How to Choose a Curtain Rod for Your Window Decor

How to Choose a Curtain Rod for Your Window Decor

How to Hang Curtains

Now that we’ve gone over my best insider tips for how to hang curtains like a designer, let’s quickly go over step by step of how to actually hang them! If you are newer to DIY and power tools intimidate you, this is a great project to start trying things on your own without any help.


What You’ll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bit (slightly smaller than your screw size)
  • Screws
  • Wall anchors
  • Stud finder/ laser leveler
  • Leveler
  • Curtain rods
  • Curtain panels
  • Curtain rings (if you’d like)
  • Ladder or step stool


Step 1: Measure and Mark

The very first thing you need to do before you hang curtains is measure and mark exactly where you want the rod to go. As I mentioned above, you want to have the rod both high and wide. Use your tape measure to go out about 12 inches (or your predetermined amount) from the top corner of the window frame. From there, measure straight up to the ceiling and make another mark around 4 inches below the ceiling. You can use a leveler to make sure you are going straight up if you’d like. This mark will be where your bracket goes.

Repeat this step on the other side of the window.


Step 2: Pre-Drill (Pilot Hole)

Next double check that the marks for the brackets are level with each other. A laser leveler is the easiest way to do this

Once you are sure the marks are level, use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your screw OR the appropriate size for your drywall anchor to drill holes into the wall where the bracket will go.


Step 3: Install Brackets

If you are using denser fabrics or more than a couple panels you will want to consider installing a drywall anchor at this time so that your rod can support the weight of your curtains. You should follow the instructions for your specific anchors, but typically they just pop into the pre- drilled hole.

After you have your wall anchor in, hold the bracket up and secure it with a screw. Typically there are two screws per bracket and once the bracket is up with the first screw you can easily pop the second screw in.

If there is a center bracket you will want to hang that at this time as well. Find the center of the window and measure up to the ceiling. Make your mark in the same spot you made your others and then check that it aligns with your outer brackets.


Step 4: Hang Curtains

Finally it’s time to slide your panels on and hang the rod on the brackets. Fluff and adjust your panels as needed.


Step 1: Determine how high to hang curtain rods

Wondering where to hang curtain rods? It's essential to mount curtain rods in the right spot, or your perfect-length curtains might not hang properly. A rod that sits too close to the window can make a space seem smaller than it really is. To ensure perfect curtain placement, measure the depth of your window molding to determine the ideal size for your curtain brackets. You'll want curtain brackets that extend past the depth of your trim. If they're too shallow, your curtains won't hang properly.

Using a pencil and tape measure, mark the desired position of your curtain brackets so the rod is about 4 to 6 inches above your window frame, making sure the curtains will slightly brush the floor or hover just above it. The curtain brackets should be placed about 6 inches from the outside edge of the window frame to allow plenty of natural light.


Step 3: Mark Your Wall

Grab a pencil and make a slight mark on your wall where you plan to place your curtain rod. If you have a level handy, use it! It’s worth it to put in a little extra effort to ensure you hang your curtains as accurately as possible.

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

Step 1: Measure Your Window

You have two options when it comes to measuring your windows. Depending on how far you want your rods to reach, you can measure your window from casing to casing or frame to frame.

Regardless of what method you choose, be sure to stay consistent so your curtains don’t look uneven throughout your space.

We recommend using a steel tape measure for more accuracy. When measuring, record to the nearest 1/16th of an inch to be as precise as possible. Double-check your measurements before you move on!

Pro-tip: If you measure multiple windows, label the measurements so you don’t get them mixed up.



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.

Drapery Hardware

Drapery hardware is often the last step to pull the room together and allows you to complement the style of the room.

  • Curtain rods and finials should complement the drapery fabric. Heavier fabrics such as velvets and chenilles should be on large, somewhat decorative rods, while light cotton and sheer fabric can be mounted on lightweight, daintier rods.
  • The hardware should also complement the rest of the room. For instance, if you've got Lucite lamps or chairs, a Lucite drapery rod might work. If you have oil rubbed bronze hardware in the rest of the room, a similar curtain rod may be the best choice.
  • Consider the finials at each end of the curtain rod. Finials are decorative accents that can have a surprisingly big impact on a room. If the finials are particularly large, take their size into account when determining placement.

The Spruce / Almar Creative


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