7 RULES FOR CHOOSING PERFECT CURTAINS

 

7 RULES FOR CHOOSING PERFECT CURTAINS- With these rules in hand you can choose, hang and enjoy your perfect curtains!

 

Recently, my master bedroom got BEAUTIFUL new curtains. And I realized there is a whole lot that goes into choosing curtains for a room. Curtains, although they mostly play a supportive role in the beauty and comfort of our homes, have a role to play. There are so so many options for adorning our windows. So today we will talk about 10 rules for choosing perfect curtains.

 

Let’s look at some simple things to do that add up to perfect curtains for the rooms in your home!

THINK ABOUT USE

We need to be realistic about how we use the curtains in our home. 

Are your curtains going to block out light or your neighbor’s trash cans? Do you like the way curtains filter light into a room? Are they only to add lots of beauty and interest to a room? Are your curtains close to a door or any traffic patterns in your home? Will you pair curtains with blinds or shades? These are just some of the questions to ask yourself before buying any curtains. 

Although most of us want to get to the fun decisions like style and fabrics we need to do our homework and think about how we will use curtains we choose! We want the curtains in our homes to be fabulous AND functional!

STYLE

There are soooooo many styles of curtains literally a click of the computer away, right? Do you like floor length curtains? Full curtains? Tab curtains? Pinch pleats? Are you going for a formal look or a casual one? Are your curtains playing a supportive role in a room or are they a stand-out focal point? 

Think about how a pair of curtains will work with the rest of the room. This is a good starting point when thinking about the style we should choose.

Ask yourself these things…

  • will the curtains enhance the style of the entire room
  • will they make the room look bigger (yes they can)
  • will the curtains make too little of a difference
  • will the curtains make too much of a statement
  • will my eyes be drawn to the curtains
  • will they be a nice backdrop for the rest of the furnishings

FABRIC/MATERIAL

 

I adore fabric! Even when it comes to choosing the right curtains for my home choosing the right fabric can be a bit harrowing! Here at StoneGable curtains are considered a supporting role in a room so I keep them very subtle. And I like curtains to frame my windows. Nothing too flouncy. So I stay pretty neutral in color and tailored in style.

How about you? If you like your curtains to show up and get noticed then go for it! Just make sure they work with the colors and motifs in the other fabrics in your room.

Do you like sheer fabrics? Heavy fabrics, brocades, burlap, linen, cotton, and on and on. Do yourself a favor, and get plenty of samples before you take the plunge! There are probably lots of fabric options that would work in any room!

If you like fuller curtains make each panel three times the width of the window they will adorn. If you like a more casual look make each panel two times the width.

The sheer curtains above were an easy-peasy diy project. If you like them you can make them too. Click HERE to see how I made them.

HARDWARE

Hardware can be much of an afterthought when we are talking about curtains. But it shouldn’t be at all! What holds curtains on the wall is important.

Ask yourself what color/finish do you want curtain hardware to be? What kind of rod do you want to use? What will hold the curtains on the rod? Do you want to make a statement with the curtain rods or let them go as unnoticed as possible? How far from the wall do you want the curtains to be hung? Do you want custom made curtain rods? Will you use finials or have rounded corner rods that hug the wall?

Another thing to be aware of is how long the curtain rods need to be for the window and the wall space you have on either side of the window for your curtains to hang.

The answer to these questions will determine what curtain rod will work best for you and what the price point of the rods will be.

HEIGHT/LENGTH

The length of a curtain depends on the kind of curtains you choose. 

Here are a few guidelines…

  • short curtains should be hemmed to so they just skim the windowsill
  • long curtains can brush the floor, break the floor (have a small bend in them at the hem), or pool on the floor a couple inches or more.

Make sure you know the exact curtain length you will need. Measure the window and wall area for the curtains before buying!!!!!

Curtains that are hung high make a room look taller and more elegant. 

My best advice is to hang curtains as high as you can and as long as you can make them. “Hang em’ high and swing em’ low!”

HANGING CURTAINS

Throw out everything else you have read about how to hang curtains. Here’s the best tip. Place curtains for one window on a rod and manually put them where you want them to go. Make sure the curtains follow the guidelines above for height and length. When they are perfect for you mark the spot to hang your rods. Use these measurements for any other curtains in the same room as long as the windows are the same size.

Really, you never know exactly how the curtains will look until you hang that first one. Make sure it is perfect!!!!!

CARE

 

In years past there was an adage to never wash curtains but let them rot on the windows. YUCK!!!! Seriously!!! Yes, those were the days of heavy drapes and lots of embellishing windows. Those days are long gone. Now if you know how to care for your curtains you can clean them yourself or have them professionally cleaned and looking as good as new!

