How to Mount the Curtain Rods

When selecting the right curtain rod, go for one that is a bit wider than the width of your window. This will allow whatever curtains you chose to cover the window at all times. Go for a curtain rod that is between eight and 12 inches wider than your window, as it will give the illusion that your window is larger than it is. This is just one idea for how to make a small room look bigger.

How to Hang Curtains

Once you have panels in the right width and length, hang the curtains using this simple two-step process.

What You Need

  • Curtain rod with brackets
  • Screws
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Wall anchors (optional)

cottage style contemporary living room with blue curtains Credit: Brie Williams

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4. Drill Larger Holes Add Anchors

Once you’ve made pilot holes on the other side of the window using the other half of your template (this is why you marked 10.5″ from BOTH sides of the cardboard) you can proceed. If you hit any studs, skip to the next step. Otherwise, you’ll need to add anchors, which are typically provided with your curtain rod

Swap out your drill bit for the correct size that works with your anchors (ours needed a 3/16″ drill bit) and drill into each premade pilot hole to make larger holes for your anchors. Bonus – the template acts as a great way to catch drywall dust!

With all of your anchor-ready holes drilled, gently tap in your anchors in with a hammer or mallet. If you’re able to push your anchors into the wall by hand, you’re making your holes too large! Switch to a smaller bit or keep your drill steadier as you drill. Loose anchors can cause your rod to sag or fall out of the wall over time.

Tools Materials Needed

Apart from your curtain rod and the included hanging hardware (brackets, screws, wall anchors), there are very few items you’ll need to hang it quickly:

  • Power drill
  • Small drill bit (like 3/32″) to make pilot holes
  • Larger drill bit (like 3/16″) to make wall anchor hole
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scrap cardboard sheet (like the one that came with your curtain panels)
  • Stool or stepladder

Drapery Sizes

Consider the right size, length, and width drapes for your space. There are many store-bought options or your room may require custom-made drapes to meet specific heights, room, or window specifications.

  • In the majority of cases, the ideal length for drapes is long enough to just kiss the floor. Obviously where you hang your curtain rod will have an impact. If you’re purchasing ready-made drapes, it will be a bit of a balancing act to determine what length to get and where to hang the rod.
  • For a traditional, formal look, consider drapes that puddle a couple of inches on the floor. This look isn’t as popular as it once was but it’s inherently luxurious and can still work in formal spaces.
  • Do not allow your drapes to hang above the floor. When they stop a couple of inches above the floor, it can make the ceilings look lower.
  • For drapes to look full, the panels should have a combined width of at least double the width of the window. If you have two panels, each one should equal the width of the window.
  • Keep in mind that some fabrics hang differently than others, so light fabrics may require more fullness, while heavy fabrics may require a little less.

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Should Curtains Touch The Floor or Window Sill?

You can hang curtains at different lengths to match the look you desire for the room. Curtains that touch the floor or hang just above it create a classy, elegant look, suitable for formal settings like the dining room.

For a cozier, more homey look, curtains should hang to the windowsill. This is a good look for kitchens. Either option is perfectly acceptable and contributes its atmosphere to the space.

How to Make Window Seem Larger Without Long Curtains?

If your space doesn't conveniently allow for long

If your space doesn’t conveniently allow for long curtains, you can try some other things. Try to stick with light-colored curtains. They will make the window seem larger by creating less contrast.

Painting the trim around the window in the same color as the wall can also make the window look bigger. Making your windows appear larger can make the whole room seem bigger, creating the illusion of a more spacious home. 

When Should You Avoid Using Curtains?

Some circumstances will justify a lack of curtains—unless the room requires privacy, in which case, you should have a way to cover the windows.

If you have a beautiful view that you want access to at all times, you can consider leaving curtains out of the equation. For homes that lack natural light, you can leave some windows bare to allow more in. Sheer curtains are also a great way to allow sunlight in without compromising privacy.

Another reason to consider ditching curtains is if you have irregular windows in your home, like those with rounded tops. These add to the architectural interest, and covering them can hide an otherwise entrancing feature. 

Do You Need Curtains With Blinds?

No, if your window has blinds, you don’t need to add curtains too, but they do tend to look nicer than blinds. Using these two coverings together can create a dramatic effect that makes a window look bigger. It can also be a convenient way to control light and privacy levels in a room without compromising either. Try using opaque blinds with sheer curtains for versatility and style.

These blinds provide optimal privacy and could be paired with a sheer curtain for when you want more light. Click here to see it on Amazon.

How To Hide Curtain Rods?

If you don’t like the look of exposed curtain rods, or if you have older rods that aren’t at their best, you can try to hide them.

Window scarves can be used to conceal a curtain rod, and they can be used as a layer over curtains to add interest and elegance to the look of the window. Valance curtains can also be used to hide curtain rods by using them as a layer in front of a full-size curtain.

How Fabric Impacts Curtains

Lighter fabrics, such as sheers, will help make the room feel airy as they let in more light. If you need to warm up a room, try denser fabrics or thermal drapes which will also give you more privacy. Winter curtains can stop drafts and save energy.

How Height Impacts Curtain Rod Placement

Use these tips to make sure you place your rods at the right height:

  • For standard drapes that hang on either side of a window, the typical height is halfway between the top of the window casing and the ceiling. This applies if there are more than 12 inches between the window trim and ceiling. 
  • For cathedral ceilings, leave approximately four to six inches above the window trim as a guideline. 
  • No matter what the ceiling height, the minimum distance from the top of the window casing to the curtain rod is two inches.
  • To create the illusion of height, mount the drapery rods close to the ceiling. This is particularly important to do if the room has low ceilings.
  • Use these same rules when the windows are arched.

The Spruce / Almar Creative

Hanging Curtain Rods Without a Drill

If you rent your space or don’t have a drill and wish to hang a curtain between two walls, you can use a tension rod. Similar to the process previously described, take careful measurements in the beginning for a successful installation.

Measure the space between the two walls and purchase a tension rod that’s slightly longer than the space. When ready to install, hang the curtain on the tension rod. If you don’t have grommet curtains and are using curtain rings instead, hang the rings first. Attach the curtain once the rod is in place, Home Depot writes.

Unlock the curtain rod ends, and with help from someone else, hold one end of the rod on one side of the wall and extend the tension rod until it meets the other. Continue to expand the rod as long as possible, so the tension mechanism can hold up the rod.

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