You splurged on that new sofa and table. You found the perfect hue for the walls. But now what to do with the windows? Well-done window treatments do so much for a room—bringing in color, warmth, beauty and the perfect balance of natural light and privacy.
If you’re on the hunt for new curtains and window treatments, here are some FAQs that can help you in your quest.
Is your style formal, casual or modern?
Pinch-pleat panels are the most formal. Back-tab panels are elegantly simple, with hidden tabs that create soft, loose folds. If you prefer a modern or casual style, look for grommet-top or tab-top panels.
Rod-pocket panels, which are gathered with a slightly ruffled top, can look traditional, casual or modern, depending on fabric, color and pattern.
Curtain rods are typically 8″ longer than the width of the window and are hung 4″ above the window. For the illusion of a taller window, hang the rod higher, even as close as 2″ from the ceiling, and extend the panels all the way to the floor.
For the illusion of a wider window, use a longer rod and leave more of the window uncovered. Just make sure the panels overlap the window by at least an inch.
A vertical pattern adds perceived height; a horizontal pattern adds perceived width.
Do you want to soften the appearance of blinds or shades?
Add a rod-pocket fabric valance above the blinds for softness and color.
If you’re handy, build a simple cornice board with a top, front face and ends using 1×8″ pine. Wrap it with fabric, staple the fabric to the wood and attach to the wall with metal L-brackets. Or check your favorite hobby store for a DIY foam cornice kit.
Do you want to emphasize a decorative curtain rod?
Grommet-top, tab-top, rod-pocket and pinch-pleat panels are all great ways to show off an awesome decorative rod. Grommet-top and tab-top panels slide right onto a rod. You’ll need clip rings to hang rod-pocket or pinch-pleat panels.
To hang a rod-pocket panel, slip the rings onto the rod and use the clips to attach the top edge of the panel. To hang a pinch-pleat panel, remove the clips from the clip rings and replace them with pinch-pleat hooks. Slide the hooks into the back side of the panel, where they will be hidden from sight.
Are you using a basic rod?
If you don’t want the rod to be seen, use rod-pocket, back-tab or pinch-pleat panels. Keep them closed at the center of the rod, and use fabric tiebacks or decorative metal holdbacks to let in natural light.
Do you want to soften your windows and minimize your drapery cost?
If you don’t want to cover much of the window but still want to soften its appearance, use two very short rods, one on either side of the window, and hang stationary panels there, overlapping the window by an inch or more.
Can’t find super-short rods? Go to your local hardware store and get dowel rods cut to size, add a wood finial to the ends and spray paint or stain. Use decorative brackets in a matching finish to hold the two short rods.
Do you want to avoid drilling holes into a wall?
If you’re renting and concerned about losing your damage deposit, consider using a tension rod. Similar to a shower rod, it has a spring that keeps the rod in place inside of a window frame. Most tension rods won’t support a lot of weight, so keep that in mind when choosing panels.
Do you want softly filtered natural light?
Hang sheers in the center of the rod, with decorative panels on each end.
Do you want darkness and privacy?
Use heavy drapes or blackout curtains.
Use a double rod with sheers on the back rod and decorative panels on the front rod. Or hang sheers on a basic rod closest to the glass, and add a decorative rod in front with heavy drapes.
Do you want to let your creativity shine?
Pair solid and patterned panels on the same rod for a more modern look. Or get creative with tiebacks, using rope, fringe trim or strands of beads. Create a canopy over your bed by using ceiling-mount rods. Make a curtain rod out of wire, then use decorated mini-clothespins to attach lightweight sheers.
You’re also not limited to conventional panels. A table runner cut to size could make a gorgeous covering for a cornice or could become a valance attached with clip rings. A fabric shower curtain can add a fun pop of color and pattern. Personalize a neutral-colored panel by stenciling a border or hot-gluing decorative trim along the inner edges and bottom hem.
Is it time to bring in the experts?
Got a DIY imagination without the DIY skill set? The JCPenney In-Home Custom Window team can help. A decorator consultant can come to your home and help create the perfect custom look for you to fit both your style and your budget. With more than 9,000 choices of pattern and color, the options are almost unlimited.
Just need help with measuring and installation? Technicians can visit your home, measure your windows and then return for the installation, all for a small fee.
How does your personal style shine through your window treatments? Share your favorite designs on Instagram and Twitter using #jcpHome.