Moving into a new home or apartment and thinking about curtains? Choosing curtains and hanging them is a bit of an art, but it’s far from common knowledge. Like just about any kind of decorating, the art of curtain hanging takes time, patience, and an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. This guide to curtains and curtain hanging is everything you always wanted to know about curtains but were afraid to ask. You don’t have to be a curtain novice any more.
Understanding Curtain Lengths
Most of the time, floor-length curtains are the most elegant and good-looking type to use. Ready-made curtains can usually be found up to 144 inches. Measure from the curtain rod to the floor to make sure they’re not too short. You want floor-length curtains to make contact with the floor or the window sill. If you’re getting too much drape, you can get them hemmed. The pooling look works well in formal rooms. For a more casual look, have them break with 1-3 inches draped on the floor. The only exception is if you have radiator or a deep sill.
Curtains that come to sill-length are another good option. They fall right back into place when you open or close them, which is great if you open them frequently between day and night. Curtains that hit the sill work well in the kitchen and the bathroom.
Understanding Curtain Widths
When it comes to curtain width, it’s all about finding the right ratio. You want curtains to have an ample and luxurious look to them. As a rule of thumb, curtains should be about twice as wide as your windows, even 2.5 times wider if you plan on closing them. If you’re using curtains just to frame, then you can go as low as 1.5 times the window width.
How to Mount Curtains
Next there’s mounting curtains, which is how your curtains frame the window. Install curtains both above the window molding and outside for a better, cleaner look, but if you have older or detailed window moldings you want to show off, you can install an inside mount that will show off the detail. Hanging above the window will create an impression that your windows are taller than they really are.
Choosing Curtain Fabrics
Before you can start worrying about hanging and mounting curtains, you need to pick the right fabric. Since curtains will help define the mood of the room, think carefully about your choice of fabrics. Practical and easily-washable fabrics include cotton and silk-rayon blends, while for more formal effects, velvet and heavy silk. Casual curtains commonly come in cotton or cotton and wool blends.
When you’re ready to update your curtains, keep these tips in mind. Stay up-to-date with the current fashions and hang curtains like a pro. Keep the length to the floor (or the sill), the width two to 2.5 times wider than the window and mount appropriate to the window frame.