If you read decorating magazines and blogs and watch HGTV, you've heard that you should hang your curtains rods high and wide enough so that your drapes can fall gracefully on either side of the window -- without blocking the light.
See the beautiful room at right from MyHomeIdeas.
But here's the problem with that advice: It means you have to find longer drapes (or lengthen them yourself) and pay for a longer rod. Both things can add a little extra cost to your decorating.
I know this because way too often I have opted for a cheaper, shorter rod and off the rack drapes for my windows. Oh how I wish I'd followed my own advice. It makes such a difference!
Check out the illustration below, which shows a rendering of drapes hung close and short verses those hung long and wide. The room on the left looks bigger, even though both rooms are the same size. And the window on the left becomes a focal point, while the one on the right seems like an afterthought.
Check out the BHG lavender room on the left below. It feels so much bigger and more open than the room on the right. I love the richly colored space at right -- created by Porter Paints -- but the curtain rods just cut off the top of the window and the drapes are blocking a little bit of light.
Below you'll see the way that most people (including me from time to time) hang their curtains. But think how good these spaces (all from BHG) would look with the rods hung higher and the drapes hung wider. The pretty windows would show and the light would come streaming in!