Buying Curtains: Tips and Tricks

(Last Updated On: December 30, 2016)
Women Buying Curtains
Lady Buying Curtains for home

Whether you want your curtains to reach the windowsill, simple colors or bright colors, accurate measurements, fabrics and curtain drop are certain important factors to consider while buying curtains. Curtains have the talent for truly changing your room. It adds a finishing touch to replicate a perfect interior decor. Paralyzed by the possibilities when it comes for dealing with the process of buying curtains? Learning the tips and tricks of buying curtains will help you in selecting right treatment for your windows. Curtain makes a room but only when purchased correctly. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with so many decisions to have in line. When it comes for having perfect window treatment, colors and fabrics, lining and lengths are the core factors to focus.

Buying curtains seems like having no hurdle. Have a little of measurement, decide your color, pick up the fabric, go to the store and buy it. But it is not as simple as it seems. There are lot more things to consider while buying curtain for your home. Even buying curtains online is another best alternative for better results. Blinds and shutters both have their place at the windows but curtains bring allure of beauty to enhance the appeal. Buying curtains are a great investment not only dollar wise but also from a designing outlook. So it is important to select right type of curtains. Concerning an interior designer will help you to make a best choice of buying curtains that is compatible to your needs. It is advisable of buying curtains of best quality that you can afford.

How to choose curtains?

Beautifying with window treatment can be a prodigious process. But once you have found the right curtain, it can make a major impact on your interiors as well as the decor of your home. While buying curtain think about the functions first than designs. Buying curtain fabrics, rods, and materials are some factors to be considered. Whether you want to create privacy, add on filter lights, or have interesting colors, keep these four things in mind while buying curtains for your windows.

  • Measurements

Mount the curtains correctly that will lead to enhance your interiors decor and make your area feel bigger. Measure the height and length from floor to the rod before buying curtains. Don’t forget to take the measurements between the curtains and the floor that you require.

When measuring the width of the windows, how full you want your curtains to be should be measured. Planning for having a drape look? Curtains should be at least three times wider than the windows. How to choose a curtain length base are stated:

For short curtains, the edge should touch the window sills. It is known as brushing the window sills.

For curtains slightly touching the floor are known as brushing the grounds.

The hem of your window treatment touching the floor above an inch or two is known as breaking the ground.

A curtain wrapped over the ground above two inches or more is known as assembling at the floor.

  • Lighting and privacy

How much light you want is depended on the area where the window treatments are installed. If you are buying curtains for common area like sun room or living room then it is advisable of having sheer curtains. Living room needs more light so sheer curtains are best suited.

Buying curtain fabrics for a room where you want less light and more privacy is appropriate. Bedroom and theatres are the best spaces for having dark curtains installed. For areas having more sunlight, buy curtains having natural hue. Natural light tends to fade the bright colors of the curtains.

  • Materials

Different options of curtain materials
Options of materials for curtians

While buying curtain materials, perfect measurement and knowledge of fabrics are necessary. Selecting perfect material is a key element for having beautiful window treatments. Before buying a curtain, it is important to experiment the options of treatment. Determine how the curtains will function in the decided space.

If you want sunnier vibe, lightweight fabric is best suited. Cotton and linen are the examples of fabrics. It helps in offering a casual and airy feeling in your room. Want to add drama to your room? Buying curtain fabrics having darker colors and materials like velvet and suede are appropriate.

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It helps in blocking out the lights and offers an official look to your room. For kneeing its results, hold the fabric in your hand against the windows to observe how it is looks and functions in your room.

  • Style and design

Once you have measured the sizes and lengths, materials to be used and privacy factors, now it is the time to shave a styling element for your windows. Pick up a style that compliments your interiors decor.

Use a solid styles palette as a window treatment. Take a chance of having bold and patent color for making a style stamen. Planning for a subtle style? Neutral colored curtains are best suited.

Where do I start?

Set aside the style consideration and pay concentration on the functions of the curtains you are buying. Functions comes first that will edge up your curtain choice in a good manner. Planning of having privacy and total darkness? Linen curtains works prominently. But if you are OK with the lights entering your room or simple needs of decorating then unlined treatments works best.