Save any cleaning instructions! Vaccum curtain regularly and while you are at it also vacuum your window sills and molding.  Wash your curtains when they get dirty. 

Curtains get grimy and attract grease and dust and more so you might want to think of giving them a good washing every 6 months or so.

 

I can’t wait to share the curtains chosen for the master bedroom. You can see the plans HERE for now and look for the master bedroom reveal coming in late May!

Now, you can choose those curtains you’ve had your eye on with confidence. Or you might want to take a look at the curtains you already have and rethink them! 

Do you have a tip for choosing the perfect curtains? We’d love you to share!

You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see what I’m finding to pin every day HERE.

7 RULES FOR CHOOSING PERFECT CURTAINS- With these rules in hand you can choose, hang and enjoy your perfect curtains!

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52 Comments

  1. Thanks for the helpful tips! Curtains & curtain rods have never been my specialty so I appreciate what your posted today! Love your DIY curtains! Very creative!

  2. When I was growing up there were summer and winter curtains in our home. They got laundered and ironed and put away for the next season. I still prescribe to that with my sheers. The heavier curtains get taken down and put in the dryer with a dry cleaning cloth to be fluffed at that time for a nice clean look to the windows.

  3. Thanks for all the info on curtains, very informative. I really like the curtains you show in your livingroom, they are white/cream background with beige design on them. Did you make those or purchase them?

  4. Finally but the bullet and switched over our master bedroom being to a new lite weight comforter and thinking about some new curtains. Temperature when I woke up was 34 degrees! Spring oh spring wherefore art tho?? I guess we just have to be patient. Thanks for the tips on curtains. Maybe I will just go shopping for some today because I won’t be working in the garden.

  5. Selecting new curtains for the living room is one of my spring projects. In the winter I love my burgundy drapes but they are way too heavy in warmer months. I am thinking something in soft yellow. Do you have favorites sources? Thank you for not thinking this is too little a topic!

  6. Great tips. As a window treatment designer, I just have one correction. Short curtains should hang 4” (hem size) below the sill. You should not see the hem from the outside or in the glass area. The exception would be privacy sheers which could have a bottom rod or a smaller hem.
    Also linings and interlining need to be considered as they effect drape and light control.
    Thanks for letting everyone know that there is a lot to consider.

  7. Can’t wait to see your master. I haven’t gotten up that way yet but will SOON, I promise. Can’t wait to see you, I miss you! Have a great weekend my friend!!!!

  8. Years ago I found linen look drapes with a bit of embroidery at Target of all places.They are light, airy and wash beautifully I have them in my bedrooms and living room on rods with rings.Love yours with the smocking on top.

    1. I ended up ordering curtains from Target as well. After looking at dozens of stores and websites, they had the exact ones that I wanted and they look great.

  9. What a timely post. Thank you, Yvonne, you’ve great information on a practical topic we all have to make choices on. Im in a bit of a dilemma, and I’m wondering if you can help? I have a bank of South facing windows in my dining room…two windows that flank a large picture window. The span is 14′ wide, and my ceiling is coffered and 12′. I have creamy linen curtains I love to hang at least 9′ or higher before the coffered starts. My dilemma is what curtain rod to use. Goodness, that is a far span of 14′! Should I use three rods? Have my husband make a “pipe rod,” though my decor is European farmhouse and that might look a bit too industrial? The rod can’t be too small of a diameter with the weight of the curtains and scale of the room (stone fireplace). My second question is, I think I need to put something behind them….sheer or shade…to allow filtered light to flow in, but not beat on the wood floor and furniture, and to not have to open and close the curtains all day. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I’ll have to keep the inner layer down in cost as the linen curtains were a splurge. Thanks for any help on this! It’s so wonderful to bounce around decor dilemma ideas with others, especially, when I’m sitting here with my cup of tea wondering what to do!

    1. Okay, let’s start with the first question. If your husband can make a pipe rod you could always paint it. What a great solution! If you use one rod and I suggest you do, make sure it is bracketed to your wall at least in the middle. No drooping rods, please!

      I’d paint it the color of my walls if you want the rod to “disappear”.

      I love filtered light and would certainly use a shade that can be used to filter or block light. They usually retract into the upper casing of the window and look lovely.

      I think sheers, even though lovely, would look dated and would block any view! There are some amazing shades. I am getting some from Next Day Blinds that I love! Hope this helps.

      1. Thank you, Yvonne. We’ll have to play around with the rod idea and how we will do the end caps etc. I too definitely think one rod is the way to go. I’m blessed to be married to a “Mr. fix it- can build anything guy” so I’m sure he will engineer something. I was leaning towards the blind idea, so thank you for the tip on Next Day blinds. I’ll check them out! Can’t wait to see your master bedroom! Did I miss the bathroom you were doing last year?

