Typically silks are going to billow the best, being both lightweight and a natural fiber. Take the longest length as your final length measurement. Whether it's the double yellow line on the highway, or the walkway to your front door, your eye is drawn towards and up pathways. An adjustable pole, often featuring ornamental end caps finials , that attaches to the wall with brackets. Don't get me started on drop-cloth drapes, though.
The top hem of a curtain, known as the heading, can help define the overall look—casual or formal, feminine or sleek—and also play a part in functionality allowing the panel to slide easily or not. A traditional flat heading that attaches to the rod via rings stitched into its top hem or, sometimes, drapery hooks the rings attach to the hooks.
With either setup, the curtains move easily. A channel along the top holds the rod and creates a casual, gathered effect.
A nice choice for curtains that will stay put, because shimmying the fabric back and forth can be difficult. There are many styles, from narrow pencil pleats to wide, flat box pleats.
Pleated curtains generally operate with drapery hooks and rings. Flat loops of fabric hang on the rod. This can look relaxed with sheers or buttoned-up with stiffer fabrics. A variation on this theme is tie-tops, with bows instead of flat loops—still casual but more feminine and romantic. Decorative curtain rods should relate to the style of the room. Those that are completely hidden from view can be chosen based on function alone.
Here are common options. An adjustable pole, often featuring ornamental end caps finials , that attaches to the wall with brackets. Match the metal to other finishes in the room check out West Elm for a wide selection. You can buy a double-rod version if you want to layer with sheers. An adjustable U-shaped rod that screws directly into the wall. Panels wrap around the curved sides, making this a good solution for blocking out light.
Also available in a double-rod style for layering. Drapery hooks attach to pulleys inside a track. Can be installed on a wall or the ceiling. Some tracks resemble a rod with finials, concealing all moving parts inside the pole. The easiest and cheapest but least sturdy option, it adjusts to fit inside a window frame with no hardware. They're also a very affordable option try this minimalist one.
If you want to be able to pull curtains to the side for more light or a swoopy, formal look, tiebacks are the answer. Mount a curved metal bracket or a peg known as a rosette on the wall about two-thirds of the way down the window this option comes in multiple finishes. Match the room and the rod for style and finish. There are simple fabric tiebacks and fancy ropes with tassels for a grander effect.
A handyman can hang curtains for you. Figure about 20 minutes per window for a basic rod with brackets, and 45 minutes per window for a track rod. If you would rather do it yourself, hanging ready-made curtains is not that difficult. Rods usually come with mounting hardware and instructions. You may need to buy rings separately. Beyond that, hanging panels involves a stepladder, a tape measure, a pencil, a level, a handheld drill, a screwdriver, and a stud finder. You can view helpful how-to videos at westelm.
Of course, your window treatments are only part of the overall look of your window. Make sure the glass is sparkling, providing the clearest view of the great outdoors.
Some retailers will even lend you large fabric samples to take home and hang in front of your window. Below are some reliable sources, most of which you can visit in person as well as online. A range of colors and pretty patterns abound, but materials are mostly limited to unlined cotton, linen, and polyester. Real Simple may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.
Close View all gallery. Paralyzed by possibilities when it comes to dealing with your windows? This quick primer will give you the know-how to find the right treatments for every spot in your home. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
What About Fabric and Color? Texture Consider the mood of the room. The short and easy answer is that your curtains your be floor length. They should be long enough to just barely touch the floor, but not so long that they drag on the floor or bunch up in a pile.
It is a common mistake to make your curtains so long that they make piles of curtain when opened fully. There is some nuance to this length as even a fraction too long and your curtains will not glide gracefully when you are opening and closing them, but drag on the ground and then you will have to move them with your hands to get them to close properly.
There is one exception to the curtains being long enough to nearly touch the floor. If you have a radiator or some other kind of heater in the way it may be dangerous to have your curtain hanging down that low. So you will need to have a slightly shorter curtain to give the radiator room to operate. If your curtains are draped over a radiator or heater it may be a fire hazard and you may want to consider making short curtains for bedroom or other rooms in your house. A deep window sill may also hinder the hang of a good curtain.
A large sill can make your curtain bulge out and look strange when drawn. So a window sill like this may require you to choose a shorter curtain. Default curtain panels are sold at a variety of lengths. Typically they range from 63 to inches long. If you take care to measure from the floor up, you will be able to find the height that you will need to hang your curtain rod to have a proper drape for your curtains.
Whatever number you get when you measure you will want to round up to give yourself that extra touch of space that your curtains will need to glide rather than drag. Though you want this glide you still want your curtains to come in contact with the floor, or the window sill if it is large enough. Think of this in terms of style. That kind of style is out of date and can look pretty nerdy. There is another style of curtain length that you may choose to go for. If you want something a bit less formal, that has a bit more of a relaxed feel, you can have curtains that break slightly on the floor.
These kinds of curtains do touch the floor but just slightly. If you give just one to three inches of length on the curtain you can use the curtain to hide uneven floors.
These longer curtains that pool on the floor a bit can be higher maintenance as they can collect dirt or fur if you have animals. They are also not ideal if you are going to be opening and closing your curtains often that extra length may give you issues.
Length Shown: 96" panel on 40 x 70 in. window | Falls: ¼" above the floor Recommended length: 84" - 96" | Style: Polished + pulled-together Tip: Place your curtain rod higher than the actual window to draw the eye up and make your ceilings look taller. Then there's the other end of the curtain lengths spectrum: short curtains. Visually speaking, high-water style is not the most appealing way to hang curtains. The shorter length can appear dated. Also, it can cut the visual height of your room in half. From a purely practical standpoint, however, short curtains are sometimes the best option. Curtains and drapery panels come in standard lengths of 63 inches, 84 inches, 95 inches, inches and inches. Tier curtains, also referred to as café curtains or kitchen tiers, come in inch and inch lengths. Panel widths vary according to style and manufacturer, but 54 inches is a standard width.