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Hang Your Curtains Right the First Time

Updated: Jan 12

Avoid these mistakes and Install your Curtains like a Designer

Curtains and drapery treatments can significantly impact the overall aesthetics of a room, but their installation requires careful consideration. As an experienced interior designer, I've seen common mistakes people make when hanging curtains. In this post, I'll share valuable tips to help you avoid these errors and achieve a polished, professionally designed look for your windows.

Mounting Height Matters

Ensure your curtain rod is mounted at the right height. Too often, people make the mistake of placing the rod too low. For an illusion of height and spaciousness, a general guideline is to install the rod around the center from the top of the window casing to the ceiling or bottom of crown or beams. This draws the eyes upward, creating a visually appealing space. If you are working with ready-made panels, you can adjust to fit the closest size or hem.

In this bedroom we mounted the drapery rod centered between the

top of the window casing and the bottom of the new wood beams.

Proper Panel Height & Gap

Consider the height of your curtain panels in relation to the window. For an elegant and elongated look, ensure that the panels almost touch or "kiss" the floor, with my preference creating a subtle break of 1/2"-1" space between the floor. This is especially practical for keeping dust and pet fur from collecting on the bottom of the drapery panels, and easier when vacuuming. (And for me, having a home with dogs that bring in more detritus from outside this is super helpful for us). Having the panels go to the floor prevents the room from appearing unfinished and disproportionate.

The simple elegance of a tall curtain panel and hemmed just above the floor.

Floor-to-Ceiling Impact

For added luxury or to create visual height, extend the curtain panels from the floor to the ceiling. This design choice enhances the visual line and adds sophistication to the room, regardless of the window's actual height.

In this Living Room we mounted these purely decorative curtain panels

on a ceiling mounted track for elegance, colour, and height.

Curtain Panel Width

Consider the width of the window when selecting curtain panels. To create a full and lush appearance when closed, the combined finished width of all panels should be at least 1.5 to 2 times the width of the window. This also ensures complete coverage for privacy and light control.

In this Transitional Dining Room, we gave sufficient fullness with the modern pinchpleated

panels in this bay window and panels inbetween that draw from each side.

And for extra wide multiple window assemblies, consider not just stacking multiple panels on the outside, but adding a panel or two between each individual window (depending on the window widths and fullness guidelines).

Extend Past the Window Casing

To create a more expansive and sophisticated look, the curtain rod should extend beyond the window casing. A general guideline is to add 6 to 12 inches on each side of the window. This extension allows the curtains to be fully drawn back, allowing more natural light and view out the window when desired.

Notice how the curtain rod and drapery panel extend past the window so that

when the curtain is back the natural light and view are not obscured.

Layering for Depth

Experiment with layering different window treatments for added depth and texture. Installing a double rod with sheer curtains behind with heavier drapes in the front not only enhances visual appeal but also provides greater control over light and privacy. Or if you have your practical blinds or shades on the window for light and privacy control, adding curtains are purely for enhancing visual height and adding texture, colour, and perhaps pattern to the space. Textured roman blinds are also a great layering window treatment to add depth with curtains.

In this budget friendly rental, we layered curtain panels mounted just below the ceiling

with a split bamboo roman blind to create height, texture, and softness.

Consider the Room's Function

Tailor your curtain choices to the specific needs of each room. In bedrooms, blackout or dim out curtains contribute to a restful night's sleep, as well as thermal qualities, while sheer curtains in living areas allow natural light while maintaining some privacy.

Balance and Symmetry

Maintain balance in your design by ensuring symmetry in curtain placement. If using multiple panels, space them evenly on both sides of the window for a harmonious and visually pleasing effect.

Paying attention to the details of curtain installation transforms your windows into stunning focal points that enhance your space's overall design. From the mounting height of the rod to the extension beyond the window casing, each decision contributes to a cohesive and polished look. Follow these tips, and you'll create a beautifully curated and professionally designed environment in your home.

If you want to learn about the 6 other Design Decor Mistakes I often see, and how to fix them easily AND without costing a fortune, I've created a Free Design Guide - Click the link below.

Yours in Design,


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