “rule,” adapt and use the second rule and find the measurement that allows your curtains to hang properly and just kiss the floor.
- The typical height to hang your curtain rod is halfway between the top of the window casing and the ceiling. This will elongate the look of your window and make your ceilings actually appear higher than they are.
- Attach your curtain rod 4-8″ above the top window casing (absolute minimum is 2″ above!).
The standard distance from the side of the window casing to the end of the curtain rod is 4-10,” but I love the rule that if you hang the rod 5″ ABOVE the top of the window, you’ll hang the end of the curtain rod 5″ to the SIDE of each window casing, as well. Whatever height you chose to hang it high, do the same on the sides. This will give an appearance of a larger window, while also allowing for simple, symmetrical measurements to work with.
To give the look of fullness, it’s important to purchase curtains that are DOUBLE the width of the window. If you have a window that is 48,” you’ll need to purchase your curtain panels that measure at least 96″ wide. This means you may need to purchase more than just 2 curtains for each window. This allows for your curtains to fully close without diminishing the fullness. You won’t want your curtains to be stretched across the window, nor do you want them to be too short width-wise and not fully cover your window all the way. Nothing will take away the effect of curtain panels like not having enough fullness to them.
The rule for your curtains length is to just “kiss the floor.” If your curtain panels stop above your floor (ahem…my current front room curtains!!), your ceilings instantly appears lower and your room looks more stout. When calculating the height of your curtain rods, it’s important to factor in the length of your curtains.
If your curtains are too long and they puddle on the floor, you can easily hem the bottom of the curtains with your sewing machine OR you can follow my tutorial on Instagram this week on how to use Heat Bond to simply iron on a hem to your curtains. You can even do this trick AFTER you hang your curtains so if you have a set that are too long in your home, you won’t need to remove them to improve their length today.
As I’ve been working through my pinch pleat curtains on my front windows, I snapped this photo showing the drastic difference between curtains that are too long and ones that are hemmed to “kiss the floor.” SUCH a difference in their finished appearance and the hemmed curtains look so much more polished and high-end. For $2.99, you can iron on Heat ‘n Bond in 10 minutes and completely change the look of the room.
I’ve used multiple fabrics with my curtains over the years and each has a great benefit and an ability to achieve a look that you’re going for. If you’re looking for a light and airy feel to your room or you’re trying to gain a lot of natural light to your space, go with sheer or lighter fabrics that allow for the more natural light to come into your room. Need to warm up your room? Try using denser fabrics or thermal drapes which give more privacy.
I like to use denser curtains in the areas where I want more of a blackout look like my children’s bedrooms and our basement. I use lighter fabrics where I want to add in more natural light like my front windows and in my kitchen.
Your curtain rod may also need to match the fabrics that you choose. Heavier fabrics will require a more substantial rod with a more elaborate finial at the ends. With lighter fabrics, you’ll be able to get away with using a thinner rod and more delicate and subtle finial. I love this gold, industrial rod I purchased from Amazon because it’s so substantial and allows for our dark blackout curtains (purchased Dark Mallard) in our basement to hang all the way to the wall and block all light if we wanted to snuggle in for a movie night or have a family sleepover (that kept everyone asleep past 6am!). An excellent, inexpensive way to hang heavy curtains and look more substantial than a simple rod.
No matter what look you’re wanting to achieve, it’s important to follow these “rules” to keep your window treatments looking high end, structured, and your windows wide and open. These tips can take any curtain, regardless of the cost, and make them look exponentially more costly and your room instantly elevated.
Are you following along yet on Instagram? Let’s be friends and make our rooms beautiful together!