5 Curtain Mistakes you can Easily Avoid

I’m sharing the top curtain mistakes that I see over and over.  Be sure to read this and avoid these problems when you’re shopping for new curtains.

Curtains can be one of the best or worst additions to your room.  At their best they add a “wow” factor to your decor and give it a great finished look. They can be the perfect finishing touch to a great decorating project.

At their worst they can be painful to look at and distract from the rest of your decor.

Here are the top 5 mistakes that we see over and over. All of these are easy fixes and just reading this you’ll be able to avoid making them in your own home.

On the other hand, if you’re looking at photo’s and just can’t pinpoint what’s wrong in a room – this guide can help you out. See if any of these might be the reason that the curtain’s just don’t work in a space.

Choosing the Curtains Last

One of the easiest, and most common, curtain mistakes is waiting until you’re almost finished with a room to choose the curtain fabric.

When you’re decorating, or redecorating, a space there’s a definite order on how to choose items.

Many people want to pick out their paint color first and then try to match the furnishings to the paint.

It’s so much easier to pick out your furnishings first.  Decide on the fabrics, the throw pillows, the rugs and the curtains before you choose your paint.

Paint comes in just about every color imaginable and it’s much less expensive than curtains.

So choose those fabrics first – because there are a lot less curtain fabrics that you’re going to love out there.

Not Considering Function

Be sure that the curtains you’re choosing to go in your space will work the way you want them too.

If they’re just for decoration then this is a less important step, but it you’re going to be opening and closing your curtains often then you have to consider how they operate.

Be sure that operational curtains aren’t pushed through on a rod or they’ll be impossible to open and close.  You’ll want tops that have a large opening or a system for opening and closing them.

Curtains Mistakes:  Hardware

Oh there are plenty of places you can go wrong when you’re purchasing hardware.  One of the main considerations is to be sure that your hardware is sturdy enough for the curtains that you chose.

I know it’s tough to think about spending all that money on a curtain rod when it’s just going to be covered up by the curtains anyway. Believe me, it’s worth the expense.

A couple of things too consider are:

Rod isn’t Wide Enough

Be sure that your rod is long enough to extend on both sides of your window.  When your curtains are open they shouldn’t block the light that comes in the window.

Ideally your curtain rod should extend anywhere from 8″-18″ inches outside your windows depending on the window size.

Rod is too Flimsy

Be sure that your hardware will hold up your curtains.  You don’t want to invest in beautiful curtains and then have a sag in the middle of your rod because it isn’t sturdy enough to hold them.

Curtain Mistakes:  Measurements

I know that you want to measure your windows and just use those numbers for the size of curtains but that’s one of the common curtain mistakes.

As a general rule your curtains should be hung much higher and wider than your windows.  This will make your room appear larger and your ceilings taller.

Here’s where we see the most curtain mistakes with measurements:

Hanging the Rod too low – As a general rule, if your ceilings are less than 9 feet high you’ll probably want your curtains rods at ceiling height.  Hanging the rod up high lifts your sight line and will make your ceilings appear taller.  It tricks your eyes into thinking there’s more height in the room.

Hanging Curtains that are Too Short – Always, always, always measure before you purchase curtains.  Then be sure to measure the actual curtains before you hang them.

There can be some variation in what the package might say for the length of your curtains so be sure to double check them before you hang your hardware so that you can adjust if needed.

The Curtain Panels aren’t Wide Enough – If your curtains aren’t full enough on either side of your window they’ll look very sad.  Be sure that the width of them is 1 1/2 to 2 times the width of your window.

Even when the curtains are closed they shouldn’t appear that they are stretching to cover the window.  They should still have a nice full appearance to them.

You may need to purchase additional panels to get a fuller look.

Don’t Hang Wrinkled Curtains

I am definitely one of the people who rarely wears clothes that need an iron.  It’s just not on my list of fun chores to do.  Ironing.  No thanks.

But don’t skip the iron when you’re hanging your curtains.

Your curtains will look much happier and make you much happier if they are pressed before they are hung.  Wrinkled curtains will just make your room look messy.

Wrinkled curtains might also hang crooked when you put them up and we definitely don’t want that to happen.

So those are a few easy tips to help you avoid curtain mistakes. Avoiding these will help you get a great look when you install your new curtains!

Traci Signature | My Simpatico Life Blog

Want more great decorating ideas? Be sure to check these out:

Here are 5 easy tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes when hanging curtains.  MySimpaticoLife.com

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  1. My door frame is 74” wide and the curtains are 72”! I’ve been searching forever and finally found a pattern I like but they don’t come any wider. Can I add 2 sheer panels in the middle for additional width? The 72” curtains are blackout. Thank you! Jen

    1. Hi Jen:
      Is it two panels that are 36″ wide each? If that’s the case I’d get 4 panels and put two on each side so that you have plenty of coverage but also so that you get the fullness on either side. The sheers are a good solution to filter light when you’re not using the blackout curtains.

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