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How to Properly Hang Curtain Rods

Half the battle of installing good window treatments is how you hang them. Learn the right way to position and hang your curtain rods so your treatments complement each room and look their absolute best.

Measure First

Measure the width of your windows, the distance from the ceiling to the top of the window frame, and the distance from the window frame to the floor. You may think your curtains need to be roughly the size of your windows, but that’s not the case at all. These measurements are only a starting point so you can determine exactly what you need and where to put it.

Create the Illusion of Height

Ornate room with high curtain rods and long curtains

Image via Flickr by Wicker Paradise

Make your ceilings look higher by hanging the curtain rods about a foot above the top of the window, or halfway between the top of your windows and the place where the ceiling and the wall meet. The curtains will create a long, uninterrupted panel of fabric from near the ceiling almost to the floor, which creates the illusion that the ceilings are higher than they are.

Extend the Rods Past the Windows

Your curtain rods should also extend about three inches past both sides of each window. That way, when you pull the curtains back, they don’t block any part of the window glass and give you more natural light. It also creates the illusion of more space within each window. When choosing how wide you want the curtains, incorporate this extra six inches of space in your measurements.

Consider Rod Types

Curtain rods can be design elements in and of themselves, and choosing the right rod is an essential part of the hanging process. Get a rod design that matches your room’s decor and hang your curtains with fabric loops or hooks so the rod is visible. Install a track rod for curtains that glide easily across the windows. A return rod is curved on either end, which blocks out any light from the sides of the window. You probably want to hide this style of rod with your window treatments, though, since it has no end caps.

Use the Right Tools

Now that you know where to place the curtain rods, make sure you have the right tools to hang them. A power drill, drywall anchors, and a level are necessary when it comes to installing hardware, even simple hardware like curtain rods. The level ensures your rods aren’t tilted. Use the drill to make holes in the wall that are the right size without damaging the paint. Unless you’re going straight into a wooden wall, you’ll need the drywall anchors to keep the screws in place.

A sloppy job hanging the curtain rods will ruin the careful thought you put into where to hang them. If you’re not happy with how your current window treatments look, check where the rods are hung. The fix may not be in getting new curtains at all, but in repositioning those curtain rods.

Tell us about your curtain rod installation in the comments section. We’d love to hear about it!

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