Curtain Shopping Do’s and Don’ts

Sharing some helpful do’s and don’t for making sure that you select the right curtains for your space. Get my new living room curtains here.

Curtain Do's and Don'ts



KNOW THE PROPER SIZE | Know the size you need before you start shopping. Be sure to take a tape measure to your windows and measure from the floor to a few inches above the window to get a good idea. Even if its in the range, curtains come in standard sizes so when you go shopping, if you measured 94″, then you’ll know you can get standard 96″ curtains and you’ll mount the curtain rod above where you measured at so they fit.

KNOW THE PURPOSE OR LOOK | Know what you’re looking for when it comes to look and function. Are you looking to keep the natural light in your room, maybe you need sheer curtains. Are you looking to keep the light out of your bedroom for a better nights sleep, maybe you need blackout curtains. What about color or pattern… do you want curtains to make a statement, add texture, or just be one with the room? Narrowing these items down a little bit should help you make a decision.

SHOP AROUND | If you’re still unsure on what you’re looking for in your curtains, don’t be afraid to shop around! Nice quality curtains can be an investment for sure… for instance, it took me over a month of shopping around to finally decide on these beautiful textured stripe curtains for my living room. I read the reviews and looked at customer photos like in my online shopping tips post all before making my decision.


MATCH THE ROOM | Curtain rods come in all different shapes and sizes and the decision might seem overwhelming but if you stick with the thought of matching accents that are in your room, you should be good to go. If you have a lot of gold in your room, go with these gold curtain rods. Maybe if you have a house and are looking for a more traditional look, go for customizable wood curtain rods. And if you have a lot of black accents in your room like me, go with black.

MEASURE BEFORE YOU BUY | Similar to measuring the height of your window for your curtain panels, curtain rods also come in all different sizes. Measure the width of your windows before buying your curtain rods, but remember… you will want your curtain rod to be a few inches longer than the window on each side so make sure to go longer than the window.

SELECT YOUR HANGING METHOD | This ties in with one of my “DON’TS” referring to never choosing curtains with grommets for their look. When you’re selecting your hanging method I like to think there’s two main options. You can either just use the fabric pockets that come with your curtains and slide them right on, or you can get some additional rings and clips and suspend your curtains from the rods (shown in the photo above) for a more modern, custom look.


USE MY METHOD | I shared my never fail method to hanging curtain rods in my How to Guide to Window Treatments a while back and it’s still one of my most popular posts to date. Even my dad was pretty impressed to hear about my little trick. If you’re nervous to install a curtain rod on your own, consider reading this post… and remember to save the cardboard inserts that come with your new curtains for this!

DUST THE FLOOR | I’ve had a few people ask me how do you know how high to hang your curtains… I always like to “dust the floor” with my curtains similar to the next picture where the bottom hem of the curtains is just slightly resting on the floor. It gives it a nice, cascading look I just love. This also helps with your previous measurements… if you measured properly, you should then be able to mount your curtain rods a few inches above the windows. If your curtains fall a few inches too short for the floor and your curtain rods are already installed, consider adding some rings and clips for some added length.


SKIMP ON SIZE | Don’t skimp on size! I’ve always loved the saying “measure twice, cut once” a woodworking saying basically meaning what it sounds like..measure twice to confirm before you cut your piece of wood because if you cut it too soon and its wrong you’ll have to start over. If you’re still unsure, go back to my first “DO” tip and make sure to measure the height of your window from the floor before shopping!

GROMMETS | This is obviously a preference thing, but I always always always try and stay away from curtains with grommets… those are the big metal rings in the top of the curtains to hang on the curtain rod. They just really remind me of college and I think that pocket curtains or hanging your curtains with rings and clips leans more current and modern.

ONE PANEL VS. A SET | Make sure to read the packaging before you buy your curtains people! It’s very common today for curtains to be sold as a single panel, most likely to be marked as one panel which means that you’ll need to buy two in order to complete one window.

Curtain Do's and Don'ts Curtain Do's and Don'ts Curtain Do's and Don'ts

Get my new living room curtains here.

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