Curtain Mistakes to Avoid – 5 Fixes from Curtain Experts to Remember
When transforming a room, it’s natural to start with large areas of color, whether you’re opting for a new wall paint or an on-trend rug. However, while these features undeniably have an impact, there is still another powerful way to elevate your space: with curtains and drapes.
Drapes and curtains don’t just add a splash of color and pattern, they also control the light levels in your room, which means they can affect the color of your walls and, in some cases, give the feels like the room is bigger (or smaller, if you’re wrong).
With such influence, it’s important to spend more time thinking about your curtain ideas before committing or investing. And, even when you’ve made your purchase, the process doesn’t end there.
5 curtain mistakes to avoid – according to the experts
Wondering how to hang curtains with a perfect finish? Here are the most common curtain mistakes to avoid the next time you renovate your window jamb.
1. Don’t consider curtains for privacy
In addition to their aesthetic qualities, draperies and curtains are above all functional pieces. And while they’re best used for blocking sunlight, they’re also privacy tools. Therefore, it is important to take this into account when choosing the right material for your home. Fortunately, however, it is possible to guarantee privacy without sacrificing style.
“If neglected, sheer voiles hide the window and provide privacy while letting light in and giving the room softness and elegance,” says Camilla Clarke, Creative Director at Albion Nord. (opens in a new tab). ‘Clever window dressing is the most obvious answer; an architectural forged curtain rod and heavy linen curtains will give an understated feel of luxury and warmth.
2. Wrong window size measurement
It might seem obvious to focus on size when considering your future window treatment ideas, but Nitido Design expert Paige Anderson (opens in a new tab) warns that this step is often misunderstood.
“Curtains should be proportional to the size of the window. If they are too small and they will look out of place. If they’re too big, they’ll take over the space,” she says.
To ensure the right size, architectural designer Zaeem Chaudhary of AC Designs (opens in a new tab) has a formula. ‘As a general rule, measure the width of the window and multiply it by two to get the width of your curtains. The idea is to enhance fullness while avoiding the look of a bed sheet,” he says.
“Top to bottom, calculate only a few centimeters from ceiling to floor to get the right curtain length.”
3. Hanging the curtain rod in the wrong place
While calculating the right curtain length has an impact, it’s equally important that you hang the rod in the right place. “The curtain rod should be hung at the correct height, usually about four inches above the window frame,” says Paige.
To find the right size for your curtain rod, you need to measure the width of the window and add about 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) for each side of the window. Then add about 20 to 24 inches (51 to 61 cm) to your total.
4. Buy cheap curtain hardware
While it’s tempting to invest heavily in your curtain or curtain hardware, Zaeem also urges you to spend on your curtain hardware.
He cautions against rods that aren’t able to support the weight of your curtains or ones that aren’t long enough for the job – or your larger investment in textiles may be wasted.
“You can end up with curtains that cover the majority of your windows,” he says. “And for grommet panels, don’t use too thin a rod. Make sure you have a rod that is both sturdy and attractive.
5. Forgetting to iron before hanging
“A lot of people overlook the ironing procedure when it comes to their curtains,” warns the architectural expert. If so, your drapes and curtains will appear wrinkled and won’t hang straight most of the time. “Make the most of the beauty and practicality your curtains can provide by using them to their full potential,” he adds.
Whether you’re experimenting with bedroom, kitchen or living room ideas, a quick ironing before hanging will seamlessly accentuate your space and provide the polished look you desire.
What not to do when choosing curtains?
Never underestimate the amount of fabric you need for your curtains. If you choose too few, the curtains will look nasty when pulled back and flatten when pulled back.
“Ideally, the curtain fabric panels, when combined, should measure two to two and a half times the width of the window,” says Lucy Searle, Homes & Gardens‘ Editor-in-Chief. This way the curtains will look full when closed and generous when open.