Curtain Hanging Tips
Curtains have the power to transform a room – drawing the eye up towards the ceiling, making windows look larger, and adding a finished, polished look to the décor. However, poorly hung curtains can also accentuate the negatives in a space, dividing walls and making ceilings seem short. Here are some important curtain hanging tips to keep in mind that will help make your room look photo-shoot ready.
Hang Curtains Above Window Frames
There are certain wall and window configurations where hanging curtain hardware above the window is not possible, but ultimately most interior designers agree that raising curtains higher than the window frame provides the best visual result. This draws the eye upward and prevents the window from appearing short and squat. Hanging the curtains high makes the window and the room look taller. Even in a small room, if you mount your drapery on or near the ceiling, you will create the illusion of space.
Exactly how high should curtains be hung? It depends. Follow this checklist to find the optimal recommended height for your curtains.
· Minimum: at least 3” to 6” higher than the top of the window if the space is available.
· Ideal: halfway between the top of the window frame and the ceiling, plus one to two inches. The extra inch avoids creating sight lines that dissect the room at the halfway point, which can be distracting and make ceilings look low.
· If the space has crown molding, mount the curtain rod just beneath the crown molding.
· If the window is less than 6” from the ceiling and there is no crown molding, then ceiling mounted curtain hardware works best. Track systems work well in this situation, allowing curtains to glide open and closed.
Widen the Curtain Stack
The stack is the amount of space that the curtain panels occupy when pushed open, off of the window. To ensure that the stack doesn’t crowd the window glass and darken the room, we suggest adding at least 12” on each side to the width of your curtain rod. This adds up to a total of two feet wider than your window. Adding this length will allow the drapery to be pushed off of the glass, and will maintain the flow of natural light when the curtains are open. Depending on the thickness of your curtain material, more space may need to be added to either side to keep the stack off of the window.
Starting with curtain rods that are too short is one of the most frequently made mistakes when hanging curtains. Extending the rod wider than the window immediately makes the drapery appear more tailored. A longer rod with drapes hung wide also helps the window appear larger.
Consider The Curtain Length
Now that we have discussed how high to hang curtain hardware and how wide to hang your panels, the last element to consider is how your curtains meet the floor.
· The term “float” means that the curtains hover slightly off the floor. Use this design if the curtains will be opened and closed frequently. The proper float is between ½” to 1” off of the floor, but keep in mind that some materials can lengthen with time, such as wool and linen.
· “Break” is when the curtain fabric kisses the floor with roughly 1” to 2” of excess. This is a good option for disguising uneven floors.
· “Puddle” means longer curtains, with 3” to 6” of extra fabric puddling on the floor. Puddled curtains create a very elegant look, and can also disguise uneven floors. However, additional fabric on the bottom of a curtain can collect dust, so breaks and puddles are best used on stationary curtain styles.
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