I’ve been so happy with the new look of the curtains I’ve had in my living room for almost five years now that I feel I must share with you all what I’ve learned, and I have outlined some tips and why I love IKEA’s new hardware so much below. I know, I know, a blog about curtains is understandably boring to many people, and this post is not for them. There are some people out there that get really excited about window treatments! But, mostly this post will be most helpful for people who want their curtains to look pretty, but can’t quite figure out where they are going wrong. I know this, because I was one of those people.
I believe my first “window treatment”, if you could call it that, was done by swagging some fabric over a couple of curtain pull backs placed on either side of my window, which was covered by white plastic beaded curtains. It was definitely the late 90s. (OH, how I wish I had some photos for you… maybe I’ll dig some up one day). In college I was a little better, I used all IKEA supplies by this point (so cheap), and I definitely believed in putting your curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible (always a good rule, as explained later), but I still felt they looked frumpy–they never hung quite right. I also never hemmed them. When we moved in to our current place, for whatever reason, I decided to place them too close to the window. You can see in the below photo that I had already started moving our curtains over to curtain hooks. Without the hooks, it’s too hard to open the curtains, and they were too bulky to move out of the way of the window and let the light in! Then I raised them when we painted, and I put all the curtains on curtain hooks, but they still looked frumpy; Also you could see the backs of the curtains too often. And now:
What I used:
HUGAD curtain rod (83″-152″) $5.99 (1) = $5.99
HUGAD curtain rod (47″-83″) $5.99 (2) = $11.98
VÄSENTLIG Finials $4.99 (3) = $14.97
SYRLIG Curtain ring with clip and hook $3.99 (3)= $11.97
BETYDLIG Wall/Ceiling Bracket $1.49 (6) = $8.94
RIKTIG Curtain Hook $2.99 (2) = $5.98
*If your curtains do not already have gathering tape attached as ours did, you will also need to buy the RIKTIG gathering tape for $2.99 and sew it on to your curtains.*
Why I love IKEA’s new-ish curtain hardware:
- They are thicker. Their previous rods were 3/4″ thick! These are about 1 1/8″ in diameter. It also means larger curtain rings. These things have made a huge difference in the overall “grandness” effect, and they look much more substantial than they used to.
- The brackets are easier to put up. With most curtain hardware, you have one tiny hole to try to screw into, and usually it’s hard to screw it in because part of the bracket is blocking your screwdriver. The actual curtain rod holder can be disconnected from the bracket, leaving you with what is essentially just an L bracket, and it is so. much. easier. to screw it in! Also, instead of having two holes for screws, they give you one large slot, so you can screw one screw in, and adjust as necessary for the next screw. Also, if you decide you need to double rod your windows, you don’t need new brackets; just flip them over! So smart.
- The brackets come with a cover to hide the screws. This is probably my favorite aspect of these new brackets. I love not being able to see the screws! It is just a much more finished look.
- You seriously can’t beat the price. All of my curtain hardware in my living room cost me less than $60!
Some general guidelines when it comes to hanging curtains:
- No matter what you do, hang the rod as close to the ceiling as possible. This helps your room to look bigger, and draws the eye up. These are very good things. When everything is about eye level in a room, things start to feel suffocating. If you’ve got crown moulding, great! Hang it right below. If you need further persuasion to move your rods, check out these (On a side note, I’m loving that drapery return idea. Next on the list! I can finally cover the ridiculous track up the wall!)
- The next most important thing is to hang the rod so it extends over both sides of the window. The fabric needs to have a place to go when you want to open the curtains and let the light in. If the fabric has no where to go, it will partially block the window, and therefore you will be blocking light. There is a really great formula in this blog post about how far out to hang the rod.
- Curtains should graze the floor. A bonus to only using IKEA stuff here is that IKEA sells super long curtains for great prices. I’ve never found ready made curtains that long anywhere else.
- Use curtain hooks (properly). At some point on my journey, I started using curtain hooks with clips but I didn’t clip them on the right spot (as demonstrated in the middle photo). Moreover, I didn’t even know about proper curtain hooks. Think about it… how often do you see curtains from the back?! Even on blogs, and how-tos, they don’t talk about curtain hooks like this very often. I’m sure my mom knows about them, but this knowledge never got passed onto myself. This was a game-changer for me! I figured out how to use them! Check out my tutorial about how to make triple pleated curtains using IKEA’s curtain hooks here.
P.S. This is the 30th post of my 30 day blogging challenge! I did it! My second 30 day challenge of the year is done! I’ll blog about what I’ve learned! :D