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.
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