The Right Fit
For the most basic hang, you simply need a curtain rod and two curtain panels long enough to graze the floor. To determine which size rod to use, measure the width of your window frame, and add three inches to each side to allow the drapes to expose as much light as possible when open. You can attach the rod to the window’s frame or to the wall above.
Tip: When measuring space for the rod, be sure to account for finials or other decorative flourishes that will extend beyond the curtains.
High and Wide
Beyond serving a practical purpose, curtains can also make windows appear wider and help ceilings look taller—placement makes all the difference.
To give the illusion of higher ceilings: Hang curtains more than five inches above the top of the window or at the ceiling’s edge.
To make a window appear wider: Hang an extra-long rod that will allow the curtains to frame the window when completely open. This also masks blank wall space.
Long and Loose
Extra-long curtains can create a relaxed effect or a luxurious and dramatic feel.
For a casual look: Allow an extra two to three inches of fabric to relax onto the floor. This works well with pleated styles and heavier drapes.
For a formal look: Allow at least six inches of fabric to pool onto the floor. Try this with silk, sheer, or printed fabrics.
Framing a Doorway
Drapes have long been used in doorways to keep drafts out and heat in. Known as portieres, doorway drapes can substitute for a door or serve as a decorating tool. Whether you use one panel or two, once tied back, the gathers bring softness and texture to the hard lines of a doorframe.
Tip: A portiere can be hung above, on, or within the doorframe. To maximize walk-through space, follow the same guidelines as when hanging curtains on a window.