Curtain info

Written by Rachel L. Ritter

I just bought some new curtains (in “the biz” we call them window treatments) from Ikea and couldn’t wait to hang them up. As an Interior Designer and maybe just being a woman, there’s a need to switch things up every couple of months or so. Before the bedroom was grey and purple, then bright lime green and now it’s made it’s way back to grey again. I figured I’d let you know some of the basics when it comes to dealing w/curtains.

When buying curtains ¬†measuring is very important- it can be the worst when you get curtains home, hang them up and then realize they’re the wrong length.

-Measure 3-4″ from the top of the window sill to the floor so you know what curtain length you’re looking for.
-Measure inside the sill left to right to mount the rod within the window frame (inside mount).

Below are some images that explain the basics better than I ever could. I understand concepts better when I can see them rather than numbers and formulas being spat out at me.

Inside mounted shades

-Measure the left outside of the window sill to the right outside, figure out what 25-30% of that # is, divide that # in 1/2 and that gives you the measurement to mount the hardware on either side of the outside window frame. (outside mount)

Outside mounted curtains

If you want a more dramatic look, measure above than the sill to make the window look higher and more grand.

See which style you like best

If you can’t decide on one style, you could always cover it up with a valence. When using a valence, it tends to pull the look together when you upholster it in a color that matches the design in the curtain.

Valence matches the awesome curtains

Some people don’t like the look of extra fabric on the ground (my husband) but I think it has a more elegant or formal look to it. I’ve read to buy curtains 12″ longer that you need it to be to get that puddling look.

Elegant and neutral bedroom

If you like your curtains shorter, it can be easier to keep clean and have more of a streamlined look.

Curtains graze the floor

Here is a break down of different ways to have your curtains attached with hardware and the way it sits on the ground.

Figure out how you want it to sit on the ground.

I know the shorter curtains look terrible. I got them with the intent of finding a cute fabric to sew onto the bottoms to personalize them. The excuse is either I was too busy with school or just lazy and didn’t think about it. I finally decided just start over with a neutral color that can go with any color choice I’m in the mood for.


There are many different ways to do window treatments, for more examples or ideas check out for more in depth information.


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