The main functions of curtains are to cover your windows for privacy and to block outside light from coming in. However, there are times when you want to open your curtains to let in sunshine or enjoy the outside view. Holdbacks are useful in this case because they hold the curtains away from the window.
Hook-style holdbacks are U-shaped metal hooks that you install on the wall next to your window, one on each side. They often have finials on the ends. Some finial styles include balls, fleurs de lis, acorns, flowers, points or leaves. For a coordinated, decorative look, many curtain rod manufacturers offer holdbacks that match their curtain rods. However, for purely functional purposes, this is not necessary. Plain, unobtrusive hook holdbacks go virtually unnoticed and blend with any rod or decor style.
Post-style holdbacks are short, straight rods, often with a medallion or finial on the outer end. Like hook-style holdbacks, they are installed on the wall, one on each side of your window. Drape the curtains over them, and the rods hold the curtains away from the window. Medallions and finials in all shapes and sizes add beauty and decoration but also help keep the curtains from slipping off of the rod. Also like hook-style holdbacks, many curtain rod manufacturers offer post-style holdbacks to match curtain rods.
Household Objects as Holdbacks
If you'd like a more eclectic, individualised look in your home, get creative and repurpose everyday objects as curtain holdbacks. For example, old horseshoes work well and look adorable in a little boy's cowboy-themed room. Crystal doorknobs add sparkle and luxury in a bedroom, living room or dining room. Towel rings or ring-shaped door knockers work well; larger drawer pulls are another idea.
In the interior decorating world, tiebacks are technically considered a different tool than holdbacks. However, they perform the same function: to hold curtains out of the way of the window, While holdbacks are rigid and usually metal, tiebacks are soft, flexible and are usually cording or fabric. Curtain tiebacks simply wrap around a curtain and gather them out of the way of the window. You can let the tied curtains hang freely, or install a small hook on each side of the window and loop the tieback onto the hook, which pulls them further out of the way.