Learn how to install window treatments before you buy. I’m sharing all my best tips, including four mistakes you will want to avoid!
Last month I talked about the different trends of window treatments. And now I’m talking about the best ways to install them. As you know, a few weeks ago I received new window treatments from Blindsgalore. They are now installed and look so good!
So let me show you what shades I received and where I put them.
My New Window Treatment Shades
In the kitchen over the sink, I went with a Roman Shade in the color Camdyn – Pumice. The Roman shades are such a different look than my blinds . I love the softness the fabric adds to the kitchen window view. It’s like my whole window just advanced up to a classy new style. 🙂
I selected the cordless option which is so convenient to use and no cords to clutter the view! They easily pull down with one hand and go back up with a gentle tug. For added privacy, I went with a liner too. No one probably is looking in my windows at night. But when I’m standing there doing dishes, I want to make sure! 😉
Now that I have one Roman Shade in the house, I’m tempted to put some in the boys bedroom upstairs too. Such a classic look for any window – especially kitchens. 🙂
For the living room I did a combination, layered look. First I installed my Woven Shade in Grass Weave color Palerma Mesa. This was my first experience with woven wood shades and I have to say – it won’t be my last! I really love the depth and texture they add to our windows.
Again for privacy, I chose to have these lined as well. The new shades looked fantastic by themselves, but once I combined them with some new velvet drapes – I was smitten! The layered look is a trend I’ve often seen in homes and I’m so glad I decided to try it in our home too.
So now that you’ve seen my new shades, let’s talk about how I installed them. Before I even ordered my new shades, I did a ton of research. And I discovered some of the biggest mistakes people make when buying and hanging window treatments. So if new window treatments will be in your future, you definitely want to read these tips below!
The Right Length
A common curtain mistake that is painful to see is – the ‘too short’ curtain. It’s like a curtain that’s waiting for a flood! It does EXACTLY what too short pants do – it cuts off your room (leg) in a really jarring way. And this makes your room feel short and awkward.
There’s three options when it comes to hanging your window treatments correctly: a slight float, the kiss and the puddle.
The slight float is less than an inch above the floor. The kiss is when the curtain barley touches the floor. This look can be tricky to achieve but is probably -in my opinion- the classiest look for curtains. And finally the puddle is where it does just that, it puddles all over the floor.
This is best reserved for high-quality fabrics like velvet or washed linen. The puddle should look thick and grand. So don’t use dinky little cotton curtains for a puddle look. It will simply look accidental and way too long.
Correct Panel Width
The correct panel width can be a tricky obstacle when installing window treatments correctly. If the panel is not wide enough, on both sides of the window, the curtains are forced to be hanging partially in your window. This will block light and make the window look smaller (thus making your room feel smaller.)
So the question is: should I hang one panel or two? And how wide should each panel be? Most standard single-curtain panel widths are around 50 inches.
The goal here is to be able to pull two curtain panels easily shut without them going taut and losing their softness. I found some guidelines below that can help you make the right decision for the number of panels needed and their widths to select based on your window size.
Guidelines for flat-panel width curtains:
20″-30″ windows: a pair of single panels, 50 inches each
30″ – 48″ windows: a pair of 1.5′ or double panels, 75-100 inches each
48″ – 84″ windows: a pair of double panels, 100 inches wide
84″ – 144″ windows: a pair of triple panels, 150 inches with possible quadruple panels (200 inches) if a fuller look is wanted
A good place to start is 20″ above your window, literally just under the ceiling. But you can go at least 1/2-2/3 the distance towards the top to help your ceilings look as high as possible. It’s not just the better way to hang your curtains, but at this point we have a ‘cultural height’ of where your curtain rod line should be. This is the height where people naturally expect to see your curtains.
By lifting the rod, you’ll lift the eye, which makes your ceilings look higher and your space feel bigger.
Along with lifting, you also want to extend it! Extending the rod at least 6-10″ on either side of the window frame (if you have the space) is good guideline. By placing them there, it allows the curtains to be pushed totally open and you can see almost all of the window. No light is blocked and your windows look nice and big!
There’s basically two mount types for shades: inside mount and outside mount. Inside mount is when the shade is installed inside the frame. I think this type of mount is best for windows with interesting or beautiful frame millwork.
When it came to my kitchen window, I opted for this type of mount. Not necessarily because of my beautiful window frame, but because of the wall of tile. So I didn’t want to drill into the tile to mount outside the frame – yikes! And I also like seeing the matching gray of the frame with my gray cabinets.
Outside mount is when the shade is installed on or outside the window frame. If the window frame is not above average or you want more lighting – this is the option to pick.
Another bonus of outside mounting is that the shade can be installed higher then the actual window frame. This will not only give you more light, but it will also trick the eye into thinking the window is larger. And this look will also give you a visual that heightens the entire room. Which is why I did this very thing with my wooden shades in my living room!
Classic Window Treatment Look
So having said all that – let me just condense it all into one paragraph – or my ideal for the classic way to install window treatments. Hardware is mounted very close to the ceiling or just under crown molding. The shades are hanging just below the hardware and are mounted above the window and outside of the trim. And the curtain panels are high and wide.
This type of window treatment style is both functional and beautiful because the curtain panels remain stationary. And the shades can be pulled up and down for privacy. The room now has two opportunities to add texture and pattern instead of just one. And that’s what I call – double the fun in home decor!
If you found these tips helpful, don’t forget to PIN them!
And if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them in the comments or just email me. Happy window treatment shopping!
*Big thank you to Blindsgalore for providing our home with new window treatments that I could not love more! Or course, all opinions and thoughts about our window treatments are all my own. 🙂