Guest Room Makeover – Hanging Curtains

Last we chatted about the guest room makeover, the walls had been painted a deep green. And wow, that paint transformed the space! So cozy, so bold, so fun! This space was off to a great start. Next up? Hang curtains to bring the cozy factor up even more.

We’ve chatted about hanging curtains on the blog a lot and our biggest takeaway is to always go HIGH AND WIDE off the window! This rookie mistake shows what it looks like to hang your curtains right on the window (along with some flooded curtains…eek!). And this post shows how to make your ceilings and windows look bigger just by hanging curtains correctly. Who knew there was so much that went into choosing how to hang curtains in your home?!Guest room painted Essex Green

But back to the guest room. There were already window treatments on this window (that are used to black out the light for any guests), but I still wanted to hang curtains to add some warmth to the space. That wall was begging for some life, and hanging high-quality fabric on it seemed like the best way to go.

Choosing Curtains

In the past, both Bridget and I have turned to Ikea for the curtains in our homes (you can see my DIY blackout curtains in my bedroom here). They’re inexpensive and nice, but you do have to wash and then hem them yourself. Instead of going that labor intensive route, I decided to try out the company Alva. They do custom drapery, blinds, and shades, but it’s not nearly as expensive as it would be in a showroom. They are not sponsoring this post, but in full disclosure, they did provide the curtains for the bedroom. Curtain samples

I ordered some free swatches to see what would look best with the dark green walls.

After hemming and hawing, and trying all of the samples up on the walls…I decided I liked the color “Oyster” the best. It wasn’t too stark of a white, yet not too creamy that it would look dirty next to the white window trim.

Measuring the WindowsPainting a bedroom essex green

See those 2 outlets on the window wall? I knew I wanted the curtains to cover them, and I also knew I wanted to hang the rod almost to the ceiling. With Alva, you just give them the total area you want to be covered and then they’ll figure out how many panels and the other details. I decided to go 20″ off the windows on each side, and then 10″ over the window. That meant my entire area to be covered was 116″ wide by 100″ long. I know 20″ sounds like a lot off each side of the window, but remember, I want these curtains to make a statement and I don’t want them to block the light from this window at all (because with the dark paint color, we want all the light we can get!) Instead, I want them to cover the walls when fully open.

Alva offers a few different curtain styles and I decided to go with the inverted pleat style because it looks pretty casual and relaxed. Armed with my measurements, the style choice, and the fabric choice, I placed my order. Two weeks later, the curtains arrived!

Tips to Hang CurtainsGold curtain rod on a dark wall

We’ve already shared a step-by-step tutorial on how to hang curtains here, so I won’t bore you with those details. Instead, let’s chat about some tips to consider when hanging curtains.Hanging curtains at the right height

Whenever I hang curtains, I usually hang the hardware, put the curtains up, and then hem them. That way the curtain length is perfect…just “kissing” the floor. However, these curtains already came hemmed, so we had to be very precise when hanging the curtain hardware. That meant steaming the curtain panels ahead of time so they were at their max length when hanging.

Order the Correct HardwareWest Elm Curtain Rings

We ended up going with this brass curtain rod and these curtain rings. Because we were going 116″ wide with the curtains, we had to buy the largest size for the rod. Make sure your rod is long enough, especially when you’re going really wide off of the window. You don’t want to use a 108″ rod when you need it fully extended at 108″ or else it will be flimsy. Instead, size up with the rod.Gold curtain rod and curtain rings

As for the curtain rings, we ended up buying 21 of them and thought that would be enough. Nope. We needed 3 more rings. Sadly, the rings are back ordered until May (grrrr), so a few of the pleats are temporarily without a curtain ring (so you may notice they’re not quite perfect in these “after” photos). But I will say…I really do love the rings and I know it will look perfect when it’s all said and done.

Measure Twice, Drill OnceCurtain rings and rod from West Elm

As I mentioned a minute ago, because the curtains came hemmed we had to be incredibly precise when hanging the brackets for the curtain rod. This ended up being a two-person job, and Sarah and I tackled it together. We put the rings onto the curtains, slid them on the ring, and then held them up to find the perfect location for the bracket. We ended up going about 10 inches over the window sill and 20 inches to the outside of it.

Keep One Ring on the OutsideWhite curtains on a dark green wall

You might not know this curtain tip. Keep one ring on the outside of the bracket on each side. This prevents the curtains from pulling too far into the center when you close them and keeps the curtains spread out nice and evenly. It’s a pain to take them off and do this after the fact, so make sure you do this when hanging.

The New Curtains – Before & AfterGuest room painted Essex GreenHanging curtains high and wide off the windowRoom painted in Benjamin Moore essex greenHanging curtains in the guest room

We hung the curtains on a random Wednesday night and when we were finished, Finn and my brother walked in the room and both couldn’t believe how different the room looked. We all agreed that the room looked 10x bigger and the ceilings looked so high.How to hang curtains so you ceilings look taller

It was crazy how it instantly transformed everything! I’m telling ya, even if you don’t need curtains on a window, it might be worth it to add some to make your room feel cozier, yet larger at the same time.White curtains with a brass curtain rod

And I’m soooo happy we went with the brass curtain rod and rings. They really pop off the dark green walls and add a glam touch to this space.

What’s Next?

How to hang curtains in a bedroom space

Here’s a little sneak peek of the nightstands in the space. I absolutely adore them. The light wood looks great on the dark wall and really brightens things up. We’re still waiting on the lamps for the nightstands to arrive, along with the dresser that will go on the wall near the entrance. Plus, we need to lay down the colorful rug we got (can’t wait to get some color & depth in here!), along with some colorful bed pillows. Oh, and I found some super inexpensive art at HomeGoods for over the bed. Can’t wait to show you guys…How to hang curtains in your home

I’ll be sure to touch base with more progress soon, and then I’m hoping to reveal the final space next month. It’s going to be good!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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