Lining is expensive in cost but offers with many benefits to the home owners. It helps in making durable curtains and works as a shield for fabrics from sun damage. Want to have a luxurious fall of curtains? Lining adds a heft to the window treatment that helps in fabric falling more luxuriously and protects the fabrics from getting damaged. For enjoying maximum insulation, longer lasting durability, blocking of lights, and perfect treatment, interlining curtains can help you in having it.

Interlining means a sheet of flannel like fabric sewn between the face fabric and the lining attached to the curtains. While buying curtains for windows, it is important to take a note on its functioning and durability. This style is a common option for custom made curtains but are expensive in cost.

What about colors and fabrics?


Decide that do you want to buy curtains that blend with your interior decor or want to pop up the look of your room? For blending, pick up the window treatments that are of same tone to your walls. Try out few darker shades or have non-dominant subtle colors for your room. Non-dominant colors are such colors that are inspired from the patterns of rugs and carpets installed.

Opting for bold colors will work like an exclamation point. It offers a wow feeling that matches the interior decor of your space. Also keep in mind that in the room where the sun shines through unlined treatments, the color will infuse more. Options of blue, cherry, and pink works appropriate for such areas in your home.

Patterns and prints

Thing to keep in mind: if you already have patterned bedding and furniture installed in your home then stick with buying curtains having solid forms. Patterned curtains are used if you are having solid colored bedding and furniture. For any undefined space, prints are more appreciated. Hit an energy and style, have small treatments, apply neutral prints like paisley and dots that depicts the textures and prints styles.

Going out of the boundaries decided, buy curtains with graphic prints with different colors that relates to your exciting interior decor.


different curtain Textures
Beautiful Textured curtians

Before buying curtains it is important for considering the mood and amount of light entering your room. Planning for a formal look of your room, velvet and heavy silk are good option. You can easily dry clean and maintain it. Both the fabrics work as a great insulator in the form of a window treatment.

Experience more practical option of window treatments, cotton sateen and silk rayon blends are included in the list of stylish curtains. Crinkly crushed velvet and Billowy linen are more preferred options for having a casual feel in your room.

Cotton blends and cotton fabric works with any type of interiors decor. For having a simple look, buying cotton textured curtains are suitable. It matches easily to the decor for your rooms and well as the home. Select such a type of curtain that brings crisp and a neat feel when installed.

How lengthy should curtains be?

Three curtain's length showing images
Different options of Curtain lengths

Determine the length of the curtains you want to have at your home. Floor length is the technique to go, unless there is a bottom sill or radiator in your way. Buying curtains panels readymade is available in the market. Its length is from 64 to 145 inches.

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Measure the length of the curtains from the floor to the rod where you are going to hang it. Hem the treatment a bit with the help of a dry cleaner for better outcomes. The picture will be cleared if the fabric makes perfect contact with the floors. Here floors means radios or sills installed in your windows.

A too short window treatment looks nerdy and impacts bad on your home decor. Below stated are two surfaces that will help you in measuring perfectly while buying curtains for your home:

Breaking marginally at the floor

Panels that are installed extend onto the floor by two or three inches are currently more acceptable and stylish in look. They are more preferred and seem to be relaxed than those that scuff the floors. If you are having uneven floors at your home and are worried about accurate measuring, exercising this style of curtains is more appealing.

For formal looking rooms, an exaggerated risk is worth. Buying curtains with six or more inches of fabric pooling on the bottom surface can represent a romantic look but is costly and needs high maintenance. This type of curtains needs refluffing every time when you have a vacuum at your place.

Just hitting the sills or floors

It is called to be among the classic and traditional method of curtains. It is well tailored keeping in mind the proper measurements of the windows and distance from rods to the floor. It is easy in operating. The curtains will easily fall back into its place every time you open it.

The fabric used in the curtains should just touch the floor or should hover half inch above the floor. It is one of the best examples for short panel that covers only the lower section of the sill or the window.

This type of window treatments is well suitable for kitchens and bathroom where long drapes are practically not possible.

How wide-ranging should the curtains be?

To ensure that panels appear drapery and ample when closed, it should be comprised of combined width of two and two and half times than that of windows. But if you are planning of to hang the curtains just to frame a window and not intending to close it, you can measure it down to one and half times the width of your windows. Opting for pleated panels? It should have fullness in building. So their width should more or less match to the length you are covering.

Where should the curtains to be mounted in relation to your windows?

