Curtains add a simple finishing touch to any room. While seemingly small in the grand scheme of your room decor, curtains are an essential accent to tie in your decor and achieve the perfect natural lighting.
With so many different drapery hanging styles, it can be difficult to know how to choose curtains for your space. Whether looking to refresh your living room, dining room, or bedroom curtains, you may be wondering the best way to hang them. A simple task can become challenging if not equipped with the right know-how.
But don’t fret! We’ve put together a simple guide on how to hang curtains correctly, plus answered some of the top questions about curtain design ideas.
4 Steps to Hang Curtains
When it comes to hanging curtains, there are four essential steps. These steps include gathering the necessary tools, measuring your window, mounting your rod, and ultimately hanging your drapes. You can customize the length of your curtains by personalizing how high you hang your rod and the length of curtains you choose.
You must follow these steps exactly to ensure your curtain falls at the right length and your rod width complements your window size. Follow the below four steps to ensure your curtains and rod are the correct sizes for your window.
Step 1. Gather Your Tools
To begin, there are a few tools you’ll want to make sure you have on hand to ensure you’re ready for each step. These include:
- Rod brackets
- Tape measure
- Wall anchors
These will help you measure your curtain length and correctly install your curtain rod. Once you have these tools on hand, you’re ready to begin measuring your window and mounting your rod.
Step 2. Measure Your Window
Next, it’s essential you measure your window in order to buy the correct curtain length and rod size. To do this, measure the length and width of your window with a measuring tape. Next, you’ll want to measure the length between your floor and the top of your window frame (or even a couple inches above, depending on how high you want to hang your curtains). Document the measurements above your window by marking your wall using a pencil. Be sure to avoid letting more than one to two inches of curtain pool on the floor.
These measurements will help you choose the right curtain rod and calculate the length of your curtains. Curtains come in standard lengths of 63, 84, and 96 inches. It’s a good idea to choose the length closest to your measurement, but err on the side of a few inches longer. A good rule of thumb is to choose a rod around eight to 12 inches longer than the window’s width.
Step 3. Mount Your Curtain Rod
Next, drill holes into the marked areas above your window. Be sure to drill small holes, as holes too large can leave your rods loose. It’s essential to pre-drill holes before screwing in your brackets to prevent hairline fractures which can damage your wall.
Use a stud finder to determine the number of wall anchors you’ll need. If you have wall studs installed next to the drilled areas, you won’t need to install wall anchors. You can simply mark the holes next to wall studs. If there aren’t studs already in the wall, you need to use a drywall anchor and a screw to reinforce your curtain rod brackets.
Install your wall anchors by marking the intended hanging points on your wall using a pencil. Use a drill to make holes in the wall for your anchors, then place the anchor through the hole. After securing your wall anchors, place the brackets up against the wall and your screws into the pre-drilled holes. Then, use a stepladder and leveling tool to ensure everything is level.
Step 4. Hang Your Curtains
Now comes the fun part—hanging your curtains! Thread your curtains through your rod and secure the rod onto the wall brackets. Once you’ve added your curtains to your window, you can step back to get a better look. Consider where your curtains fall on or above the ground and assess the length.
If your curtains puddle on the ground, don’t fret! Many homeowners enjoy the look of a longer curtain length. But if that look is not for you, you can always hem your curtains to be the correct length. Additionally, be sure to check the symmetry of your curtains and ensure they aren’t crooked before completing the job.
Where Should Curtains Fall?
Along with how to hang curtains, you may be wondering where exactly should your curtains fall. The length of your curtains is a personal preference, though important to consider to achieve the look you want. There are multiple ways to hang curtains depending on your preference and the room you’re decorating—such as your guest room vs. living room.
Some of the top curtain length styles include:
- Puddle: This curtain length is one of the most dramatic ways to hang your curtains. To achieve the puddling effect, add an extra two to four inches beyond the floor. Your curtains will appear as a soft puddle of material on the ground—hence the name!
- Kissing the floor: As you can probably guess, curtains that kiss the floor just barely hover above the ground—otherwise known as kissing. To accomplish this look, you’ll need to be very precise with your measurements early on to ensure the perfect length.
- Floating: Of all curtain lengths, floating curtains are by far the most common. Floating curtains hang a half-inch above the floor. This creates a very straightforward, clean look.
Choose the style that best fits your design aesthetic!
How High Should You Hang Curtains?
Where you hang your curtain rod depends on the curtain length and style you want to achieve—not to mention the type of window, such as a window nook vs. a traditional window. While some people prefer to keep curtain rods in line with the top of their windows, a general rule of thumb is that you should hang curtains between four to six inches above the window frame. If done correctly, this should result in a floating floor curtain style where your curtains fall a half-inch above the floor. However, our designers love mounting curtains closer to the ceiling. This is a visual trick that draws the eyes upward and makes your ceilings appear higher! This is also a great way to make small spaces feel larger.
You’ll need to be more strategic with your measurements if you’re looking for a puddle or kissing the floor curtain length. To achieve the “kissing the floor” curtain length (that is, the curtain hovering above the floor), you may need to err on the side of six inches above the window. This will depend on your window length and the size of curtains you purchase. On the other hand, you’ll need to place your curtain rod just two to four inches above your window for a puddle curtain effect.
How Long Should the Curtain Rod Be?
Expert interior designers know that to give the appearance of a larger window, you should always opt for a curtain rod wider than the window itself. Not only does this make the window appear larger, but it also allows for the curtain to be pulled entirely to one side of the window.
Always choose a curtain rod that’s wider than your window. Select a rod around eight to 12 inches longer than the window’s width, which allows for an extra four to six inches on either side. Choosing a rod length less than eight inches wider than your window can create a narrowing effect and make your window appear smaller.
The Right Way to DIY Your Curtains
Hanging your curtains yourself doesn’t have to be challenging! From the traditional floating curtain to the more dramatic look of puddle curtains, there are many different styles to choose between. With our expert design tips, you’ll be able to hang your curtains correctly and control where exactly your curtains fall.
Are you looking to update more than just your curtains? We can help! We offer online interior design services that make it easier than ever to change the look of your home with 3D designs and decor you can buy on the spot.