I wish it was as simple as hammering a few nails into the wall – no power tools, levels or much thought required. However, in order to hang drapery the right way, there are a few more tasks involved. But hey – you can do it! And I’ve got some information that can help. Let’s start with some basic info:
Single vs. Double Panels
Before you do anything: decide if you want to have two drapery panels at each window or just one. This is sometimes dictated by if you plan on using them or not (but not always!) and obviously affects the quantity you’ll need to purchase.
Functional vs. Decorative
Next, determine what type of drapery you would like.
Functional: Usable and often selected if you are trying to block light or if privacy is needed.
Decorative: Stationary, meaning the panels are not intended to move – they’re just there for decoration.
You have a few options here and most retailers have at least two of these options.
Rings: You can use rings in two ways. The first includes rings with a clip attached that clips onto the top of a drapery panel. The second way includes pins – this is what you’ll see often in custom drapery. There are loops on the back of the drapery panel. A hook is used to hook onto the loop and onto the ring. This gives a really clean look. Rings are ideal for functioning drapery panels. The rod is visible.
Rod Pocket: I think we all know this one. These panels have a “pocket” at the top for the curtain rod. They’re not super easy to slide across the rod, so I’d recommend you only use this style if you’re going for decorative panels. The curtain rod is concealed and the fabric is “bunched” at the top.
Grommet: These panels have metal rings punched into the top of the fabric. You use those rings to attach the panel to your curtain rod. This type is ideal for functioning drapery. The curtain rod is slightly visible.
Hidden Tabs: Similar to a rod pocket, but instead of a continuous pocket, there are several tabs on the back of the top of the drapery panel that the rod slips through. Usually not ideal for functioning drapery because like the rod pocket, fabric does not move across the rod as well as metal. The rod is concealed, but the fabric is not as bunched, it’s more pleated.
Hanging the Hardware
In most cases, you want your drapery to help make your windows look larger and taller than they are. This brings us to drapery rod location.
Height: I recommend mounting your curtain rod basically as high as it can go while still being 3-6″ from the ceiling or crown molding. If the ceiling height and the top of the window molding are extremely far apart, mount the curtain rod 8-10″ from the top of the window molding.
Width: If you want your windows to look larger (wider) and allow more light in when drapes are open, mount the curtain rod brackets wider than your actual window. It’s ideal for the rod to extend 8-10″ on either side of the window.
*I recommend waiting to hang hardware until the drapery panels are in hand so you can make sure the height is perfect.
Almost done!! Here’s how to determine the panel dimensions you need. Some windows may require custom panels.
Length: If you’re using rings to hang the panels, measure from the bottom of the ring to the floor. That’s your panel length. If using rod pocket or hidden tabs, measure from the rod to the floor. If you’d like your panels to “puddle” on the floor, add 3-4″.
Width: If your drapery will be functioning, measure the width of your window. Add about 12″ to your measurement for full coverage. This is where the first section comes back into play. If you would like a single panel on each window, the dimension you came up with is the width you’ll need for your panel. If you’d like two panels per window, divide the number you came up with by 2. Your new result is the width per panel. If the number you came up with is wider than 50-54″ you might need to look into custom drapery. If you will be using decorative panels, the width dimension isn’t as crucial. Just make sure that the panels don’t look too slim compared to your window.
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