Curtains serve several functions in our homes and offices. They offer privacy and keep away direct sunlight and dust. Curtains also play an important role in decorating and provide a soothing effect depending on the fabric, color, lining, width, length, and prints selected.
The good thing about curtains is that they can complement any style of décor in the house and can be customized to fit any size of a window. Before choosing the right curtains for your home, you have to go through several color schemes and designs.
Measuring For Curtains
The dimensions of your curtains can be customized such that they fit your windows perfectly. A lot of people don’t know how to measure for curtains but this process is quite easy.
To make sure that the curtains look ample and drapery when closed, ensure that they’re wide enough to provide proper fullness in appearance. You should make sure that the curtains have a width that is at least twice or thrice that of the window being covered. This also applies curtains that come separately in a pair.
However, there’s an exception to this rule. The only time the curtains shouldn’t be twice as wide as when you are hanging the curtains just to frame a window that you don’t plan on shutting. Then you can round off the width to 1 ½ that of the window.
To get the measurements, measure the width of the rod from left to right. For instance, if your window measures 72” wide, you will need curtains that will give a maximum width of 144” (window width x 2 = 144”.) The next thing to do is to round this figure off to the next full number to get the total width of the curtains to be used. In this case, get curtains that are 150” for that nice and full look.
Ultimately, the fullness you decide to go for defines the style that’s achieved. In short, here’s what you should do depending on the type of fullness you’re looking for:
- Standard fullness – multiply by 2
- Deluxe fullness – multiply by 2.5
- Ultra fullness – multiply by 3
When it comes to pleated curtains, these already have fullness built-in. So you should make sure that their width more or less matches the width being covered. This means that pleated curtains with a width of 72” can cover a 72” window but you need to factor in the overlaps where the left and right panel overlap when closed. The overlap should be at least 12” – add this to the total width. So an 84” wide pleated curtain is needed to cover a 72” window.
Keep in mind that fuller curtains create a richer feel on the windows while curtains with a lesser width create a more tailored look.
Before measuring the length of your curtains, you first have to determine how high above the windows you’re going to hang the curtains. Hanging the curtains higher than the window offers a sense of height to the room. This explains why lots of people hang their curtains about 6” above the window frame. However, it’s still okay to go slightly higher is you’re looking to create a more dramatic look. In such a case, you should also measure the top of the window and add it to the height from where the curtains will hang to the bottom.
Generally, the overall length of a curtain is dependent on personal preference. While there are people who don’t want their curtains to touch the floor, others love it when the curtains fall to the floor to gracefully form a “puddle.”
Another factor that affects the length of the curtain is the hanging method. The hanging method is, on the other hand, determined by the design style that you hope to achieve.
You can either decide to take this task up as a DIY project or have a handyman do it for you.
If you decide to do it yourself, each window with rods will take you about 30 minutes to hang the ready-made curtains. Curtain rods usually come with all the necessary hardware and instructions that are quite easy to follow.
To do the installation, you’ll need:
- A ladder
- A level
- A stud finder
- Tape measure
- Handheld drill
- Screws or bolts
Different Types of Curtain Rods
Decorative curtain rods automatically add style to any room. If you’re rather conservative, you can choose rods based on function alone; these are usually hidden from view. The main options include:
- Classic rod
These are adjustable, have ornamental ends, and attach to the wall with brackets
- Return rod
These have an adjustable U-shape and are screwed onto the walls. The curtains wrap around the curved sides
- Track rod
These feature pulleys to which curtain hooks are fixed. The rods may either be attached to the wall or ceiling
- Tension rod
Tension rods are the cheapest but they’re not as sturdy as the other options so they should be used for light curtains. The rods adjust to fit inside a window frame.
Are Tiebacks Necessary ?
At some point, you’ll need to pull the curtains aside for more lighting, to let in fresh air, or to showcase a view. Tiebacks are the answer if you’re looking for a neat and formal look.
Mount a pair of metal pegs or brackets on both sides of the window about 2/3 of the way down the window. There’s a wide variety of tiebacks with different finishes in the market – get those that match the rods as well as the room’s décor.
Alternatively, you can opt for simple tiebacks made out of fabric or fancier tiebacks made of ropes that have a tassel for a grander effect.
If you’re going for a more casual look, you can tie the curtains in the middle of the window using a ribbon or a matching fabric.
Curtains are no doubt, among the most important fixtures in any home. When you leave your windows without curtains it means that you’ll be missing out on a great interior design opportunity. However, before you can choose the right curtains that fit perfectly, it’s very important that you get the right window measurements. We hope that the information in this article guides you on how to determine the right size of your curtains.