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Do’s and Don’Ts for Perfect Curtains

Living area with white tends that let in light

No matter how vast the possibilities for window treatments are, most homeowners still love to dress up their windows with curtains. Soft, frilly, and elegant, curtains are excellent decor elements besides being functional elements that provide privacy and light control. But hanging curtains the right way is essential to make the most of their aesthetic and functional value. This article aims to apprise you of the most important do’s and don’ts to get the perfect look for your windows. While custom curtains will give you total leverage over the choice of fabric, color, designs, and heading styles, the tips below are worth bearing in mind even when shopping for readymades. After all, your home deserves the best!


Follow these steps diligently to get the best set of drapes that provide privacy, light control, specific needs of each room, and also sync with your decor style.

1. Correct length 

As per standard designing practices, curtains should stand at sill-length or floor-length, not in between the two. Sill-length curtains may brush the sill or extend up to six inches below the sill for better coverage. Floor-length drapes may either stand an inch above the floor or touch the floor or puddle on the floor. 

2. Correct width 

The beauty of drapery lies entirely in its nicely rounded pleats. This is ensured by stitching the curtains with a width that is double the width of the window. Less than double width will not enable the curtain to have plush pleats when it is closed. If you lower this limit for any reason, make sure you never go below 1.5x because then, the curtain will look just like a flat sheet stretched from one end of the window to the other.

2. Stacking room

To avoid light leaks from the side gaps, the curtains must extend to at least 6 inches beyond the window frame on each of the sides. This will also ensure stacking room for the curtain panels when opened. Thus the entire window will be available for light and air passage. The extra 12 inches should also be accounted for in the width of the curtain.

4. Hardware

Leaving the finials, the track or drapery pole’s length should extend to at least 6 inches beyond the window frame on both sides. Hang the drapery pole as high as possible and never lower than 6 inches above the window frame. 

5. Lining

Linings ensure fuller pleats that render the drape its charm. They prevent the drape from fading due to sunlight and provide more insulation from heat as well as cold. Unless you’re buying sheers, never forego the opportunity to line your custom drapes. 

6. Blackout

Ensure blackout lining in bedrooms, home theaters, and nurseries to ensure room darkening and sound insulation for the perfect ambiance. It also prevents the loss of thermal energy from the room to about 25-30%, which means, you can have warmer winters and cooler summers.

7. Correct heading style 

Choose heading styles keeping in mind your decor style as well as the frequency of usage of the window. Some stitched-in styles like french pinch pleats befit traditional decor while the relatively newer grommets and flat panels befit modern interiors.  Some styles like backtabs and rod-pockets have limited ease of movement, making them right for windows that need to be covered most of the time. Where you need to open and close the drapes often, choose styles that hang on rings/clips to ensure easy movement.

8. Sheers

In rooms that need more privacy during the day, better to layer opaque curtains with sheers. These translucent curtains will let in plenty of light and air even as they allow only a blurred vision of the indoors. Otherwise, you will have to close the curtains for privacy and also lose the warm sunlight and fresh air in the deal.

 Sleeping area with blackout curtains


Watch out! Never ever….

1. Skip ordering swatches

If you’re ordering custom roman shades online, never miss the step of ordering select swatches. This way, you can be assured of the exact color, texture, and weight of the fabric which an online inspection cannot reveal with precision.

2. Compromise privacy in bedrooms and bathrooms

Never compromise the primary function of drapery by using see-through fabrics in spaces that are private by nature. So, never hang sheer curtains as stand-alone in bedrooms and bathrooms.

3. Select fabrics that challenge upkeep

Unless you have an excellent setup for regular maintenance, avoid heavy-duty fabrics like silks and velvets in bathrooms, kitchens, kids’ rooms, and areas exposed to excessive dust and humidity. 

4. Select length without accounting for practical needs

Puddled drapes are chic decor, but ponder the practical difficulties they raise in bathrooms, kitchens, kids’ rooms, windows of regular use, windows with radiators underneath, and high traffic zones. Keep aesthetic and practical needs in mind when you determine the length of the drapes.

5. Hang straight from the box

Train the drapes before you hang them. After ironing, fold the curtains gently at the pleats and tie them with loose bands at 3 or 4 positions of the drapes. Hang them on the pole like this for about two weeks. For a speedier process, steam iron them at this position and leave them tied for two days. When you untie them, the pleats will stand well rounded and the drapes will not flare to the bottom.

Summing up

Home decor is a visible manifestation of your love for your family and your home.  Ensuring the use of quality products that make the most of your hard-earned money is both essential and wise. Hence, make sure that you follow these do’s and don’ts and get the perfect set of curtains for your home.