How To Hang Curtains So They Overlap To Block Light And Create Privacy

Blocking light and privacy are the two most essential functions of curtains. However, how you hang them is important in how effectively they can do this job for you. If you need help with this, you've come to the right page. We asked for tips from the experts and we're more than happy to share them with you.

Your curtains should overlap with the surrounding wall when you hang them to block light and create privacy. Place your curtain rods at least 3" from each side of the window frame and 4" to 8" from the top. Hang floor-length curtains with a combined width of 2 to 3 times the curtain rod's length to achieve fullness and maximum window coverage.

Keep on reading to know more about how to hang curtains to ensure that no light can pass through and no one can see past your window. We'll also answer if blackout curtains work and teach you how to combine sheer and solid curtains. Let's get down to it!

empty curtain interior decoration on wall in living room Cosy bedroom interior with white bed sheets and closed curtains - How To Hang Curtains So They Overlap To Block Light And Create Privacy

How To Stop Light Coming In Side And Top Of Curtains

Windows are openings that allow you to see the outdoors and have proper ventilation. However, it's not always fun to have sunlight coming through the window panes at full blast.

They can make your home warmer and cause irritating glare and fading of your furniture and fixtures. Having the windows open will also let other people have a clear view of your home.

That's why curtains are very useful window treatments that'll help you solve these issues. However, it's not a guarantee that when you hang curtains over your windows they will immediately stop light from coming through and provide enough cover to give your desired privacy.

A lot of it depends on how you hang your curtains. If you don't know how to hang them properly, chances are you'll still be dealing with these issues no matter how thick and heavy your curtains are.

The key here is to hang curtains that overlap with the wall and with each other so that they form a solid cover over your window frame.

Curtain Rod Length

To hang your curtains properly, you need to install the proper hardware. It starts with having the right length for your curtain rods.

You need to extend the curtain rods about 3" on each side of the window frame (exclude the decorative finials in your measurement) so that there will be an overlap between the window and the wall. This way, outside light won't be able to leak through either side of the window when the curtains are closed.

You can also consider using U-shaped rods to ensure better coverage. If you're interested in layering, install double curtain rod brackets so that you can place two rods and hang two curtain layers.

Check out this curtain rod with curved ends on Amazon.

Curtain Rod Height Placement

In the same way, you need to mount the curtain rod 4" to 10" above the window frame. This will block the light coming from the top of the curtains.

As you close the gaps at the top and by the sides of the window, you prevent light from peeking through the window and also shuts the window from anyone who wants to intrude on your privacy.

Curtain Width

blackout curtains - the curtains are drawn and block out the daylight

Of course, you need to put curtains of the correct size over the installed hardware. When it comes to the width, it would also help to hang curtains with medium to maximum fullness to give a luxurious look to your room and allow the curtains to overlap at the seams where the panels meet each other.

To achieve this, experts recommend that the combined widths of the regular flat and eyelet curtains be 2 to 3 times the length of your curtain rod. If you're using ripple fold or pleated curtains, you can go with the actual length of the curtain rod since these curtain types already have built-in fullness in them.

If there's a gap in between seams and light can pass through, you can attach them at the seams using velcro strips.

Click this link to find these velcro strips on Amazon.

Curtain Length

Aside from getting the right width with fullness, make sure that you have the correct curtain length also especially if you have tall windows.

Home designers recommend hanging floor-length curtains. This will not only make your room appear taller but also provide better window coverage against light and prying eyes.

Measure the distance from the floor to the top of your curtain rod to get the length that you need.

Proper hardware placement and correct curtain size solve the light and privacy issues.

Do blackout curtains work?

Double-layer curtains in brown blackout fabric and white tulle.

Take note that the right curtain rod placement and the correct curtain size still won't guarantee that no amount of light will peek through your windows. You need to choose the right fabric that's up to the task.

For example, you hang lace or voile curtains over your windows. Even if you hang them with maximum fullness and they're overlapping the top and side walls, their material would still allow light to pass through.

That's why you need to get yourself blackout curtains if you want to block outside light. These are made of thick, usually double-lined, and tightly-woven fabric proven to be effective in preventing light from seeping through this particular window treatment.

Find these blackout curtains on Amazon.

By layering blackout curtains, you can achieve a pitch black room even on the brightest of days.

And since they're completely opaque, they also offer maximum privacy. Other advantages include sound absorption, improved energy efficiency, and reducing the damaging effects of the harsh UV rays on your home's furniture and fixtures.

Don't worry because these curtains don't just come in black or dark colors. They are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and sizes to match your interiors.

Check out these printed blackout curtains on Amazon.

How do you combine sheer and solid curtains?

Light curtains in empty room

Sometimes, you don't want the room to be pitch black. You just want to tone down the brightness and still be able to see things around you without using artificial lights inside your home.

The trick is in layering your curtains. Blackout draperies work well with sheer curtains. By doing so, you add texture and color that enhance the attractiveness of the room.

Click this link to find these linen sheer curtains on Amazon.

It also helps you conserve energy by trapping cool air and reducing your energy costs.

Best of all, it makes your window treatment flexible. You can opt to block the light completely or you can move the heavy curtains to the sides so you can still enjoy some level of privacy while enjoying the sunshine. It's like having the best of both worlds.

To achieve this, you need to install double curtain rod brackets. You'll need one rod for your solid curtains and another for your sheer drapes.

Find these double curtain rod brackets on Amazon.

When you've already fed the curtains in the rods, hang the sheer curtains close to the window side and the heavier curtains on the interior side.

Don't forget the finials at the end of the rods so that they won't slide off. You can also use tie-backs or install holdbacks so that the blackout curtains can stay on the sides if you wish to.

Check out these curtain holdbacks on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Mount your curtain rod at the right height and get the proper length so you can hang long and full curtains that'll block the light and prevent people from looking through your home.

If you found this article helpful, you might also want to read the following posts:

Do Curtains Need To Cover Entire Window?

How To Block Light From Top Of Blackout Curtains