How to Hang Curtains Like A Pro
Custom curtains can be a huge budget buster! We're sharing our top tips for using ready made curtain panels in your next design project to get a custom look! Here's our Top Design Tips...
Window treatments are a MUST in pretty much any space. Most of the time, that means curtains. They can trick the eye into thinking a room is taller, pull together colors, add texture, so many things! We have design clients with all kinds of budgets but most are pretty realistic. Not everyone can afford to have custom curtains made. I can’t and I am the designer. For rooms that don’t demand something custom and super unique, I try and make ready made curtains work. But there are RULES & TRICKS! Very specific rules that after 15 years of decorating client’s houses, I’ve learned to live by and have fun with the tricks to get a custom look from curtains off the rack.
HOW TO MEASURE:
MTM: [Mold to Mold] Measure from the outside of the window frame Left to Right
MTF: [Mold to Floor] Measure from the top of the window molding to the floor
CTF: [Crown/Ceiling to Floor] Measure from crown molding or ceiling when there is no crown to the floor
How to Apply Your Measurements to Curtain Hardware…
- Plan on mounting your rod 4″-6″ outside the width of the window. This lets in the most amount of natural light. Obsessed with natural light! So you’ll need to add 8″-12″ to the MTM distance. (Sorry for the math peeps… make a cocktail & we’ll get through this)
- You want to buy a curtain rod that is not stretched to the limits on the width of the window. If I had a 36″ window and plan to add 8″ for mounting then my width is really 44″ and I would look for a rod (or curtain hardware as it’s called online) that has 44″ and not at the very end of the range. Why? So that the center of the rod doesn’t sag due to being at the end of its capabilities.
- Mount the curtains at the right height. DO NOT mount curtains based upon the height of the window. Mount them according to the height of the room. I can’t stress this enough. Curtains come in 84″, 95″/96″, and 108″. We’ll get into tricks to get the right height in a bit but you’ll need to mount your hardware at either halfway between MTF & CTF or just under the crown/ceiling height. If I have an 82″ MTF but a 95″ CTF, I would likely hang my curtains (this is the top of the curtains or rod-whichever is higher) at 92″. This will raise the room and make it feel taller.
KINDS OF CURTAINS:
- GROMMET: My Favorite! They stay where you position them, they’re modern and they’re very easy to find.
- ROD POCKET: A huge NO-NO. I never hang this kind. They always creep into the window and never stay where I put them. No matter what you do to them, they will never look custom.
- BACK TAB: Do-able. They will work well and can have different front treatments while actually hanging on the rod with a little loop the rod slips through in the back.
- PINCH PLEAT: These are a very custom looking, traditional treatment that many companies are letting go of. A dying breed so to speak. If you use this kind, you’ll need to also get curtain rings and curtain hooks to hang them.
- Order a few options! Online shopping can be tricky. Order a few different colors to see in the light of your house & with your colors. Return the ones that don’t work out.
- Hemming to length: If I need a longer length according to my measurements, then I order the next size up and take them to my seamstress or to the dry cleaner to be hemmed to length.
- Lengthen the panels: Sometimes the best options only come in shorter lengths (especially when you’re dealing with 2 story rooms). Order an extra curtain panel or two extend a curtain in a creative way.
WHERE TO SHOP:
- JCPenney Lengths up to 120″ and a wide array of styles. Order online. Limited selection in store.
- Bed Bath & Beyond Only shorter lengths are found in store but longer versions can be ordered online easy returns to the store!
- West Elm Our go to place for mid-century modern looks.
- Houzz Better choices of fabrics and designs
- Etsy Custom curtains made at ready made lengths. Pricier tho.
- Overstock Look for pairs at one price!
- Wayfair Lengths up to 120″ and easy favorites options to narrow your search.