how to hang your curtains the right way

How to Hang Curtains The Right Way (DOs and DONTs)

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think much about how to hang curtains the “right way”. You just drape them over the rod and call it a day.

But if you want your curtains to look their best, there are some recommendations and general rules that you can follow. In this post, I will show you how to hang curtains the right way. So read on for tips and tricks on how to make your curtains look great!

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how to hang curtains the right way

DO measure everything before you start

Now it’s really not the time to wing it as you go. So make sure you measure everything before you buy anything or start drilling holes in your walls. Here is what to measure:

  • The width of the window: This will help you determine how much material or panels to buy (basically how wide the curtains should be), but also how long your rod needs to be.
  • The space between the ceiling and the top of the window: This will help you determine how high to place your rod.
  • The height of the room: I find it easier to measure the total height of the room and use subtraction to determine the length of the curtains than to decide where the rod should be installed and measure from that spot to the floor.

DON’T install short curtains

In my personal preference, the ideal curtain should graciously hover just above the ground. So either buy the right curtain length or if they are too long, cut them to the right dimension.

hang curtains the right way

However, the following 2 styles also look great:

  • The kiss: this is when the curtains are barely touching the ground. It is the hardest to pull off since it requires accurate measuring and execution when installing the curtain rod. A great way to achieve this is to get longer than needed curtains, hang them on the rod, and then mark where they should end while they are up.
  • The puddle: this is when you let the curtains sit in a little puddle on the floor as they are slightly too long. It gives them a romantic, old-school vibe. However, make sure you don’t overdo it, as then it can look a bit messy. I’ll be honest: this is my least favorite style simply because the curtains get dirty way faster while they also pose a tripping hazard.

But one thing you never do is hang curtains that are too short. They look awkward and they make your room seem smaller than it really is.

Also, if you decide to make your own curtains, don’t forget to take into consideration the hemming and the curtain header when determining how much material to buy.

Bedroom: Desk at the end of the bed with floor length curtains
The curtains in my apartment’s bedroom

DO use enough brackets when installing your rod

If you have a really wide window, consider adding a center support bracket otherwise your rod might get slightly curved because of its own weight as well as the weight of the curtains. This is even more important if your curtains are made from a heavier fabric.

DONT install your rod too low

Many people make the mistake of installing their rods too low. This is bad because it makes the room seem smaller, a look that I am sure you don’t want. So try to install your rod as close to the ceiling as possible.

If your curtains are already a fixed dimension, make sure you install the rod as high as possible, while still keeping the curtains hovering above the floor.

Now it doesn’t mean it’s a must that your rod should be just a few inches away from the ceiling. I know it can be really hard to find long enough curtains to buy as I struggled a lot with this when I decorated my current apartment.

But make sure you install it at a minimum of 2/3 the distance between it and the window at least. And if you can go higher than this, do it!

The only exception is if there’s way too much space between the ceiling and the window as a rod that’s almost glued to the ceiling can look a bit weird. In this case, you need to make a judgment call.

how to hang curtains

DO use enough material

If you decide to make your own curtains, do make sure you get enough material. Vertically and horizontally.

You’ll want them to cover your windows when you pull them together, but still look full aka have folds. A good starting point is having the total width of your curtain measure about twice the width of your window.

And the same principle applies if you buy curtain panels: if you have a big, wide window, then consider buying double panels to ensure they will not look disproportionate next to it.

As for the height, either buy premade curtains that are a bit longer than your desired length to account for shrinkage in the wash or, if you cut them yourself, make sure you leave a few extra inches/cms for that same reason.

DON’T cover your window with curtains

When you buy your rod, make sure you look for one that is longer than the width of your window. The reasoning behind this is that you’ll want your curtains to sit on either side of your window when they are pulled apart, rather than cover part of it.

This neat trick will make your window seem bigger than it really is, while also allowing for more natural light to enter. It is especially important if your room is a bit dark.

The general rule of thumb is to choose a rod that you can extend at least 8–12 inches (20–30 cm) on either side of the window.

DO choose the right fabric

Believe it or not the fabric matters. For example, lighter materials like sheers will make your space feel airier and more romantic while heavier fabrics will give you more privacy while also stopping drafts and providing better insulation.

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tip on how to hang curtains the right way

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