  10. I would like to know where you purchased your living room drapes. They would fit perfectly in my living room. I look forward each morning to reading your blog. It is so inspirational, especially for an aging woman who loses contact with what is in style. I don’t want my home to grow old and dreary. Thanks again for all of your ideas and encouragement to try new and different things.

  11. Love your posts. (I’m a new subscriber.) When I bought curtains for our new dining room I knew that I wanted something light and sheer (I love the sun streaming in), that I wanted grommet tops, and I just wanted to frame the window on either side (we have venetian blinds) and I wanted them to come all the way to the floor. After spending way too much time online I actually ended up ordering curtains from Target. They were inexpensive but they were also perfect for the room. They compliment but do not dominate the decor and most important they make me happy every time I look at them.

  12. I’ve been trying to find ready made curtains for my guest room and master. Any that I like are only 84” and that is too short. Where do you find yours or do you make them?

    1. I bought some at Pottery Barn a few years ago that were longer–90-ish inches. I don’t recall the exact measurements.

      1. Thank you Connie. I’ll check out their website. The closest one is about four hours away, so online is a blessing,

  13. I really admire the woven wood shades that you have used in some of the window posts. Do you have a source for them?

  14. I started actually following your blog a few months ago although I had checked in on it periodically before that.

    I want to say that I really appreciate all the information about all things “decor” that you provide on your blog.

    So thank you,

    Rebecca

  15. I can’t wait to see your master bedroom!!! I, too, am also looking for drapes for my master. Thank you for the great tips!

  16. I love the beige and white curtains and the wall color! Can you tell me the brand of the curtains and what the wall color is?

  17. Yvonne, looking forward to seeing your “new” Master Bedroom! I’m sure it will be just so beautiful! You have done such a lovely job of everything in your gorgeous home! Bless you!

    Thanks for all the info! You are so gifted and we thank you for all you share with us. You are special!

  18. This topic gives me great anxiety! I didn’t buy enough drapes for the family room, go back and they are all gone.. nothing, zero, zip! So now I will need to find a whole new pattern but buy more of them to make the window look better.

  19. thanks JanHi Stone Gable, I love you. Can you give me some guidelines for the color of bamboo roman shades I should use in my home. If I do not have open floor plan but am able to see other windows from each room.n says:

    Hello Stone Gable, I was wondering if you could give me some guidelines as to what color bamboo roman shades I should use in my home. I am using all neutrals with gold and black/white. I love your decorating style and I could move right in to Stone Gable and not change a thing. Thank you. Jan

  20. Love the white curtains with the blue design. I “need” them in our new home! Lol. Where can I find them please? Thank you!

  21. Good morning Yvonne I am also in the process of redoing my master bedroom and bath. I am working on picking out paint colour. Is there an order that works out best for buying curtains? I plan on buying new shades to block out light and was going to pick out curtains at the end after a new duvet cover and rug. All will be fairly neutral with colour coming from pillows and throws. Our bedroom now has very dark paint and I’m thinking about bm dove white. What do you think? Thanks for any help you can give me.

  22. Thank you, Yvonne! We are in the process of buying a new built home with an open floor plan. Since this is the first time for the open floor plan concept and a sliding glass door, I have been experiencing anxiety on placement of furniture and window coverings. I have been using your expertise on several of your blogs, but this segment has helped me tremendously! I love your classic style and look forward to your blogs!

  23. All good advice! I hang my drapes high, pick rods to compliment the curtains and the room. My living room ones break on the floor, my office touches the floor, and the bedrooms puddle gently. I think drapes add a lot to a room. They are the finishing touch!
    Yvonne, you always pick the best topics. I don’t know how you think of Everything. You are my go to for everything home. ?

  24. Would you please let me know where you got the pillow covers in this photo of curtains, the plain light colored pillow with braid and the pillow with the black background and daisy flowers. In another post I feel for the pillow with birds in black, white and tan. Thanks for you help. I have looked for any posting you might have made on the bird covered pillows but I can’t find any.

    1. Hi Christy, The plain pillow with the braided trim was from the pottery barn and is no longer in stock. The flower pillow were custom made and the bird pillows I found at a Spring fair. I am so sorry I have no sources for these for you!

  25. Blessings to you. I was just at the store TUESDAY MORNING yesterday and was admiring their pretty curtains they have in stock. Bought some for my bedroom. Extremely low priced wit great quality. Enjoying life and blogging!
    d

  26. I never used to care about furnishing and home accents, but ever since we got our own home, I’ve been browsing in home decor shops most days. I love those types of curtains with textured fabric at the top, it looks more unique than plain-looking ones.

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