A nice set of drapes can take a room from boring to beautiful in the blink of an eye. Some may argue that no room is complete without window treatments. But even the most beautiful set of drapes won't do a room any good if they're not properly hung. Before you just toss them up without a second thought, make sure you know how to hang drapes the right way.
Putting up Curtain Rods
The trickiest part of hanging drapes is knowing where to put the curtain rod. It differs based on a few factors including the style of the window, the type of window covering, and the height of the ceiling.
How Height Impacts Curtain Rod Placement
Use these tips to make sure you place your rods at the right height.
- For standard drapes that hang on either side of a window, the typical height is halfway between the top of the window casing and the ceiling. This applies if there are more than 12 inches between the window trim and ceiling.
- For cathedral ceilings, try to leave approximately 4 to 6 inches above the window trim as a guideline.
- No matter what the ceiling height, the minimum distance from the top of the window casing to the curtain rod is 2 inches.
- To create the illusion of height, mount the drapery rods close to the ceiling. This is particularly important to do if the room has low ceilings.
- Use these same rules when the windows are arched.
Considering the Width
Use these tricks to make the drapes a standard width and to create the illusion of wider windows.
- The standard distance from the window casing to the end of the curtain rod (excluding finials) on each side of the window should be 4 to 10 inches.
- As a general rule, you'll want the drapes open during the day so make sure the curtain rod extends at least 4 inches on each side of the window’s inside frame.
- To create the illusion of a wider window, have the rod extend up to 10 inches beyond the window's frame.
Learn how to determine the right size, length, and width drapes for your space. There are many store-bought options or drapes can be custom made to meet specific heights or room specifications.
- In the majority of cases, the ideal length for drapes is that they're long enough to just kiss the floor. Obviously where you hang your curtain rod will have an impact. If you're purchasing ready-made drapes, it will be a bit of a balancing act to determine what length to get and where to hang the rod.
- For a traditional, formal look consider drapes that puddle a couple of inches on the floor. This look isn't as popular as it once was but it's inherently luxurious and can still work in formal spaces.
- Do not allow your drapes to hang above the floor. When they stop a couple of inches above the floor it can make the ceilings look lower.
- In order for drapes to look full, the panels should have a combined width of at least double the width of the window. If you have two panels, each one should equal the width of the window.
- Keep in mind that some fabrics hang differently than others, so light fabrics may require more fullness, while heavy fabrics may require a little less.
Drapery hardware is often the last step to pull the room together and allows you to compliment the style of the room.
- Curtain rods and finials should compliment the drapery fabric. Heavier fabrics such as velvets and chenilles should be on large, somewhat decorative rods, while light cotton and sheer fabric can be mounted on lightweight, daintier rods.
- The hardware should also compliment the rest of the room. For instance, if you've got Lucite lamps or chairs, a Lucite drapery rod might work. If you have oil rubbed bronze hardware in the rest of the room, a similar curtain rod may be the best choice.
- Consider the finals at each end of the curtain rod. Finials are decorative accents that can have a surprisingly big impact on a room. If the finals are particularly large, take their size into account when determining placement.