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Visible Curtain Rods Selecting the Right Type for Your Window

Visible, Invisible . . . How do I choose?

What difference does it make if your curtain rod is visible or not? A lot! Just like the necklace, scarf or tie you pick to complete your day’s outfit, your choice of curtain rod completes your window covering and complements (hopefully!) your room’s decorating style. A curtain rod really has the ability to make or break your whole room’s look.

So let’s take a look at one of the first decisions you’ll make when picking out a new curtain rod: visible or invisible rods. And that requires a clarification: the invisible rods really aren’t totally invisible. The mostly invisible rods are completely covered – invisible – only when the drapes or curtains are closed. When your curtains are open part of the rod is visible. In other words your curtain rod still needs to complement your d├ęcor whether it’s mostly visible or mostly invisible.

Mostly visible rods are at least partially visible even when your window coverings are closed. When your drapes or curtains are open they’re totally visible, and play a big part in your decorating statement. How do you know which to pick?

Before you read further, it’s confession time. We’re a little biased – but for good reason. You see, some draperies are made to hang from mostly invisible curtain rods. But not all. And this is where our bias comes in: the way we figure it, if you’re going to see all or part of the curtain rod at one time or another, why not pick one you love looking at? Why should you ever have to stare at a long, white metal rod (read: not pretty)? Okay, now you know our little secret, so read on –

Back to that question: how do you know whether to pick visible or invisible? Let’s ask another question first: what kind of window coverings are you using? Like we said, some curtains require the invisible rod called a traverse rod. Pleated drapes are made to attach to hooks that hang from this curtain rod and open-and-close by pulling the cord hanging down one side. So if you’ve got pleated draperies you’ve already got your answer: use the traverse curtain rod.

For all other drape and curtain styles we recommend a visible curtain rods just because it give you the advantage of emphasizing your style. That could mean choosing a natural wood that matches the carved wooden elephant coffee table (everyone has one, right?). Or hanging a gold-toned curtain rod to complement the warm tones in your room. What about using a colorful metal curtain rod to go with that casual, playful look in the sun room?

You can see how a decorative, mostly visible curtain rod can be a great choice for your window, and even if your guests never had a clue your choice can show them what a great decorator you really are!
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Curtain Rods Selecting the Right Style for You

It’s All About Knowing Your Personal Style – Can You Imagine That?

Imagination: the ability to connect to your creative juices. The act of pulling together the perfect elements for your projects. The knowledge necessary for selecting the perfect curtain rod.

It’s funny; most of us don’t think we’re creative, especially when it comes to decorating our homes. We’ve all heard someone say, “Oh, I just don’t think that way. I’m just not creative!” But you know they are – everything in their lives proves it. And you know if they had to pick a new curtain rod they wouldn’t be as overwhelmed as you.

Don’t laugh – curtain rods are an important part of your decorating scheme. They’re like wardrobe accessories: they finish the outfit, make the room pull together and give your windows a completed look. Just start looking at photos of rooms and imagine different curtain rods for the window treatments – you’ll understand. It really is important to choose the right curtain rod! Let’s break this process down into a few fast and east steps. Here we’ll address that imagination thing – how to know what will fit best in your room.

The trick to choosing a curtain rods knows your style, your window, your room . . . your self. Now don’t panic, we’re going to explain how you can do this without losing any brain cells or sanity. It can be as easy as just looking around your room.

So let’s start there: look around your room. Do you know your style? Define it, and name the items in the room that match it. Want to take this a step further? Ask yourself: if you could, what would you add to the room to make it even better? This will sharpen your focus while you look for a curtain rod.

That didn’t help figure out your style? It’s okay, that’s why we’re here, to help you figure it out. Let’s go back to the room.

Sit down in the room and make a list of everything in it you like. Now take a close look at the list. What do all these things have in common: color, style, texture? This exercise may be all you need to get a good idea of what your style is and lead you easily to the next step of picking out a curtain rod: deciding on the right type curtain rod.

Or it might not. If you’re still not sure go to your clothes closet and take a look. What kind of clothes do you prefer? Now the key word here is preferred. Lots of us have a closet full of work clothes but they may not be what we put on Saturday morning. So look at the clothes you like – or love – to wear. Are they all-dressed-up fancy, casual, grungy, themed (you know, like sports)? What color is most predominant?

Now think. Do your rooms and clothes have anything in common? If they do you’re set, and ready for the next step in narrowing down your selection of curtain rods: choosing that right type curtain rod.

Still not sure what your style is? We get it – for some people there are just way too many other things in life that are more important. That’s okay. But you’re still reading this, so it’s time to move on and figure out your style for your new curtain rods!

Here’s a simple strategy: go to a bookstore or library and get a stack of decorating books – ones with lots of pictures. Sit down in a comfy chair and start thumbing through. Make notes while you’re looking. What do you like in each picture? Maybe it’s the color of the walls, or the combination of room colors. Do you like the trim style? Perhaps it’s the furniture that’s grabbed you. Maybe there’s nothing you like, or something you really don’t like. When you’re done look at your list: what do they all have in common?

By now you should feel a lot more confident about what your style is, and picking out your new curtain rods will be so much easier! And don’t worry: if you’re thinking you’re still totally un-imaginative and this just won’t work for you, hang in there. You might be one of those people who has to go through all the steps before the light comes on and you understand. So just keep moving forward.

And congratulate yourself - you’ve taken the first step toward choosing those new curtain rods. You’ve got your style nailed down, or at least loosely gripped, and it’s time for the next step: deciding what type rod will work best for your window treatment. Are you ready?
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How to Buy Curtain Rods

Are you finally replacing those dated window coverings? Don’t forget to replace that curtain rod too – with so many styles, materials, colors and decorative hardware available today, you’ll have a great time picking out your new curtain rods!

