The number one thing we say going into 90% of client homes? It’s probably not what you’re thinking, unless you were thinking it was “raise those window treatments!”
How high should you hang a panel?
Window treatments should be hung as close to your crown molding or ceilings as possible. When we say as possible, we are being pragmatic. If you have 10’ ceilings with 12” moldings you have 108” to hang curtains over an 84” tall window. Ready-made panels come 96” and 108” typically (with 96” being the most readily available). Purchasing the 96” and having 12” to the molding would be fine in most cases and would save you hundreds of dollars in custom treatment fees or alteration fees on the 108” curtains that would likely need to be hemmed to 106”. Often times the best length is 102 and that will require alterations if you want them truly hung in the perfect spot on your walls.
Where should the panel hit on the floor?
In most situations you want the panel to just skirt the floor surface. In formal rooms or sometimes master suites you might want a slight break or even a puddle but for 99.9% of our clients we are aiming for the panels to just skirt the floor or kiss the floor. It’s the look that gets you the neatest overall vibe and is the most transitional in styles.
How’s it hanging?
When attaching and purchasing hardware you want to screw the brackets into studs wherever possible for maximum stability. Usually these will be found directly above the window frame. Purchase rods that are 6-12” wider than the window so that you can get maximum light in your rooms by keeping the panels off the physical window. Solid rods made of wood or metal will allow your panels to hang straight across the length of the rod. If using a more common adjustable/telescoping rod, just know that you will need to make some minor adjustments to slightly raise the thinner rod section – whether that be in the center or on one side for narrower windows depends on the drapery fabric.
How much fabric do you need?
Decide on whether you want the panels to close. If you want them to close you will need to order at least 2.5 times the width in panels. So, a 6’ window with rods extending 12” on either side would need 4 – 60” panels or 20’ total. This allows the panels to hang and pleat nicely both closed and open. If you know you will not need to ever close the panels but still want them full, purchase 1.5 times the width. Again, for a 6’ window with rods extending 12” on either side, you will need 2 – 60” panels (10’) or 4 -40” panels (13’). For sheers you can often go 3 ½ times the window width to get full coverage and a nice hang to the drapery.
What type of panel do you need?
Ready-made panels come in a variety of hanging styles. Grommet, pinch pleat and back tab are probably the most common with back tab being our favorite. Back tabs give you the nice soft drape of a pinch pleat with the ease of a grommet. Whenever possible look for back tabs. We avoid shirred and top tabs in all but rare cases. Always purchase lined panels unless the budget doesn’t allow. It makes a huge difference in light filtration as well as how the panel hangs.
Treat them right!
Raise those window treatments. Buy enough panels to give them some impact and allow the natural light into your spaces. Invest in a solid rod to ensure your panels hang straight the width of the window. Look for back tabs for a custom look without a custom price. If necessary, buy the longer panel and pay someone to make the necessary alterations so that they skirt the floor and don’t forget the lining!
Call us for a consult to discuss the perfect window treatments for your home!