Curtains and Drapes

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How to Hang Curtains

You may think knowing how to hang curtains is fairly intuitive – get curtains, put on curtain rod, done – but there's a lot to be done before you get to that point. You have choices to make, styles to consider, window dimensions to keep in mind and more.

With our curtain hanging guide, you can learn how to measure your windows, select the right window hardware and how to hang curtains that fit your overall style and design aesthetic. Discover all the window treatments and décor available at Kohl's.

Step #1 How to Measure Windows

All curtain-hanging decisions hinge on the windows you're planning to hang the curtains over. So before you can begin the fun stuff of shopping, you need to know how to measure windows to ensure your curtains will get the job done.

Measuring the Width

To ensure accuracy, measure the width of your window in three places: the top, the middle and the bottom. If you were hanging blinds or other inside-mount window treatments, you'd use the smallest width measurement as your guide. For outside mounts, like curtains, however you instead want to consider how far you'd like the window treatment to extend.

Keep in mind that hardware usually adds two and a half inches to each side of your window for a total of five extra inches. To create the illusion of a wider window, add three to six inches on either side of the window frame.

Measuring the Height

Next, measure the height of your window. If you're hanging kitchen curtains or other smaller curtains, you'll measure from the bottom of your window sill or just below it to the top of your window. For full-length curtains in a living room, measure instead from the floor to the top of your window. To make your room appear taller, add an extra four to six inches to the top of the window.

Use your pencil to mark how high you'd like your curtains to hang. Once you have your measurements for both the height and width, round up to the nearest standard panel size.

Step #2. Choosing Window Hardware

With the measurements done, now you can start making style choices. Before you can choose the curtains however, you need to have curtain rods to hang them on.

If you already have the curtain rod of your dreams, you can skip this section, but if you're looking to upgrade your window hardware (or have none to begin with) consider some of these design styles. Finials come in a variety of designs, making it easy to find a curtain rod that fits your decorating theme. Matching holdbacks and clip rings will complete your polished look.

Step #3. Choosing Curtains

Now comes the fun part, finding out how to hang curtains that fit your personal sense of style and design aesthetic – that means choosing two things: window top treatments and curtain fabrics.

Window Top Treatments

A top treatment is how a curtain fastens to the rod(s) above your window. Choose a top treatment that suits the formality of your space and the hardware you select.

Grommet Curtains

Metal Openings at the top of each panel create a crisp and contemporary look.

Rod Pocket Curtains

A built-in pocket at the top of each panel slips onto the rod for a casual, gathered look.

Tab Top Curtains

Single loops of fabric at the top of each panel are best for casual, relaxed rooms.

Pinch Pleat Curtains

Like a rod pocket, this classic style slips directly onto the rod for a formal look. Thick, gathered pleats complement traditional decor.

Back-Tab Curtains

Loops of fabric on the backs of the panels create the illusion of floating and provide a clean, tailored look.

How to Choose Curtain Fabric

Curtains are available in nearly every fabric type, from light and sheer to heavy and thick, ideal for a number of different window treatment ideas.

Sheer Fabric Curtains

These lightweight curtains complement decor without overwhelming it. They allow light to shine through, giving your room an airy feel. Pair with a heavyweight curtain to achieve a layered look.

Medium-Weight Fabric Curtains

Fabrics like cotton provide moderate levels of light filtration. To maintain privacy while still letting outside light in, choose curtains in this category.

Heavy-Weight Fabric Curtains

Velvet and other heavy-weight fabrics deliver a formal look. These curtains are perfect for providing extra privacy and insulation.

Back-Tab Curtains

Loops of fabric on the backs of the panels create the illusion of floating and provide a clean, tailored look.

Thermal Curtains

The thermal backing on these curtains works year round. In the summer, the curtains keep cool air in your home and hot air outside or vice versa.

Blackout Curtains

These heavy-duty blackout curtains not only block out light, but also create a sound barrier to protect against outside noises.

Curtain Color, Prints and Patterns

To blend your window treatments with your decor, choose curtains that are a few shades darker than your wall color. If you'd like to create contrast, pick a bold color that will complement your decorating scheme. Prints and patterns are another great option when creating a focal point - just make sure they don't clash with your furniture. If you own patterned couches, rugs or bedding, a solid curtain is your best bet.

Layered Window Treatments

Pairing sheer panels, curtains, shades, blinds or valances together creates a completed look, while also providing additional privacy and light filtration. The versatility of this style gives you several possibilities. Using a double curtain rod, you can layer sheers or valances and heavier curtains over blinds or shades, or you can use a single curtain rod to layer your choice of panels over blinds or shades. Depending on your fabric and hardware choices, layering can be simple and casual or embellished and formal.

  1. Curtains: Choose a curtain to either complement your current colors or make a bold statement.
  2. Sheers: Choose sheer panels to allow light to softly filter into your room. For maximum light blocking, pair a patterned sheer window panel with a solid curtain to create the desired effect.
  3. Blinds & Shades: Enjoy privacy when you want it with blinds or shades. They also create a tailored look.
  4. Hardware: Use hardware that coordinates with your decor. Double curtain rods allow you to layer sheer and heavy-weight window panels.