While buying curtain rods, it is important to decide where it is going to be mounted. Generally, the curtain rods are fixed on the wall above and outside the windows. It looks more appealing and offers an ample space to the fabrics to fall graciously.

If you have stylish and patterned window frames, you don’t want to cover then hanging your curtains within the frames can work better. Below stated ways will help you in deciding and maximizing the window space available. The home owners are free to decide rather they want to have the only technique of want to tray both in a single window.

Curtains hanging wider than the frames

This technique is simple in installing. Extend the curtain rods from both the sides approximately four to six inches. It makes a window feels outstanding than its actual structure. It offers the extra lights to enter the room when the curtains are opened. The fabrics that are installed hangs outside the windows because of the extended rods.

This can also help you in revealing attractive decoration in the room. Increasing by twelve inches from both the side also works prominently. But don’t forget to measure the widths of your windows properly for having this look.

Curtains hanging above the frames

For enjoying an illusionary effect, install the curtain rods four or five inches above the window frames. The window will turn up by having a taller look. It can be installed halfway between the ceiling mold and the frame. But it is advisable of not to go more than seven inches above the frame level. It might look unsatisfied and awkward. Be sure in measuring the extra fabric observed while buying curtains for the windows. A track installed on the top surface of the window also lengthens the size and measurements.

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What about the top most surface?

The heading of the window treatments also known as hem defines the overall look of your windows. Whether opting for formal or casual looks or sleek or feminine, it plays a vital role in presenting the design of curtains you have opted.

Have a quick glance on common styles for decorating the hem of the window:

Rod pocket heading

A channel of fabric on the top surface attached that holds the rod and offers a causal yet gathering effects is known as the rod pocket heading. It is among the nice choice of options offering a flattered look because of the shimmying fabric used while buying curtains for windows.

Tab top heading

Green colored curtain Tab top heading
Image of Tab top heading of curtain

While buying curtain rods make a note on its patterns. Planning of having tab top heading in your window treatment? Flat loops of fabrics are more suitable. Flat hoops of fabrics are hanged on the rod installed. Tab top heading look present a simple form of rods. It can be buttoned or sheered with a stiffer fabric available.

Enjoy its variations too by having tie-top option. Instead of flat loops, bows are used for making it more attractive. Still offers a casual look but with little bit of romance and feminine effects.

Pleated heading

There are many styles of hem heading that you can have while buying curtains for your home. From flat box pleats, wide pencil pleat to narrow and many more options can be used for your windows. It is more functional than any other window rod. It is more formal than rod pocket of tab top heading. It works with drapery rings and hooks.

Heading with hooks

Basic heading is availed by attaching the fabrics to the rod via ring stitched into its top surface. Option of having drapery rings is also available. It is among the easiest option to operate while buying curtains for your windows.

What type of rod should be used?

Different types of rods are available that can be used for decorating your curtains. Start by having a completely hidden rod that functions as a base for the window treatments.

Return rod

A U shaped curtain rod is known as return rod. It is screwed directly into the walls. Panels are wrapped around the sides that work best for blocking the lights. Double layered return rod is another option to have.

Classical rod

An adjustable pole offering an ornamental finish (caps) that are attached to the walls with the help of brackets is known as classic curtain rods. Planning of having layer with sheer effects for your room? Double layer rod version suits perfectly.

Tension curtain rod

Tension rod is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to install. It is mounted inside the window frame with no assistance of hardware. Curtains with light weight are appropriate for having tension rods installed at your home.

What about installation?

Contractor installing Curtains
Curtains installed by a home owner

Assume at least 25 minutes per window for basic curtain rods and 50 minutes per window having track rods installed. Hanging readymade curtains yourself is not that difficult. Instructions and mounting hardware are supplied with the rods. You just need to follow the instructions. Don’t forget to carry pencils, a handheld drill, a leveler, stud finder and a screwdriver with you.

Decorating windows with stylish and long treatments and drapes is a great technique to add personality and glamour to your room. But before heading towards buying curtains, make a list of Dos and Don’ts. Dos include things like colors, patterns, long curtains, perfect measurements, and installing impact on your home. Don’ts include skimping on size; curtains should never the higher than the floors and inappropriate mounting of curtains rods and panels. The stated information will lead you way in enjoying the tips and trick sof buying curtains for your home.


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