A prominent architectural feature is an arched window or doorway. Window treatments for arched windows come in a number of styles. Curtains can be hung from the arch’s peak using a flexible curtain rod. Covering the entire window isn’t usually essential, though. An arched window allows for privacy when the lower portion of the window is covered by a curtain, but still lets light in through the top portion of the window. The arch also adds visual appeal to the space’s design, allowing natural light to enter the room at all times. Whether you build it yourself or order it from a custom drapery shop, the best option is usually a custom-made curtain panel. To hang your bespoke panel, you’ll need to take precise measurements of the window and then install the curtain rod.
Measuring for Custom Curtain
The curtain rod should be put in the exact spot where it will be. Ideally, this should be about 1/8 of an inch above the point at which the window’s vertical sash meets the arch’s curve. Measure the distance between the top of the curtain rod and the bottom of the curtain — at the sill, 4 inches below the sill, or all the way to the floor. To account for the hems on the top and bottom of the curtain, add 12 inches to this dimension. It’s important to keep track of this length.
To get an accurate measurement of the window’s width, measure from one side to the other. Depending on the length of the rod return on either side, you may need to add 6 or 8 inches to the width dimension. Generally, a curtain rod return of 3 inches is used for sheer or lightweight fabrics, and 4 inches is used for heavier materials. Include a fullness margin to ensure that the curtain panel is hung correctly folded. If you’re using sheer curtains, double the total width by 3, by 2 1/2 for medium-weight fabric, or by 2 if you’re using heavy fabric. The side hems should be 6 inches longer. Make a note of this measurement as the breadth you’ll need.
Specify the length and breadth of the curtains you want to have made by the custom drapery company or seamstress. Specify the “necessary” length and width, not the finished length and width, in your order form. Informing your seamstress of the inclusion of all hem and fullness allowances is important.
Hanging the Curtain
Each side of the arched window should be marked with a straight line about 1/8 inch above where the straight side stops, using a level to do so. The bottom of the window will be entirely covered in this manner. Place the bracket above the line where the rod will be positioned and tighten the screws. Using a pencil, indicate the location of each screw. For each bracket, repeat this procedure.
Pilot holes should be drilled through the pencil markings you just made. For drywall-to-wall anchors, insert wall anchors made of polyethylene plastic (PEP). Keep the anchors level with the surface. Assemble the bracket by placing it over the pilot holes and screwing it in place from the top. Continue this process for each of the brackets.
Curtain rods should be threaded through the curtain panel’s rod pocket at the top. Use the brackets to hang the rod. If you want to add tieback hardware, you can pull the curtain apart at various heights to find the optimum location for it.
Arched Window Treatments
Elegant Victorians, ultra-modern lofts, and cookie-cutter tract houses all benefit from the unique look provided by arched windows. When it comes time to cover them, their timeless charm and simple geometry make them a highly sought-after architectural element.
Even the most experienced designers are frightened by a simple curve. Fortunately, you’re not the only one who has encountered this problem. Make the most of the arch’s traditional beauty while resolving issues about light management and privacy with a variety of proven designs.
Questions to Ask
- Is it necessary to drape the arch with curtains?
- As a decorative item, should I get window scarves?
- Straight curtain panels on each side of the arch should be hung, or should they be ignored?
- Should I hang drapes from the medallions above the arch to accentuate the curve?
- Will a custom-made arching curtain rod be worth the money?
Semi-Custom Curved Curtains
The top hem of your curtain panels can be transformed into this semi-custom treatment by sewing loops or ties along the top hem.
- Make use of affordable drapery medallions or drawer knobs to decorate the arch and above the curtain loops or ties.
- Measuring from the floor to the highest medallion is a good way to figure out how long your curtain panel should be.
- To fit the curve, you can either leave the curtain hems adjusted or tie them back on either side.
Use ready-made window panels and ordinary curtain hardware if you don’t care about light control or privacy.
- To visually separate the arch from the lower portion of your arched window, choose a point along the upper one-third of the window and run a curtain rod across the aperture.
- The lower portion of the arch can be treated as two independent window openings if you hang your window panels over the lower portion.
For arched windows, drapery scarves or sheer fabric can be used as swag valances.
- A decorative curtain tieback or medallion should be installed above the arch’s central peak and one should be installed on each side of the window where the arch terminates and the vertical drop begins.
- Wrap the scarf around the middle post by folding the fabric in half.
- In order to create a draping effect from point to point, take a section of scarf and wrap it around the right tieback.
- Use a twist knot or double-sided tape to keep it in place.
- Make any necessary modifications and repeat the process on the other side.
You can choose whether or not to have the scarf tails hang symmetrically or asymmetrically. Over the lower windows, put sheer curtain panels if you’re worried about privacy.
6 Steps on How to Hang Curtains on Arched Windows
To begin, gather the materials listed below;
- Measure with a tape measure.
- The material of the drapes
- Drapery pegs
- Plastic anchors for the wall
Step #1: Measure for Custom Curtain
Starting with these steps, you determine where you want to place your curtain rod in your arched window. Ideally, it should be about 1/8 inch above where the straight vertical side of your window meets the arch’s curvature.
Measure from where you plan to hang your curtain rod all the way down to the window sill, or wherever you’d like your curtain to hang.
It could be anywhere from a few inches below the sill to all the way to the floor. For the top and bottom hems, add an additional 12 inches to your dimensions. Make a note of your measurements and multiply them by the required curtain length.
