Tips for hanging drapes

How do I hang my window treatments and what kind should I use?

This is a common question.  Right now the style is to hang you rods high to create the illusion of height in a room.  I have done this in our house because our ceilings are not very tall (7′) and it makes a HUGE difference.  The other window treatment I LOVE is roman shades.  I found these useful tip of the trade from Better Homes & Garden for you to refer to.

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Tip #1: Hang the Window Treatment High

Hang the window treatment high to give the illusion of height; this is the most important rule when hanging a curtain. The pole or valance should be hung a minimum of 4 inches and a maximum of 12 inches above the top of the window in most cases. Even a budget valance or unlined curtain panel can look well done and professional when hung at the proper height above the window.

Tip #2: Create an Illusion of Height with a Shade

Here is a trick to make the window look tall and important. Hang the pole at least twelve inches above the frame and hang a bamboo or roman shade under the pole. Combining the two window treatments adds to the design and allows the panels to be hung high without a large space of blank wall showing through. The shade is covering the blank wall and gives the illusion that the window is tall.         

Tip #3: Extend the Curtain Rod Beyond the Width of the Window

A common mistake people make when hanging a curtain is to install the pole the exact width as the window. When installing the curtain rod ALWAYS extend the pole at least three inches beyond each side of the fame.  There are several reasons for this: It gives the illusion that the window is large and lets in more light and it is more visually appealing to see more of the glass rather than a cramped curtain. Hanging the curtain outside the window frame also prevents shadows on the sides of the window.  When a curtain panel is hanging in the open position, each curtain panel should measure 12 inches in width.  The inside vertical edge of the curtain should hang 3 inches into the glass portion of the window. 

Tip #6: Adjust the Length of the Curtain with Creative Hem Finishes

A popular hem finish for silk curtains and lined curtains is called a trouser kick. In this case the bottom of the curtain touches the floor about 3 inches longer than flush and breaks forward like trousers do at the ankle on top of the foot.

Another way to finish the bottom of a curtain panel is called a puddle finish. In this case a hem is not always necessary.  The curtain is made 9 to 12 inches too long and the excess fabric is tucked and puffed on the floor.

Another trick to adjust the length of curtain panels is called a Bishop Sleeve.  In this instance something as inexpensive and simple as a twin flat sheet can be hung by using the folded hem as a rod pocket. The pole slides through the hem and is then snapped into the bracket. The sheet has now transformed into an unlined curtain panel with excess length on the floor.  To shorten the length, tie a string around the sheet about 31 inches above the floor. Tap a finishing nail into the vertical wood trim and loop the string over the nail. Puff the fabric above the string.  Voila! 

Now a couple of my favorite resources for window treatments that won’t blow your budget and they offer multiple lengths: Ballard Design, Pottery Barn, Serena & Lily and West Elm.

And now for the fun part visual inspiration!  Check out more on my Pinterest board dedicated to window treatments!

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