For most of us, probably the biggest challenge about curtains or drapes is hanging them! Measuring, using the drill to (gulp!) make a hole in your wall… With a solid game plan and some handy tips, though, you’ll have a gorgeous window in no time!
Before we get to the hanging, let’s talk game plan. You know that if you plan well, the process will go much more smoothly and your end result will be much better!
1. DO research what style window treatment best suits your window
If the terms swag valance, goblet pleat, or back tab ripple fold get your head spinning, then your best first step is to make a call to your nearest friendly designer and say, “Help!” However, if you’ve got a little know-how and skill and really want to do this on your own, spend some time researching the different styles of window treatments.
2. DO choose the right fabric
Whether you’re a whiz with the sewing machine or plan to buy ready made treatments, make sure you choose high quality fabric suited to your space and DON’T choose a fabric based on a small swatch.
3. DO make sure your curtains are long enough
If you’re looking at classic side panels for your windows, they really should go all the way to the floor, even if that means buying a larger size and hemming them to the proper length. You’ll thank yourself when it’s done, because it won’t look like this!!
Instead, you’ll have a beautiful, dramatic window that’s really worth looking at and not just through.
4. DO think about fullness
Typically, you should have 2 to 2 1/2 times the width of the window for the fullness of the drapes. So if your window is 4 feet wide, plan on 8 – 10 feet of width in your ungathered panels.
5. DON’T block out your natural light
Lighting is so important in interior design, and whatever natural light you have should be used to its best advantage. Hang your curtains so that you allow the maximum amount of natural light in. You’ll thank me for this later!! This will probably mean that you’ll hang your window treatments higher and wider than you might have done before, but the difference will be SO worth it. If you need privacy, window film can be an effective addition, allowing light in while keeping any peeping eyes out. Protective film can also protect your fabrics and help save a little on your cooling bill.
6. DON’T forget hardware
While the window treatments may be the main event, don’t make the mistake of matching a beautiful curtain with cheap hardware. You wouldn’t prepare a gourmet dinner and serve it on a paper plate, would you? The reality is, cheap hardware is just that — cheap, so you’ll probably end up having to replace it sooner rather than later anyway. Now you’ve lost time and money! The window won’t look finished if the quality and style of the hardware doesn’t match the treatment. Also, make sure that the hardware you choose is sturdy enough to support the window treatment you choose. For wide windows, this may mean that you’ll need additional support for the center of the rod.
7. DON’T hang too low
Hanging your window treatments just above the window dates your style. Hang your curtains closer to the ceiling for a dramatic look that makes your room appear larger and grander.
8. DO measure, then measure, then measure again!
Make sure you measure your window and then also measure the space you’ll need around the window for the treatments. For example, if your classic side panels will be hanging outside the window so as not to block any light (as they should), then you need to take that space into account, both in the overall width of your curtains and in the length of curtain rod you purchase.
9. DO iron
Even if you’re one of those people that buys everything you can in “wrinkle free,” this is just one of those times when you MUST iron. The wrinkles will not fall out naturally, so make sure the window treatments look perfect when you hang them, or you’ll be kicking yourself when they have to come down again!
10. DON’T be afraid to hire a professional
From the addition of black-out and thermal liners, to gorgeous trims that add an instant WOW, to having a pro hang your window treatments correctly and securely — there are dozens of reasons why it’s worth it to hire a professional to design, make, and hang your window treatments. And while we hope we’ve been helpful with our tips, you might just be feeling like it’s all a bit much to worry about. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to get help!
If you’re in the CT area and you’ve got a naked (gasp!) or under-dressed window, don’t hesitate to contact All About Interiors for a private in-home consultation with CT interior designer Melanie Langford.