Most homeowners feel confident measuring for their new curtains without the assistance of a professional, and there's no reason why they shouldn't. That said, there are several mistakes that can be made, and committing them can make your curtains look poorly fitted or prevent them from effectively blocking out light and providing privacy.
Here are just four common mistakes to avoid.
1. Not Providing Space at Either End
People often think that they need to measure their blinds to cover from one side of a set of windows to the other. However, curtains actually need to cover an additional couple of inches on either side of each set of windows. When pulled, your curtains should hang to the side of the window to ensure an uninterrupted view. If you only measure them to cover the space of the window and don't add a few inches to either side, your curtains will bunch along the sides of the windows and reduce the amount of viewable space.
2. Starting Right Above the Window
Another common measuring mistake is to start right above the window. Whether you're going for floor-length or sill-length curtains, it's best to have your curtains fitted so they hang from a few inches above the point where the windows start. If you don't you will find that sunlight shines through the eyelets when the curtains are drawn. Additionally, it usually looks more attractive if the curtains start closer to the ceiling.
3. Stretching Fabric Too Thin
Ideally, you want to be able to draw your curtains without having them completely stretched out. Thanks to the way curtains are hung, they will tend to wave backwards and forwards, moving behind the pole and then in front of the pole. If you don't use enough fabric, this gentle wave effect will be destroyed. Instead, your curtains will seem to stretched. Even if they extend across the entire space created by your windows, the effect just isn't very attractive. Make sure you account for this affect by adding enough fabric to ensure that the curtains will still look relaxed when drawn.
4. Finishing Right Below the Window
Floor-length curtains are usually preferred, but they are not always ideal; for example, sill-length curtains are more suitable if there is a radiator right beneath the window in question. Whatever your reason for having sill-length curtains, make sure you don't have them end right where the windows end. For starters, curtain fibres can slightly contract and expand under different conditions, so you might find that they don't provide effective coverage. Also, the wind will be more likely to blow the curtains around when windows are open behind them without the wall to act as a brace, and items can be more easily knocked off the windowsill if your curtains end right on that level.
We have just bought a new house, and the guy who lived here before us smoked in the house for close to 40 years. The first thing I knew we had to change as soon as we moved in was the curtains, because I can't bear the smell of stale smoke. I looked around at a few different options and settled on some beautiful cream curtains with a delicate pattern and a blackout backing so that the dawn doesn't wake me each morning. This blog explains some different stylish options for window coverings for your home, including curtains and blinds.