How to hang curtains for optimal style and function in 3 easy steps

Curtains are probably the most common and most popular type of window coverings and for many good reasons. Since they come in a broad range of colors, designs, patterns, fabrics, and textures, they are great for adding life and style to any interior space. More than just dressing windows, this home decor also offers a lot of non-aesthetic benefits. They block harsh sunlight, reduce noise, help regulate the temperature in the room, allow easy control of the natural light coming in, and provide much-needed privacy.

So you’ve finally decided to spruce up your home with curtains. In order to reap the benefits we mentioned above, it’s important that you know how to hang curtains properly. While the process may feel tricky at first, installing this window accessory is as basic as getting the measurements correctly and using the right tools. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you get started.

Step one: Taking measurements

One of the most important factors to consider before hanging curtains is your window dimensions. Ideally, curtain panels should have a combined width that’s around two times wider than the entire window frame. This ensures complete window coverage perfect for privacy and blocking light.

Next, make sure that the curtain length matches your space. Small or short curtains can visually shrink the room they are in and make it look awkward, while too-long ones pose potential tripping hazards and tend to collect more dust. Curtains that hover just above the floor are the perfect option. To determine the best curtain length, measure from where you want to hang the rod down to the floor. It’s better to go a few inches longer than shorter.

When buying a rod, see to it that it’s wider than your window. This way, you’ll be able to pull the curtains completely to the sides, which is excellent if you want a room to feel bigger. The standard recommendation is to go 8 to 12 inches wider than the window.

Step two: Determining rod placement and installing the brackets

It’s vital that the rod is placed in the right spot so your curtains hang perfectly. Don’t keep it too close to the window, as it can give the appearance of a smaller space. If the rod is fixed higher, the taller and bigger the window will appear. It should sit about 4 to 6 inches above the window frame.

After you’ve figured out the ideal rod placement, work on installing the brackets. With a tape measure and pencil, mark the desired position of the brackets (about 6 inches from the edge of the window frame). The brackets should be screwed to hold the rod in a way that will hang the curtains beautifully. You can also add anchors if your rod and curtains are heavy.

Make sure that the pencil marks are level to prevent the window treatment from getting crooked. You may opt to create and use a template so all rods and brackets in your home are installed uniformly. This will also save you time on measuring.

Note: Brackets work well for hanging, traverse, return, arched window, and French window curtain rods. If you don’t have a drill or unable to perform this kind of installation, we recommend using a tension rod. It’s affordable and does not require hardware but is only recommended for lightweight panels.

Step three: Mounting the rod and hanging the curtains

Prepare the curtains for hanging. Whether they’re freshly washed or straight out of the package, you may choose to iron or steam them to get rid of wrinkles and creases. Next is to attach the curtains onto the rod by threading or by using rings or clips. And finally, set the rod into the brackets and style the curtains whichever way you like.

Looking for more ways to deck out or organize your space? Draw tips, ideas, and inspiration from our Home & Garden hub.

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