How to hang curtains

Curtains offer stylish and practical benefits to your home. They put the finishing touch on a room, express your style and provide privacy and comfort. But the reality of hanging curtains isn't so glamorous.

You have a lot to consider when selecting and hanging curtains — from the curtain length, rod size, curtain print and the slew of tools required to bring your vision to life. But hanging curtains doesn't have to be an overwhelming ordeal that steals your precious weekends.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about selecting the right curtains and installing them with zero stress.


How to Choose Your Curtains

Selecting the perfect set of curtains is the first step to hanging curtains. And it's more complicated than shopping for patterns that match your décor. Choosing curtains requires careful consideration of your privacy, lighting, style and fabric needs and preferences.

How to choose your curtains

Consider Your Privacy and Lighting Needs

Depending on the room, you'll want to consider how much sunlight you want filtering in. A common area like a living room would benefit from sheer curtains that allow more natural light to fill the space. Consider a heavier fabric in rooms that require more privacy, like a bedroom.

Choose a Fabric

The curtain material you choose affects how well your curtains work and how long they last.

When shopping for curtains, hold a sample of fabric (at least two yards) up to a window to see how it drapes. Pleat the fabric like an accordion at the top and let it hang down. If it starts to flare out at the bottom, it probably won't fall nicely on the window.

Sunlight also fades fabrics over time. If your curtains are going in a room that gets a lot of light, it's best to avoid bright colors — they fade faster. You can also use interlining (a piece of fabric that goes between the lining and face fabric) to prolong the life of your curtains.

Kwik Tip

You can ruin high-quality curtains by trying to wash them yourself. Before you purchase a dry-clean-only fabric, make sure you read the care instructions and take care of it properly.

Here are the most common types of curtain fabrics.

Polyester

Polyester
Price
Ease of care
Light Blocking

Polyester is a common, low-maintenance fabric that works great for bedroom or living room curtains. But keep in mind that polyester is flammable and absorbs odors, so avoid this fabric when hanging curtains in your kitchen.

  • Pros
  • Affordable
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Easy to care for
  • Resists wrinkling, shrinking and stretching
  • Cons
  • Flammable material
  • Absorbs odors
  • Doesn't offer good air circulation
  • Difficult to remove stains

Cotton

Cotton
Price
Ease of care
Light Blocking

Curtains made of cotton or a cotton blend suit traditional modern decorating styles.

  • Pros
  • Drapes well
  • Crisp and clean feel
  • Strong and absorbent
  • Cons
  • Wears quickly when exposed to the sun
  • Shrinks the first time it's washed
  • Susceptible to mildew

Silk

Silk
Price
Ease of care
Light Blocking

Silk curtains give bedrooms or formal dining rooms a romantic feel. But silk fabrics are dry-clean-only, so laundering can be a time-consuming process.

If you're hanging silk curtains in a room with lots of natural light, protect them from sun damage by using window shades or a light-colored panel as lining.

  • Pros
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Drapes well
  • Cons
  • Dry clean only
  • Susceptible to sun damage

Linen

Linen
Price
Ease of care
Light Blocking

Linen is a billowy fabric that still provides a polished look, making it perfect for a casual dining area, airy bedroom or contemporary living room.

  • Pros
  • Drapes well
  • Repellent to insects
  • UV resistant
  • Cons
  • Expensive
  • Doesn't block the sun
  • Dry clean only
  • Wrinkles easily

Velvet

Velvet
Price
Ease of care
Light Blocking

Velvet is a thick, heavy fabric that keeps out the cold. It's ideal for insulating homes with drafty windows, formal dining rooms, traditionally styled living rooms or regal master bedrooms.

  • Pros
  • Keeps out the cold
  • Drapes well
  • Helps block sounds and light
  • Cons
  • Heavy
  • Not ideal for casual settings

Lace

Lace
Price
Ease of care
Light Blocking

Lace is a sheer fabric with an open, airy feel. The lightweight fabric adds a romantic touch to a traditionally styled dining room or when hung over French doors. Lace curtains are typically available in neutral shades like white and ivory.

  • Pros
  • Diffuses natural light
  • Easy to coordinate with any color scheme
  • Cons
  • Doesn't block light

Select Your Curtain Style and Color

Once you've settled on a curtain fabric, it's time for the fun part — picking a curtain style that complements your décor.

When evaluating curtain styles, think about whether you want your curtains to blend in with the background or make a statement. For a bold look, draw attention with colorful, patterned curtains. If your style is more understated, go for a neutral curtain or drape.

White, ivory and other neutrals are light, airy and blend into the space. Blues and greys make a bold, dramatic statement.

If you have patterned furniture or bedding in the room, it's easier to coordinate with solid-colored curtains to avoid making the room look too busy. With solid-colored furniture, curtains with large graphic prints can add flair to the room.

What's Your Style?

