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Measuring For Curtains - Easy As 1-2-3
By Lorrie Browne

I have walked into countless homes with gorgeous furniture, carefully selected wall colors, eye catching artwork and NAKED WINDOWS! What is going on? I understand that a multi-step approach is not for everyone, so today let us attack it from a different angle. Here are some simple instructions that will make the process of hanging curtains very easy. Just measure, choose some hardware and the curtain style, and you are well on your way.

While blinds require precise measurement and mounting, curtains allow you a little more wiggle room. As long as the curtain covers the window, you are pretty much in the clear. Here are some measuring tips that will give off-the-shelf curtains a designer look.

Panel Height- If you want to add some drama to your room, choose a curtain panel that is higher than your actual window. Take advantage of the space between the top of your window and the ceiling. A few years ago it was difficult to find ready-made panels that were more than 84’Δ„ high. Now I am seeing 108’Δ„ regularly and some up 120’Δ„.

Panel Width - This is a true designer secret. To determine the width of your curtains, first take your window width and add at least 3’Δ„ to each side. Then double that number to determine your width. Ever notice that draperies in magazines never look skimpy? This formula will give you a nice full, luxurious look.

Example for a window that is 36’Δ„ wide:

Add 3’Δ„ to each side: 36’Δ„ + 6’Δ„= 42’Δ„

Double that number: 42’Δ„ x 2 = 84’Δ„

So the total width of your drapery panels should be at least 84’Δ„ wide. This is the total width of the pair.

The only thing I would add: put the rings on the draperies and the draperies on the rod before determining your total height.

So please take down that skimpy, sheer swag and dress up your windows with beautiful curtains and give them the dignity they deserve. is the premier DIY interior design and dˆ©cor Web site, with comprehensive home decorating resources and ideas, expert solutions, and a searchable database of over 500 online retailers. Lorrie Browne - a licensed Interior Designer with more than a decade of professional experience - shares her trained eye through insider tips, inspiring articles, and imaginative insights that cover every aspect of interior design and home decorating.

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