Before we bought our first house a year and a half ago, I knew very little about design guidelines mostly because I just wasn't very interested in it. After we moved into our house, though, my passion for design developed overnight and since then, as evident from my blog, I have been using my passion to change our house into a home. I have given design tips in the past on some blog posts, but I wanted to start sharing these design tips more regularly, so today I'm starting a new series called Thursday's Tips and Tricks where I will be sharing design tips that I have learned in order to help and inspire some of you with your own home designs.
For this first week of the series I'm focusing on tips on how to hang curtains. Hanging curtains was one of the first tasks we did when moving into our house and was one of the easiest ways to transform a space!
There are three words to remember when hanging curtains: HIGH AND WIDE! (Feel free to say that over and over again so that it gets engrained in your head)
I have created an example above so that you can see why HIGH AND WIDE is so important when hanging curtains. In the right image above, better known as the "DON'T" version, the curtain rod is hung right above the window and extends only width of the window. By having the rod extending only the width of the window, the curtains end up covering part of the window, making it look a lot smaller. Having the rod hung so low on the wall also makes the window look smaller as well as makes the ceiling height appear lower.
The HIGH AND WIDE example, also known as the "DO" version, has the rod hung inches above the window and is extended wider than the window making the window look larger and the ceiling height appear taller.
Here are examples from my own home:
When we moved into the house, the previous homeowners had left brown curtains in the living room (as seen in the before photo). The curtains weren't covering up the window, which was a good thing, but the curtain rod height was too low and was shortening the appearance of that wall and ceiling height and was taking away from the cathedral ceilings. In order to fix this, I bet you can guess, I hung the curtain high and wide. I didn't hang the curtains as wide as I would normally like, but I wanted to be able to fit in the bookcase and a piece of artwork so I hung it the bar a little less wide and condensed my curtains more together to accommodate the other things. If I were to take the curtains down, though, you would still see that the curtain rod is extended beyond the width of the window.
Is anyone else in disbelief that this is the same room? When I was putting this image together last night I couldn't believe how much taller the ceilings look and how much bigger the window appears just from the curtains alone. I'm telling you the HIGH and WIDE formula does wonders.
So what exactly is the HIGH and WIDE formula? Just like everything else in design, there isn't just one formula, or this case measurements, to use. Since the examples I provided were from our home, I thought I would provide the measurements that I used, but you can modify them to meet your home and window needs.
In my guest bedroom, the rod was hung 10 inches above the window and 13 inches beyond the window on both sides (not including the width of the end cap ball since the curtain can't hang on that part of the bar).
How wide the rod extends beyond the window is really going to depend on how compact you want your curtains to hang. The more compact the curtain, the narrower this distance has to be, but make sure that the curtain isn't covering the window and rather is starting at the outer border frame of the window.
How high the rod is hung above the window can also change based on ceiling height, personal preference, and the curtains you use. I was able to hang my curtains 10 inches above the window because I made my curtains custom-length using my no-sew tutorial (read here). If you buy curtains from the store, like I did in my kitchen from HomeGoods, you can buy the 96 inch length and hang the curtain bar at the top of your wall if they are 8 ft. wall.
Here you can see the difference between the curtain rods, without the curtains on. I'm sharing this image, because I could see many people trying to attempt the high and wide method, but once they start installing the curtain rod they stop and say "No, this can't be right, the bar looks huge compared to the window!" and start leaning towards the short and narrow method. Although it might look a little off without the curtains on, I promise it will come full circle once the curtains are hung. Trust me. #highandwide
Now that I've shared how to hang curtains, I thought I would also share some of my current favorite curtains in case you are in the market for some! Just click on the image for source:)
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