Live Better: How to Choose a Great Curtain Rod

A beautiful set of drapes should hang from the perfect rod too.

Closed curtains
Your pretty curtains need the support of a rod that’s equally elegant.Pexels/Pixabay

Nothing puts a homey, elegant spin on windows and sliding doors quite like a beautiful set of curtains. Of course, you’ll need a rod to hang them from, and to choose one, you must determine the length needed for your window, the diameter that will best support the weight of the drapes that will be hanging from it, how high it should sit, how much bracket support will be necessarily and the color and type of rod most suitable for your decorative and practical needs.

Kenney Chelsea 5/8" Standard Decorative Window Curtain Rod, 48-86", Weathered Brown
This one is available in two adjustable sizes and comes in six different finishes.Kenney

If you install a curtain rod too low, it will bring down the ceiling visually, making the room seem puny from the bottom up. Hanging it a few inches above the window or sliding doors so that it’s halfway between the top of the window frame and the ceiling or crown molding will create the illusion of increased height. A rod that extends three to six inches past the window frame horizontally will make a window look more grand and give you extra room to open the curtains and let in more sunshine.

AmazonBasics Room Darkening Curtain Rod - 48" to 88", Nickel
This one curves at the end to block out sidelight and better insulate the room.AmazonBasics

When settling on a color, think about whether you want one that complements both the curtains and the decor of the room by blending in, or an accent rod that’s bolder and stands apart. Which material best suits your interior design: wood, metal or, for heavier curtain fabrics, wrought iron? And would you prefer a fixed-width rod or an expandable telescopic one to change based on your window’s size? If you want to go super high-tech, a motorized rod will allow you to open and close drapes as if by magic.

Ivilon Drapery Treatment Window Curtain Rod - Square Design 1 1/8 Rod. 48 to 86 Inch.
This iron pole’s increased diameter makes it perfect for drapes made of heavier fabrics.Ivilon

Rod sizes are typically listed in diameter, so once you’ve settled on one, you must determine the number of support brackets you’ll need if the pole will hang outside of the window frame area (if it’ll be mounted inside the frame, a tension rod is best). For one 3/8″ diameter wood rods up to 60″ wide and for 2″ and 3″ diameter wood poles up to 96″ wide, two brackets are fine. For higher widths, a third is needed. For fixed-width metal poles of 1″ to 1 1/2″ diameters and up to 60″ wide, two brackets are recommended—and three for widths over 60″. Wrought iron poles of up to 8 feet can hold up with two brackets.

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