Traditional

Traditional

Modern

Modern

Casual

Casual

How to Measure for Curtains

You've found the perfect curtains to tie together a room. Now, you need to take some simple measurements to determine the right curtain length and placement.

Follow these steps to plan your ideal curtain length and placement:

4-6 inches above the window frame

Decide how high above the window you want your curtains to begin. As a rule of thumb, your curtain rod should sit 4-6 inches above the window frame. If you're going for a dramatic look, hang them even higher. Higher panels make the room appear taller.

Height from the floor to the top of window

Measure the height from the floor to the top of your window frame (or the spot where your curtain rod will begin) to determine the length of curtain you'll need. For a traditional look, add another two or three inches to your length so the curtains pool slightly on the floor. For a modern, crisp look, curtains should end less than one inch above the floor.

Depth of window

Measure the depth of your window to determine the size of your curtain brackets. Your brackets should extend past the depth of your window molding. If they're too shallow, your curtains won't hang correctly.

Width of windows

Measure the width of your windows. Curtains should hang 3-6 inches beyond the frame of your window. To ensure your curtains look full, even when closed, round up to two times the width of the window (If you're not planning on closing your curtains or have pleated panels, you can round down). Depending on the size of your window, you may need to buy several curtain panels.

Pro Tips for Hanging Curtains: Do's and Don'ts

Best way to hang curtains

DO use enough fabric. You want your curtains to feel full. If you plan to close your curtains from time to time, they should be 2-2.5 times the width of the window.

DO measure carefully. Crooked curtains are an eyesore. They're not only a pain to rehang, it causes unnecessary damage and holes in your walls. Triple-check your measurements before hanging your curtains.

DON'T make your curtains too short.
The fabric should sweep the floor or puddle slightly. A few inches of puddling looks nice if you want a romantic look. But if you don't want them to drag or get dirty, stop the fabric just under an inch from the floor.

DON'T choose a curtain rod that is too narrow.
Select a curtain rod that is 8-12 inches wider than your window to ensure your curtains always cover the sides of the window.

How to Hang Traditional Curtain Brackets

Supplies Needed to Hang Curtains:

  • Curtain rod
  • Level
  • Brackets
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Pencil and paper
  • Tape measure

Once you've written down all your measurements, it's time to install your curtain brackets and finally get your curtains on the walls.

Follow these instructions when using traditional curtain brackets that drill into the wall.

Bracket placement

1) Determine bracket placement
Measure the height where you want your curtain panels to hang. Use a pencil and tape measure to mark curtain bracket placements on the wall. Use a level to line up the pencil markings so the curtain rod will hang evenly.

Mark screw hole

2) Mark the screw hole placement
Starting with the right side, place the bracket over the center of the mark. Use a level and pencil to mark the holes where the screws will go.

Drill and secure bracket

3) Drill and secure the bracket: Use a stud finder to determine whether you need a screw and anchor (if there isn't a stud) or just screws (if there is a stud available).
Pre-drill holes for the screws with a 1/8" bit. Insert the screws into the holes, leaving 1/4" of the screw sticking out. Slide the bracket onto the screws and tighten the screws to secure the bracket to the frame.

Level and secure other bracket

4) Level and secure the other bracket:
Place the curtain rod into the right bracket. Use a level to determine the placement of the left bracket. Repeat steps 2-3 to secure the bracket to the frame.

Hang curtains

5) Hang your curtains
Slide the curtain panels onto the curtain rod and hang it up. You're done!

Traditional bracket problem

Any homeowner or property manager knows that hanging curtains is a major headache. If you've ever tried hanging curtains the traditional way, you're probably familiar with these issues:

  • Time-Consuming
    Hanging curtains can easily turn into an all-day ordeal that involves multiple people.

  • Frustrating
    Hanging and re-hanging unstable or crooked curtains is downright stressful.

  • Expensive
    To hang curtains on every window in your home, you need excess tools and screws. These expenses add up fast.

  • Causes Wall Damage
    Wall damage is costly to fix and sucks money out of the security deposit as a renter.

How to Quickly Hang Curtains That Won't Damage Your Walls

Hanging curtains the traditional way is unnecessarily stressful and time-consuming. It often takes multiple people and countless do-overs to get curtains hung the right way.

Thankfully, a ridiculously easy solution for hanging curtains is within reach.

Kwik-Hang's revolutionary, no-drill curtain rod brackets let you hang curtains in seconds. They are safe, durable and sturdy and can accommodate windows of any size and design. And with multiple color options, you'll have no trouble finding the right Kwik-Hang brackets to complement your windows and decorating style.

Install Kwik-Hang curtain rod brackets in three east steps:

1

Place the bracket on top of the window trim

Place the bracket on top of the window trim

2

Tap In

Tap In

3

Hang Curtains

Hang Curtains

No screws. No drills. No holes or damage. Zero stress.

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How to Hang Curtains