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How To Hang Curtains & Best Resources

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

We designers have lots of tricks up our sleeves that will make your home look bigger, feel calming, and appear more expensive. A few of those tricks have all to do with curtains-- where to hang, curtain length, and type of curtain. Let's just dive in!


1. Rod Height

With the right placement of curtains, your windows will look bigger which will also make your ceilings seem taller. The general rule is to hang curtains at least 6" above the window frame. But if you have odd window sizes and/or ceiling heights, then hang between 1/2 and 3/4 of the distance between your ceiling and your window frame. For example, if there is 2' between, then you should put your curtain rods between 12" to 18".

2. Rod Width

Now that you have the height, you need to also have the right width. I suggest placing the rods between 6" to 12" past the window trim. If it's a narrow window then do 6", for a larger window you can do up to 12".

3. Curtain Width

One aspect that is often overlooked is the curtain width or the amount of curtains. For a full look you need about twice the width of the window in fabric. Try to get the width of fabric as close to twice the width of your windows as possible. Round up (unless it's off by 10" or less total) and make sure to have an even number of curtains on each side of the rod.

For the example above, if your windows are 60" wide then you need 120" total for the curtain width... or 60" wide curtains on each side. You want a specific curtain panel that has a width of 45". 120" divided by 45" is 2.6. Rounding up you would need 3 panels (if you used only 2 panels total then you would be 30" short of a full looking window, remember the rule is that you can round down if it's off by 10" or less) but in order to to have symmetry between the curtains, you will need 4 curtain panels total-- 2 for each side.

4. Curtain Length

Curtain length is vitality important. It's probably the thing that matters most. Overall, the principle for the length is simple, the curtains should just graze the floor. THEY MOST DEFINITELY SHOULD NOT HANG ABOVE THE FLOOR. And in most cases, they should not puddle at the floor. The only times I recommend puddling is for a romantic look with linen curtains.

The issue? Curtains come in standard sizes which don't align with most homes. Here's what I mean, 84" long panels are rarely ever best for a home and yet they are the industry standard. 84" curtains means they would need to be hung right above the window trim, rather than above the window. However, 96" curtains are too long for a lot of houses. BUT I have a super easy solution... Iron on hem tape. I personally use IKEA's but these from Amazon are also rated very well. Hemming tape is self-explanatory. I first fold and iron the curtains where I want them hemmed and then cut the tape and iron until it sticks. Often I do 2 or three strips of hem tape in order to have a strong hold.


Now that you know that how, you need some ideas of where to get amazing these amazing curtains. Below are some of my favorite places to shop:

1. IKEA - This is the first place I look when I want a solid color curtain. They have some of the cheapest options and they are actually amazing quality. I have used a lot of different curtains from IKEA and have loved them all. The two things I like most though, are that they come in pairs and most have back tabs for a beautiful hang.

2. Target Online - I specify online because in store they usually only carry 84" length curtains (which is usually too short). However, online they have more options with more lengths.

3. Amazon - Amazon can be a little unpredictable so be sure to check on the reviews. Otherwise, Amazon has lots of options for good prices.

4. Bed Bath & Beyond - Bed Bath & Beyond can also be a little unpredictable. Make sure to check the reviews! But they too have great prices.

5. West Elm - If I can't find what I am looking for, then I resort to West Elm. West Elm has amazing quality though they are a little bit more expensive. I do think that in the end they are worth their price.

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