Curtains 101. Our easy guide will help you find the perfect window treatment to enhance your space.

Choosing Your Curtain Length

First, determine where you want your curtains to fall. Make sure you measure knowing that you will mount your hardware and curtain rod high above the window. Second, consider where the window is in your home. Is it above a kitchen sink? Is it a smaller window that you want to appear larger? You can beautify your space by using curtains to visually increase the size of any window. Choosing the right length is key to making your room come together.

How to Measure

First, gather all the measurements for your window, then use those to determine what size treatment you need.

Measure all 4 areas shown in the diagram.

Determining LENGTH of the curtain & vertical rod placement
  1. Measure from the top of the window to the floor (or to your desired length).
  2. Common lengths are just above the sill, above the floor, brushing the floor and puddling on the floor.
  3. Determine where you are going to mount your hardware. Typically this is as high as possible above the window to give the impression that your window and ceilings are taller. Mount a minimum 4" from the top of the frame to avoid hitting the window trim or hardware inside your drywall.

Add these two measurements together for the total length of curtain you will need to achieve your desired look.

Determining WIDTH of your curtain rod & hardware placement
  1. Measure the width of your window.
  2. Measure how far outside your window to mount the hardware. A good rule of thumb is 10-12" out from either side of your window for maximum enlarging effect (if your space allows). This will help give the illusion of a larger window and open up your space.

Add these two measurements together to determine your ideal curtain rod length.

Pro tip: If you intend to close your curtains, you will want approx. 2 times the width of your curtain rod for a fuller look and to avoid pulling the curtains completely flat when closed.

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How many panels do I need?

The first question you should ask is, “How far will I close my curtains?” For an always-open, decoration only look, two panels will be fine. To enjoy closed curtains, you will want panels that are around 2.5 times the width of each window to avoid a tightly drawn look. For double windows, you will generally need four panels.

Determining Your Level of Light Filtration

The amount of light we allow into our homes often defines the room’s overall look and feel. Knowing the right amount of desired lighting is key when choosing your window treatments. We’re here to help you find the best curtains for your space so that your windows are dressed appropriately for your needs.

A curtain illustrating how much light is let through. There are sheer curtains, light filtering, room darkening, & blackout curtains.
  • Sheer

    The brightest option, sheer curtains are often made of lace or another lightweight material. Perfect for creating an open, airy feel for a stuffy dining room or central room.

  • Light Filtering

    Light diffusion in the room can be achieved with various fabric blends that put you in control of how much light filtration you’d like. Easy to care for, these curtains have a modern style and are great for gentle lighting options.

  • Room Darkening

    A more romantic feel, room darkening curtains can be made of silk or velvet and add a luxurious feel to the room. A tasteful choice for formal dining rooms or a modern living room.

  • Blackout

    Perfect for privacy and warmth, blackout curtains give you the option of how much light enters your room. Great for bedrooms where dim, dark levels are preferable.

Selecting a Style

There are several different elements that can affect the overall style of your window treatment. Of course, one of the more obvious is the print or texture of the fabric used. The curtain heading type (or method of hanging) and hardware are two often overlooked elements that can make a big impact.



Easy to open and close, grommet (or eyelet) curtains are great with lightweight fabrics. A popular look for modern styled rooms.

Rod pocket

Rod Pocket

Great for use on windows that won’t be opened or closed often (think dining rooms), rod pocket styling creates a clean look with the rod tucked into the sleeve at the top.

back tab

Back Tab

For a tailored look, curtains with back tab headings have a tendency to naturally pleat, giving your window a hint of elegance.

tab top

Tab Top

Contemporary look with easy hang styling. Works with most fabrics and helps tie a kid’s bedroom or living room together.

Rods & Accents to Consider

Rod Length: The right size curtain rod can help you decide on how open you would like your window to appear. Remember measuring your curtain length? Setting your rod higher and allowing it to reach 10-12" outside the width of the window creates the illusion of openness and more space. For a tighter, more intimate feel, anchor your rod closer to the top of the window and keep it at a shorter length.

Decorative Accents: There are a multitude of finials, brackets, holdbacks and more that can help you personalize and achieve the perfect look for your home. We’ve done some of the work for you with a wide selection of coordinated sets!

Pro tip: If your curtains can’t quite reach your desired length, consider using clip rings to add an extra inch or two.

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