Do you want high-end, custom drapery without the price tag? For the longest time, I thought the beautiful drapes on TV were out of reach for regular folks like me. It wasn’t until I got the opportunity to partner with TwoPages did I realize how much drapes can transform a space and there are actually affordable options out there. In this blog post, I will share 5 helpful tips for hanging curtains from the ceiling to create a luxurious look even in a small space.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Tip 1: use curtain tracks to bring the drapery all the way to the ceiling
We’re all familiar with curtain rods. They come in different styles and finishes. In our house, we use this black curtain rod in the master bedroom, and pair with curtain rings with clips for a sophisticated look.
Curtain tracks are lesser known. They are more popular in Europe or Canada. Sometimes, I also found them online with custom pelmets (see this post on how to DIY pelmet).
Ceiling mounted tracks not only bring the drapery all the way to the ceiling, but also allow us to open and close the drapes freely across a long distance. This is particularly helpful when we have extra wide windows, or want to run the curtain track along the entire width of the room.
Another benefit with curtain tracks is we can operate the drapes without annoying issues: rod sagging, getting separated, or rings catching on joints. There are also curved curtain tracks that can fit around corners and bay windows, which are tricky for traditional curtain rods.
Our first experience installing curtain tracks was above the patio doors. We have two of them right next to the dining room, spanning 14 feet wide. Knowing we will be in and out the door a lot, we wanted something that could open all the way to either side and glide smoothly.
For the guest bedroom, we went with black curtain tracks. The main reason for using curtain tracks vs. curtain rods was because we installed floor-to-ceiling built-ins in this room and wanted the window treatments to match the top of the built-ins, instead of hanging a few inches below. Hanging curtains from the ceiling draws your eye up and elevates the entire space even with a small footprint. The curtain tracks have round ends that look polished and little plastic rollers to hook the drapes onto.
Tip 2: double the window width for curtain panels
In the past, I always thought curtain width should match the total width of the window. It works functionally, but aesthetically it is not that pleasing. There is actually a simple design trick that many designers use. In my opinion, it’s the best kept secret for luxurious drapery looks.
The result is a fuller look when the curtains are open AND closed.
Another general rule of thumb is to hang curtains high and wide, so the window appears larger.
To get the right width for the curtains, first measure from side to side (including the window casings), then add approximately 8” to 12”. There really isn’t a hard rule of how far the curtains should extend from the window, but adding an additional inch will help create a grander effect.
For my guest bedroom, the total window width is 64”, I added 8” to get to 72” for each curtain panel.
Tip 3: use adjustable hooks to get the perfect curtain length
Choosing the right curtain length can be tricky. There are a couple of factors to consider: Will there be curtain rings or drapery hooks? Where will the curtain rod go? What is the heading style? Rod pockets and back tabs hang the curtains higher, while rings or hooks lower the curtains.
Another important factor is how the curtains meet the floor. Do you like curtains hover, break (kissing the floor), or puddle? I prefer the curtains to hover just above the floor, so they don’t drag across the floor and look cleaner.
Use adjustable drapery hooks to make fine tuning curtain length easy.
The ones that came with the TwoPages package can shorten the curtains up to 3 inches, making it a lot easier to adjust the height for different styles.
Tip 4: getting the perfect pleats is easy with memory shape drapes
Have you successfully trained curtains? There are great tips online on how to steam, iron and train curtains to get the perfect folds. Somehow I’ve only been successful in shrinking mine. LOL.
If you also don’t know how to train curtains, consider adding the memory shape feature to your custom drapes. My TwoPages drapes were in shipping for 3 weeks, then sat in the package for another 3 weeks. There were very few wrinkles, and the pleats were perfectly straight the moment I hung them up. No training needed. Or sewing, steaming…How cool is that?!
Tip 5: find affordable readymade curtains online
Window treatments vary in price greatly. Shop at IKEA, Target or Walmart to get curtains at less than $50 a panel. If you want designer-inspired, pinch pleat drapes that would fit within a smaller budget, check out these ready-made options. They’re priced at less than $100 per panel (some even less than $20) as I wrote this article.
Pick the ones closest to your measurement, erring on a couple inches longer than shorter.
Finally, here are all the details of the custom drapes I received from TwoPages.
- Liz Polyester Linen Drape
- Ivory White
- Triple Pleat
- Single panel width 72 inches, length 106 inches
- Room Darkening, Shading Rate 75%-90%, 140 gsm polyester white
- Body Memory Shaped
I hope the design tips and product links in the post are helpful. These are tried and true rules that I’ve experimented with myself and seen others follow. Feel free to leave a comment below, if you have any questions.