HGTV's Emily Henderson Provides A Handy Rule For The Width Of Your Curtain Rod

Let's face it; curtains are a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Panels, tab-tops, blackout, and double-hang are just some of the vocabulary words one must learn before venturing into the world of window treatments, and that's before you have to start tackling math. If only there was an easier way — an easy design tip — to ensure the perfect curtain hang every time. Well, HGTV host and designer Emily Henderson has come up with just that.

Henderson works as an interior designer and stylist, popular style blogger, and social media influencer, in addition to hosting "HGTV Design Star" and "Secrets from a Stylist." Her fans love her vintage-inspired looks that are simultaneously joyful and grounded, as well as her personal stories of trials and triumphs in her own DIY ventures that she shares on her blog, where she shares tried and true design tips that anyone can follow — including how to best hang a curtain. She recommends hanging your curtain rod higher and wider than your window frame for a perfect look every time.

Start with a curtain rod bigger than your window

In order to make your windows seem big, bright, and open — thereby enlarging the appearance of your room — it's important to mount your curtain rod higher and wider than your window frame. The height of your rod will affect the length of the panels required, but you will need to make sure you purchase a rod wide enough to extend 6 to 10 inches past the outside corner of your window on each side (12 inches to 20 inches wider than your window itself) if space allows.

Henderson says that providing this additional rod space on either side of your window will allow you to push your curtain panels all the way open without them still covering part of your window. Moreover, you should mount the rod one-half to two-thirds of the way between the top of the window frame and the ceiling so your windows and your room seem taller. This will make your space seem bigger than it is and will allow the maximum amount of natural light when open. From there, you will want panels (two standard-sized or one double-sized on each side) that don't stretch too taut when fully extended and reach all the way down to the floor, keeping in mind that too long is better than too short.

Other considerations

For smaller rooms or cramped spaces that don't allow much clearance around your windows, keep your proportions intact by placing your curtain rod as wide as you can on the shortest side and then equalling that distance on the other. This rule of thumb will work for any type of rod or curtain type, from valances to cafe curtains to extra-long treatments, and by being consistent throughout your home with the application of your window treatments, it will make your aesthetic look more intentional and customized, even if the type and color of the curtains are different from room to room.

Your windows are a big factor in design considerations that are often overlooked, but proper window treatments can save on energy costs as well as serve as a huge focal point of your room. More importantly, statement window treatments don't have to be a scary proposition. As Emily Henderson demonstrates, even the most budget-conscious homes can achieve gorgeous, attention-grabbing windows without breaking the bank or losing your mind.