Buying and Hanging Curtain Panels

Readily available and affordable curtain panels make updating your windows easy. With these tips for buying and hanging curtain panels, your room will gain a fresh, stylish look fast.


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Ready-made curtain panels in fresh patterns and colors offer an easy way to perk up a room. For quick hanging, choose tab-top or grommet styles, which slide easily onto a rod. Upgrade simple rod-pocket panels by adding clip-on rings. Most off-the-shelf rods come with mounting hardware so hanging the rods and panels is a breeze. These basics will help you place rods and select curtain panels for the stylish look you desire.

Go to Great Lengths

To determine the minimum necessary panel length (not including tabs or rings), measure from the floor to just above the window casing. Use this measurement when purchasing curtain panels. After you buy curtain panels, mount the rod to match panel length -- rather than the other way around as you would for custom-made panels.

Enjoy Widespread Appeal

For the best look when a set of curtains is closed, make sure each panel is at least as wide as the window. Stretching too-narrow panels across a window makes the scene look mismatched and out of scale. Mount rod brackets 6 inches outside the window frame so panels can be pushed away from the glass, allowing light to flood the room and the window's architectures to be on display.

Adjust Your Thinking

When using ready-made panels sold singly, measure each panel before hanging. Minor difference? Hang the panels based on the length of the shortest one. If there's a noticeable discrepancy, you may need to hem.

Let It Slide

Consider how often you'll open and close the curtains. Panels outfitted with grommets or rings are easier to slide along rods than those with tabs. A rod-pocket panel is the most difficult style to open and close.

Editor's Tip: To make curtains more energy-efficient, choose panels that extend well beyond the window frame on all sides to reduce heat from sunlight in the summer and cold airflow in the winter. Even better: Team panels with a cellular shade mounted inside the window frame.

More Window Treatment Ideas

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Put your DIY skills to work. These pretty homemade treatments use simple DIY techniques and basic materials. Give your windows fresh appeal with a project customizable to suit your style.

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More for You

What's your decorating personality? Find out with our fun quiz! Answer a few questions and you'll be paired with a decorating style. Plus, get customized decorating tips based on your results.

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Wake up your windows with fab treatments and your walls with the perfect paint color! Find the right paint color with our free My Color Finder, where you can try paint colors without picking up a brush.

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Want to update on a budget? These decorating ideas were all achieved for less than $50. See how to update your coffee table, use accessories, and wow with wall art and wallpaper.

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