Hanging Up New Curtains? Are You Making The 3 Mistakes Everyone Makes?

Are you buying and hanging up new curtains? There are 3 mistakes that almost everyone makes when buying curtains for the first time! Mistakes that will have you making trips back and forth to the upholstery store and that will become a continuing headache too. So what are they? And how do you avoid them? 

Mistake 1 - Measuring Wrong

So, you think you've measured your windows from end to end, and top to bottom, and that is it, off you go to the store? Nope! There is actually a right way to measure correctly when getting curtains made to measure or even when buying ready-made. Measure at least 4 inches extra from each side of the window or add 8 inches to the exact side to side measurement of the windows. For the length add only 4 inches, not the full eight. This additional length and width will serve to cover your windows completely, keeping light out at night more effectively than curtains that are the exact size of your windows. 

Another tip is to measure straight along the window frame for an accurate measurement.

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Measure your windows right
Image -  Heals.co.uk

Mistake 2 - Buying Less Fabric... Or More

How much fabric do you need? When choosing fabric for curtains, the amount of fabric required should be the width of the window multiplied by 2 or 2.5 to allow for a good amount of gather in the curtains. Why 2 or 2.5? The light entering a room through the curtains depends on the fabric you choose, and how heavy or opaque it may be. Combining more gathers (i.e. more fabric) with opaque fabric will effectively reduce light if you so require or vice versa. A good way to make your mind about fabric in this regard is to hold it or drape it up to a window in the store and try dense or sparse gathers, choose the amount of gathers you prefer and calculate the amount of fabric you'll require from there.

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Gathers in curtains effect how much light is let in
Image -  Realhomesmagazine.co.uk

Mistake 3 - Installing The Hardware 

Remember measuring an extra margin for the made to measure curtains at the side? And the top? If you got that step right, it is important to apply the same principle during the installation process. Having extra wide curtains will only block out the light if the hardware holding them up allows for the same extra margin. When installing a rod to hang up your curtains, place it at a height of 4 inches above the window frame, and allow the rod to extend an extra 4 inches out from each side of the frame. This, combined with the extra width and height of the fabric will serve to keep light out while you sleep.

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A curtain rod installed at an extra height over a window frame
Image -  Justagirlblog.com

Another important aspect to consider when installing hardware, apart from buying a matching style to that of your curtains, is to buy hardware that will not warp or bend under the weight of the fabric. All too often the 'look' of the hardware is all that is considered when buying fittings, and soon enough it begins to give way under the weight of all that curtain fabric!

Keep these tips in mind to get your curtains hung up right the first time round! And do share if you have something to add to our '3 definitive mistakes' list, a curtain mistake you made maybe?

Ranjita Bhandari

The Author

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