Window dressing is one of the quickest ways to change the look and feel of an entire room. There are many different options for hanging curtains, from basic solutions to more elaborate, decorative methods. Different types of curtains, decor styles and budgets call for different kinds of hardware, each giving a different finished effect.
Types of Rods
There are a few standard types of curtain rods and related hardware, each resulting in a different effect. The most economical choice is a standard curtain rod, which has a 90-degree bend at each end. The ends mount flush to the wall using special brackets included with the curtain rod. Another popular choice is a straight, decorative curtain rod. These rods are long poles with decorative finials at each end. The pole rests in wall-mounted brackets that hold it the desired distance from the wall. In spaces where traditional curtain rods are not ideal, tightly string wire between two eye bolts instead. This method works well in large spaces where traditional rods may not be long enough to suffice.
How the curtains are hung from the rods depends largely on the style of the curtain and type of rod. Some curtains have large loops---tabs---at the top, through which the curtain rod slides; similarly, some curtains have a row of large grommets across the top for feeding through a curtain rod. These types of curtains work best with decorative rods, as portions of the rod remain exposed after hanging. However, most curtains have a long pocket for the rod running from end to end of the curtain which conceals the rod. These type of curtain panels are also ideal for use with clip-on curtain rings, which work well with decorative rods and make the curtains easier to slide open and shut.
If you wish to hang multiple layers of curtains such as a sheer panel beneath a heavier panel, you need extra hardware. Each set of panels requires a separate set of curtain rods, allowing each layer to be drawn individually. If you prefer decorative rods, save money by using inexpensive standard rods with the inner layer of curtain. Hang the decorative rod over the standard rod, making sure the outer layer is mounted farther from the wall so it hangs properly. The outer layer of curtains will hide the inexpensive rod underneath. Disguise the rods further by adding a decorative valance or cornice board to the window.
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