HOW TO HANG CURTAINS
Just like quality lighting and hardware are commonly known as the jewelry of a room, curtains are like the perfect blazer that polishes off an outfit. From the fabric you select to the hardware you choose, window treatments are an opportunity to define a room's style. Without curtains, a room can feel unfinished and, dare we say, a little frumpy. That said, a window deserves more than simply a set of plastic blinds or ready-made window treatments. When it comes to curtains, customization is key, the same way a professionally tailored blazer makes all the difference in an outfit.
Measure your windows to make sure you get the correct curtains and rods. To determine the length of the rod, measure the width of your window and add eight to twelve inches. Each curtain panel should be at least as wide as your window. Measure from the spot you plan to hang the rod (usually four to six inches above the window, but a minimum of two inches) to the floor to figure out the length of the curtains. Add more length if you want the drapes to pool.
HANG CURTAINS ATLEAST 4 TO 6 INCHES ABOVE THE TOP OF THE WINDOWS
Assuming you're outfitting a living room or bedroom with average ceiling height (8 feet high), an interior designer's rule of thumb would be to mount the curtain rod about a half-foot above the top of the window frame—even higher if the total space between the top of the window and the ceiling line is less than 12 inches. This adds a lot of drama to a room.
CREATE AM ILLUSION OF HEIGHT WITH A SHADE
Here is a trick to make the window look tall and important. Hang the pole at least twelve inches above the frame and hang a bamboo or roman shade under the pole. Combining the two window treatments adds to the design and allows the panels to be hung high without a large space of blank wall showing through.
PRESS OR STEAM CURTAINS
Press or steam the curtain to remove any folds or wrinkles. This may sound fundamental, but it is amazing how often people hang the panel right out of the bag, thinking that the wrinkles will “fall out” in time. They usually do not.
COORDINATE YOUR CURTAINS, YOUR HARDWARE, AND YOUR ROOM
Your rods and finials should complement your curtains. Heavier curtains call for more substantial rods, while sheers can be placed on slimmer rods. If you have metal accents elsewhere in the room, such as a gilded pendant light or brass-framed coffee table, consider a similar material or finish for the curtain rods or finials.
USE A TENSION ROD IF YOU CAN'T HANG A CURTAIN ROD
In cases where you don't want to make holes in the wall or you're working with a plaster wall, use a tension rod. This style rod, which mounts inside the window, is made with an inner spring and will expand from side to side using tension instead of screws to hold it in place.
SEPARATE THE PANELS
How do you deal with multiple windows spread out across one large wall? I personally love the idea of extending an extra-wide curtain rod from wall to wall and hanging multiple panels, creating a softening repetition effect.