Swing-arm curtain rods fix to the wall via a hinge. This enables you to open the curtains by moving the rod, rather than drawing the curtains to one side. Curtains attached to swing-arm rods are usually hung to fully extend along the length of the rod. The weight of the curtain means that short lengths of rod are more readily encountered. Thus, a wide door or window is better served by two swing arm rods meeting in the middle, rather than one. The down side of this configuration is that you may get a gap between the curtains when they are shut.
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Swing-arm curtain rods are particularly useful for hanging curtains across French windows or patio doors. The rods can be fixed so they swing out 180 degrees to completely clear the door space, thus making it easier to get to the doors and open them. The same amount of clearance can be achieved with a much wider fixed rod, but if you do not have sufficient space on either side of the door, swing-arm rods are a good solution. They may open to lie flat against an adjacent wall if the door is close to the corner of a room.
You can create a stunning interior by hanging fabric along a long plain wall of a room. Swing-arm curtain rods can offer an extra twist to this classic design. Create curtains with different colours on each side and hang them along a series of swing-arm rods to fill the wall. By swinging the rods to one side or another, you can change the design of the room at will.
Placing a pair of curtains across an alcove is a quick and cheap way to create a wardrobe. Many older homes feature chimney breasts in the centre of one wall in each room, creating alcoves wither side. Fixing a pair of swing-arm rods to one side of the chimney breast will create the fabric equivalent of cupboard doors.
Dormer windows help create new rooms in the attic but usually create an alcove with the window filling the far end of the recess. The opening parts of the window are usually on either side, which means they are covered by the curtains even when the curtains are open. Dormer windows have no wall space either side to draw the curtains to, so if you open the window the breeze will be restricted by the curtain, or the curtain will be sucked outside. Swing-arm rods enable you to move the curtain away from the window to give you unhindered views and breezes.
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