Syncing Home Improvement with the Seasons
7 fun and affordable ways to spruce up your home

Curtain hanging techniques to create the perfect look


Hanging curtains can set the mood for any room. Vibrant colors bring energy to a space, while pastels and muted greys or tans can help create a relaxing vibe. Patterns such as stripes and florals can bring both life and personality to a nook or window, and layering can create depth and change the dimension of a room. Your choice of curtain can help create the look of your home, but only if you hang it correctly. 

Whether covering a standard area or installing the perfect made to measure curtains, you'll want to ensure your window is properly covered with neat and even fabric.

Things to remember when ordering your curtains

With the variety of curtain options available, there's no reason to settle for ill-fitting or odd-shaped curtains. You can find many standard sizes available and in-stock at online and local retailers, as well as easily find made to order sizes at affordable rates. Apartment Therapy offers some wisdom when it comes to making your curtain purchase:

  • Make sure your curtain rod is wider than your window, or you'll have gaps on either side. A standard rule of thumb is at least 6" wider, although many people prefer an overlap of 8"-12" beyond the window frame.
  • Overlap your curtain fabric too. Don't get curtains the bare minimum width of your window, instead look for curtains that are 2-2.5 times larger than your window area.
  • Extend your measurements on height as well. Curtains are frequently hung above the window frame about 4"-6" from the ceiling. Standard curtains should fall to just skim the floor, or slightly puddle on the ground for a more dramatic look. Cafe length curtains should clearly extend past the base of the window for shade and privacy.

Strangely shaped windows may require a little more creativity. For octagon windows, the easiest curtain option is to base your measurements on the widest part of the octagon. As all sides should be an equal length, you can use the same measurement for height and width to create a fabric square for full coverage. 

The same idea applies to circular, diamond-shaped, or triangular windows, measuring from the largest area and covering the surface in a square. 

Fabric choices for curtains

Fabric choice is also a consideration for your curtain purchase. The fabric your curtains are made from will affect everything from your look to the weight and durability of the curtain rod and bracket you need for installation. Lighter weight fabrics often symbolize spring and summer, or a more casual vibe. Heavier fabrics can provide protection against the elements, and are often associated with formality and colder weather. Some common curtain fabrics include:

  • Polyester – an affordable and durable fabric, this material is stain resistant and easy to care for – available in a variety of colors, it is, however, flammable, and should not be used in kitchens.
  • Cotton – a natural material with a crisp clean feeling, commonly used in bedrooms and dining rooms as a light and affordable material. Linen offers similar qualities as cotton but provides a softer, more billowy look at a slightly increased price.
  • Silk – luxurious and light, silk is sought after for formal rooms. Difficult to clean and susceptible to sun damage, this material is best paired with a stronger fabric or in a low traffic area.
  • Velvet – this soft and heavy fabric can create a rich, gothic look. Beyond image, velvet can also block out unwanted noise or drafts.
  • Lace – this fabric offers more a hint of privacy than any actual protection against the outdoors. Lace curtains can come in both delicate and durable varieties.

How to hang your curtains

The curtains you buy will come in a package, and some of these items have been folded and stored for quite a while. Make sure you remove your curtains and hang them for a while before they settle into their final look. Most materials can take a light ironing if any wrinkles remain, but be sure to read the direction on the package. Check for pleats and strings for custom looks, and your curtains will soon be window-ready.

Use curtains to create a whole new look for your home by finding the perfect fit.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Anant Nath Sharma