It took an embarrassingly long time after we moved into our new apartment to put up curtains. As you may have seen from this house tour, we are blessed to have lovely large windows in the living room/dining room area as well as in both bedrooms. It means we get lots of light but it also means there’s always a lot on display.
Folks, I went about getting curtains completely the wrong way. They’re up now (well, they’ve been up for awhile now) but I definitely made some major boo-boos along the way. Somebody give me a slap on the wrist, because I totally should have known better.
And because I love sharing all my infinite wisdom (and a picture of my messy coffee table) with you guys, here are my three curtain commandments for purchasing (and installing) you new set of curtains.
1) Thou shalt measure the width of your window. Seems like a no-brainer, right? I was very, very lucky that this worked out for me but estimating a number after measuring and promptly forgetting it will not work out for everyone. Write it down. Stick that number in your wallet. Go to the curtain store (or wherever you happen to be shopping). Choose a curtain set and a curtain rod only slightly larger. You be the judge on how big of an area you want to cover. You can even map it out when you are measuring your window. A good rule of thumb to follow is to aim for curtains and a curtain rod approximately 12-24 inches longer than the actual width of your window, allowing for approximately 6-12 inches on either side.
2) Thou shalt measure for the length of your curtains, too. Yes, you read that right. I don’t mean the length of your window. I mean the length from the top of your window to your floor (or wherever you want your curtains to it, although just above the floor is your best best). You may find that all curtains will come in the length that you want, but at least you’ll have some idea as to how much you’re going to need to hem. This step is also particularly important if you’re going to be making your own curtains out of fabric, bedsheets, whatever-happens-to-catch-your-fancy, etc. When in doubt, too long is always best. Too short just looks weird and it’s much harder to add fabric than to take it away.
3) Thou shalt make sure you have all thy hardware before commencing thy installation. I can’t even describe how much it sucks to start hanging curtains only to realize that the screws are not included with your rod. I can’t even talk about it.
There ye have it. Three commandments of curtain hanging that may not completely cure all your curtain hanging blues- because, let’s face it, it’s tricky- but it may make things a whole lot simpler than learning from my mistakes!