James grew up working on a cattle ranch in Northern Utah, which taught him how to do many ad hoc repairs and to make use of limited materials. Two years of missionary and humanitarian work in the Philippines with Operation Smile instilled a great appreciation for the opportunity to work, to avoid wasting resources, and to help others. Now back in the U.S., James has worked as a programmer/data engineer for several Fortune 100 companies.
Sometimes the easiest thing to do to completely refresh a room is to update your curtains. A pop of color, a flash of texture, and bam! An elevated room design with both style and function.
Not only are curtains a great decorative addition, but they also help to keep the light out. This is especially important when the room is home to a picky room tenant who really doesn’t appreciate it when the sun shines through during nap time. The tenant politely requested an improvement, STAT, so I’ll be making sure our new curtains are extra thick and solid to block out that pesky light.
Beyond functionality, curtains can be a great opportunity to really let your personality shine. If you’re stuck, take a look through our style inspiration tips and tricks to find out what colors, patterns and designs will really set your room off!
Once you’ve settled on a design and have your curtains and curtain rods in hand, hanging curtains can be a perfectly simple task as long as you have a few of the following tools:
When hanging anything from a wall, the most important step is to first locate your studs. If you can’t locate any studs, drywall anchors work in a pinch and give the extra little bit of support your curtain rods need. To install these, drill a pilot hole first, and then hammer the mounts into the hole before screwing directly into them.
I recommend drilling into wooden studs whenever possible, especially for things like curtains that get handled a lot. We want to make sure you’re installing curtains that last, so durability is key - especially if you’re anything like us and there’s a rambunctious kid running around pulling on anything that isn’t securely fastened to the wall.
Most standard windows have a layout similar to the one shown in the diagram above, where the window frame is supported by studs on all sides. The specific studs we’re looking for are called the King studs and the Header, located on the sides and top of the window frame.
Using your stud finder, find the outside edge of the studs we just identified and measure several times before marking them off.
Once you’ve identified all of the stud edges, find the middle by measuring the distance between the edge and the window frame, making a mark that will be used as our drill guide.
When hanging curtains, I always recommend starting by drilling a hole first with a small drill bit to avoid stripping the screw.
When making a pilot hole, always use a drill bit smaller than your intended screw!
Picking up your curtain rod, use a level to double check that your pilot holes line up accurately. If the rod is level, then you can now partially screw your curtain rod into the wall, leaving it loose so that you can still move it around.
The curtain rod I’m using was sold by AmazonBasics and is 88 inches long, inexpensive but good quality, and contains all the parts I need for the installation.
Taking the curtain rod apart at the center, fold your curtain like a closed accordion and slide it onto the rod. I opted for the thermal insulated Grommet blackout curtains by Nicetown. They’re soft, machine washable, and designed to block out sunlight, aka; perfect for a sleeping baby.
Now that we have both sides of the curtain on we're ready to finalize our curtain rod! Using either a drill bit or a hand screwdriver, tighten the screws in the curtain rod until it’s firmly secured.
Finally, there’s just one last step before we call it a day and sit back admiring our handy work. In order to support the weight of the curtains and prevent sagging, we want to make sure we install the support hook. To do this, measure the width of the entire window frame, and then find the center and mark it off. Using the exact same process outlined in steps 3-6, install your support hook and attach it to the curtain rod.
We did it! You now have a pair of gorgeous curtains accenting your room that even my toddler approves of (After throwing a few pandas around of course).