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The Complete Guide to Window Curtains + Drapes

A room never really feels complete until the windows are fully dressed. Curtains and window coverings add that beautiful, finished layer that can truly transform a space. Something as simple as a classic white linen curtain (our go-to) works every time. If you are on the hunt for quality window treatments, we previously covered all of our favorite online sources here.

Of course, finding the perfect drapery is only half of the equation. The other half is making sure to hang them properly. Things like calculating the fullness or figuring out how high to hang the rod all play a part. We’ve put together a quick guide to window curtain sizing and hanging methods to give you that quality designer look each and every time. See below for five design rules to getting your drapery style and sizing just right.

 

The Complete Guide to Window Curtains + Drapes | Elegant Round Dining Table Styling | The Identite Collective

Interior Design: Anastasia Casey | Photography: Madeline Harper Photography

 

The Complete Guide to Window Curtains + Drapes | All neutral master bedroom design | The Identite Collective

Interior Design: Janette Mallory Interiors | Photography: Tessa Neustadt

 

 

Curtain Sizing + Hanging Tips

 

 

One | Hang them high

 

Always hang the rod as high as you can above the window frame to give your window (and room) a taller, grander appearance. A good rule of thumb is to go at least 4-6″ above the window frame if possible and 2 -3″ below the ceiling or crown molding.

 

Two | Choose the right length curtains

 

No high-waters permitted in this bunch. When deciding on the length of your window curtains, aim to have the bottom graze the floor for a tailored look or a slight 1-2″ puddle for a more relaxed feel.

 

The Complete Guide to Window Curtains + Drapes | classic pleated window curtain inspiration | The Identite Collective

Interior Design: Bria Hammel Interiors | Photography: Spacecrafting Photography

 

Three | Extend the curtain rod beyond the window

 

Maximize your view by leaving enough room to pull your curtains entirely off the window. If you can extend your rod roughly 4-6” beyond the window on each side, it will not only give the illusion of a larger, wider window but will leave enough room for an unobstructed view.

 

The Complete Guide to Window Curtains + Drapes | elegant wallpapered dining room | The Identite Collective

via: Jenni Kayne | Interior Design: Sylvana Durret | Photography: Kirsten Francis

 

The Complete Guide to Window Curtains + Drapes | extra tall curtain styling | The Identite Collective

Interior Design: Gachot Studios for Shinola Hotel  | Photography: Kirsten Francis Photo

 

 

Four | Opt for Pleated Curtains and Drapes

 

Go for a pleated style for a quality, elevated look that pairs well with drapery rings. There’s a huge selection of pleating options – our favorite style is a french pleat or pinch pleat panel. We also recommend choosing lined curtains that help the panels hang better and look more refined. Check out our round-up of the best online sources for great drapes to shop this classic, works-every-time look.

 

The Complete Guide to Window Curtains + Drapes | bathroom window covering ideas | The Identite Collective

Interior Design: Amber Interiors | Photography: Tessa Neustadt

 

The Complete Guide to Window Curtains + Drapes | classic 4-poster bed styling | The Identite Collective

via: The Haven List | Interior Design: Alexander and Co. | Photography: Felix Forest

 

Five | Double the Fullness 

 

Fuller panels always look better. In order to achieve this look and ensure that drapes look ample even when closed, opt for panels that have a combined width of 2 to 2.5 times that of the window.

 

The Complete Guide to Window Curtains + Drapes | modern sitting chair styling | The Identite Collective

Interior Design: Studio McGee

 

For more design topics, have a look at these posts:

 

And for more information on creative business strategy:

 


 

 

Erin Lepperd is an interior designer – turned digital media editor with a penchant for breathtaking interiors. When she’s not gabbing about design, you’ll find her wrangling her wild and wonderful 5-year-old twins, brunching like it’s her job and exploring the wilds of New England as a California transplant.

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  1. It is not that easy to choose the right curtains but your complete guide related to window curtains has definitely provided a broader view on how to choose the right window curtains. We too have written a similar blog on choosing the right ideas for your curtains on our website here: https://zenninteriors.co.uk/blog/how-to-choose-the-right-curtains-for-your-windows/ sorry for the shameless plug but thought it was relevant so posted it!

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  16. Meir says:

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  20. Question for ya. I have large picture windows that are in the front of my house and my ceiling is lined with a ceiling duct. So the trim is right up against it. The windows are so large that they would need a rod with a middle brace, but there just isn’t enough window trim to work with. I’m also leery to hang anything from the duct, I would love your advice!

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