Step #2; Measure the Width of the Window
Measure the distance from one side of your window frame to the opposite side of your window frame. The breadth will be increased by approximately 6-8 inches. Depending on the curtain rod return you have on both sides, this measurement will also be different.
To measure the distance between the curtain rod and the wall, use rod returns. In general, it is 3 inches for light materials and 4 inches for heavy fabrics. The fullness allowance is necessary to ensure that your curtain folds correctly when it is installed.
If you’re using sheer fabrics or a sheer curtain, double the overall width dimensions by three, two and a half for medium weight fabric, and two for heavy curtain fabric. The side hem allowance should be 6 inches longer than the length of the garment. Please note the required width on your list.
Step #3: Cutting
Using the dimensions you’ve taken, cut your curtain fabric to the correct length and width. Make your curtain according to the measurements you’ve taken. To give you the completeness you desire, down to the hems.
Step #4: Hang the Curtain
In order to hang curtains on arched windows, you must follow these instructions. You can verify sure the curtain rod is straight by using a level.
Measure 1/8-inch above the point at where the window’s straight sides meet and mark a straight line on both sides.
Covering the bottom of the window can be accomplished in this manner as well. Using a pencil, mark out the screw points on the bracket where you’d like it to go on your rod. A pencil will be used to make the points. Do this for each of the brackets.
Drill pilot holes into the areas you’ve marked with your pencil, then insert plastic wall anchors into those holes.
Fasten the bracket to the pilot holes using screws. To begin, poke a hole in the ceiling. For each bracket, do the same thing..
Insert the curtain rod into the rod sleeve at the top of the curtain panel. You then fasten the curtain rod to the brackets. Tieback hardware can be added if desired.
How do I Hang Curtains When the Window is at the top of the Wall?
Hardware-free hooks can be used. Place the hooks on the top corners of your window or any nearby wall surfaces, and then insert your rod into the hooks that have been transformed into brackets.
Using only a lighter rod and sheer curtain fabrics will help you avoid damage, though. The steps for hanging curtains on arched windows above change slightly in this manner.
4 Tips for Using Curtains on Arched Windows
- A straight curtain rod that extends from one side to the other is a good approach to show off the arch’s shape. Pulling back the panels on either side of the window with ornate tiebacks is possible.
- Create a custom-shaped valance that mimics the arched curvature to make it more formal. Voile, crepe, or gauze textiles can be used to lessen the effect on the lower portion of the window.
- Hang your curtain panels below the arch for a more modern look. That way, you’ll be able to let in as much natural light as possible.
- Before purchasing drapes for arched windows, be sure to take precise dimensions. Arched windows are available in a variety of sizes. Each arched window’s height and width should be recorded. A paper template is the easiest way to get precise measurements for custom curtains.
A Ready-Made Arched Curtain Rod
Questions & Answers
Where can I purchase the black arching curtain rod?
Custom-made wrought iron black arched curtain rods can be found on the internet. Local curtain rod companies will come to your home and measure an arched window for you if you live in a large metro region.
By Linda Chechar 2019
Start a Conversation!
On July 27, 2020, Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona:
There is a unique blackout curtain for the child’s room that is arched. Alternatively, a conventional straight curtain rod can be placed above the arch in its place. That way, you’ll be able to get a more affordable blackout curtain.
On July 27, 2020, Kristy:
Hello! In less than two months, our 20-month-old son will be moving into a big boy bed in a different room. I’d like to hang blackout curtains in his new room, but I don’t want to use a straight rod; instead, I’m thinking of doing something like the arched rod in your last photo. How did you get the look of a curving shower curtain rod on the wall (if at all possible)?
As of July 22, 2020, this is what Linda Chechar (author) in Arizona has to say:
Find UV-filtering cloth for the enormous picture window curtain for Victorians trapped in tradition.
July 22, 2020: victorianstuckontradition
There are beautiful views from every window in our Victorian-style property. Our living room boasts 10 foot ceilings and arched windows. I’m at a loss for what to do with the large picture window treatments. I’m not looking for anything that might get in the way. Something to block the sun during the day is needed. I have a few ideas but am at a loss as to which one to pursue. Thank you for your kind words.
This is what I received on March 11, 2020, from Linda Chechar (author) in Arizona.
Louise89, I’m delighted you found it interesting!
On March 11, 2020, Louise89 wrote:
Thank you for the helpful advice!
On January 10, 2019, Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona wrote:
When we lived in California, Liz, my husband, and I ran a curtain-making business. Creating custom window coverings is a time-consuming and expensive process. This is why I came up with these simple curtain designs that save homeowners money.
By Liz Westwood, first posted on January 9, 2019:
Absence of arced window frames Putting up curtains had never occurred to me as a particularly difficult task. In your essay, you offer some brilliant answers.
If you’re trying to figure out how to hang curtains on arched windows, keep these guidelines in mind:
- It may be necessary to install wall anchors if you have a large window or if you have a large number of heavy-duty rods.
- Place the curtain rod in the window. In case the eyeholes in your curtains are larger, insert the curtain rod through them. Curtain rings or clips should be used to secure your panels to the rods if they are not already attached.
A room with arched windows is both functional and visually appealing, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of natural light every day.
Curtain panels that are custom-made are the best bet for your window treatment. To make this, you may either sew it yourself or buy it from a custom curtains store.
Measure the arched window before you begin to hang your bespoke curtain panel to ensure that it fits perfectly.