Maybe you’re moving into a new place and get to decorate. Don’t overlook the effect a great curtain rod can have on your room. If you haven’t noticed the selections today in curtain rods you’re in for a real surprise.

What are your options? You can choose from standard rods, spring-loaded rods, traverse rods, decorative curtain rods, adjustable rods, magnetic rods, double and triple rods . . . made from brass, chrome, ivory, graphite, mahogany, teak, walnut, plastic, metal . . . . And we haven’t even mentioned color or style yet!

So how do you narrow all these options down to the perfect curtain rod for your window? It’s not as hard as it sounds. Like most projects you’ll need to have a plan, so start deciding - -

Do you want your curtain rod exposed or hidden by the curtains? If it’s exposed it should match the room’s style and decor, so look around the room to figure that out. (A lot of you don’t have to do that; you just know your style. But there are others….)

Now consider what kind of curtain or drape you’ll be hanging. Will it be light and billowy, heavy and insulating or something in between? You guessed it: the weight of the coverings will be instrumental in choosing your rod. Maybe you want a layered look, so you’ll be considering double or triple rods.

How will your rods be hung – inside or outside the window frame? For outside the frame – on the wall: the idea here is usually to cover the window completely. Measure 2-5” out from each side of the window trim. The total curtain rod length should be about 12” longer than your window width. And don’t be fooled: measure each window in the room – they may look the same size, but they may not be!

If you’re hanging a curtain rod inside the window frame (typically spring or magnetic rods) measure at the inside point of the window. Again, measure each and every window – you don’t want any surprises later!

Don’t get scared off and quit yet – this is all easier than you might be thinking. You’ll probably just know what rod is right when you see it. After all, it will probably catch your eye because it‘s your style. So hang in there ‘cause now’s the fun part: shopping!

Today you have the option of buying a pre-packaged curtain rod set with all the parts and pieces you need. That can save you time and energy, and easily meet your window covering needs.

Or you can individually select each part for your curtain rods. Thanks to our access to online stores today you can easily customize your curtain rods. Just mix and match rods, finials, rings, pinch clips, brackets, holdbacks, tiebacks. And don’t hold back (oops!) – go for it all!

Whoa - what are all those things? Well, the finial is that decorative thing that attaches to the end of the rod. You can get them in pretty much any style, size and color you want. Be sure to match it to the rod size, room style and color scheme.

Curtain Rod Rings and pinch clips are similar: they slide on the curtain rod and attach to the curtains. In other words the rod and rings or clips are visible, sort of like some shower curtains.

Brackets are used to hold decorative rods on the wall. They come in every imaginable color, material, style . . . . You won’t have trouble finding a pair to fit your room.

Curtain Hold backs and tiebacks serve the same purpose: to gently scoop up your curtains and hold them at the side of the window. Holdbacks are attached directly to the wall. Tiebacks are often lengths of cording, some with tassel ends that tie around the “belly” of your open curtains to hold them back.

So here you are then, ready to make that plan, Stan, for creating a room you’ll love – all by beginning with the perfect curtain rods! . . . Who’d a though?
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Okay, so How do I hang curtain rods?


If you’ve ever hung a picture you can hang curtain rods – same principles, mostly the same tools. Really – you can do this!

To hang most curtain rods you will need a pencil, measuring tape, hammer, drill, screwdriver and a level. Having an extra pair of hands is really helpful too. You can follow the instructions the come with your curtain rod or just follow these general guidelines.

Remember how you measured to buy the rods? You decided how far out from each side of the window you want your curtains to hang. For most windows you’ll want the curtain to start about 1½ inches above the window trim.

Now look at your curtain rod. For standard hidden rods measure out from the window 3-5” (whatever you decided on) and up from the top 1½”. Mark this spot on each side of the window and make sure it’s level, even, straight – whatever you call it, it’s important! Now just follow the instructions that came with your curtain rod for hanging that particular type of hardware.

For exposed curtain rods, like today’s popular decorative curtain rods, you’ll want to determine where to hang the brackets. Follow the above directions for a hidden rod, except you’ll be marking the spot the bracket hangs – which may a different distance from the window.

Here’s some really helpful information: find out where the “cripple studs” are located. They’re wood studs right around your window. Find out how far out from your window they extend and you’ll have an easy-breezy time hanging your rod – you won’t need anchors or cussing or lots of beer later.

How do you do this? You’ve gotta have a stud finder. It’s an electronic gadget you can get at a hardware store for $10-50. You really only need an inexpensive one if you’re just hanging curtain rods and the occasional wall hanging. Follow the instructions to find your studs and then mark your spots.

If you’re not going to mess around with a stud finder, be sure to attach your rods very close to the window trim – you’ll more than likely find a stud there.

(It’s also handy to know about the window’s header. It’s a solid chunk of wood right above the window that spans the length of the window. It usually doesn’t extend much past the window so you won’t be screwing into it for most rods, but you never know when this kind of info comes in handy!)

Whatever you do, don’t waste your time by using screws too short to do the job. You’ve got to get that screw through the drywall and into the wood so it doesn’t loosen later and fall out!

If you’re hanging a rod inside the window trim you don’t have to find any studs – you’ll be screwing right into solid wood. You’ll also be using special hardware called inside mounting brackets.

What happens if you can’t find any studs or any solid wood to screw into? You’ve still got options, and they will work well for you. Go to your hardware store and ask for toggles or anchors. The EZ toggles and anchors work great, and guess what? They come with instructions and . . . they’re EZ!

Now, at then end of the day, just sit back, relax and enjoy the view of your work and the new curtains decorating your room!