Anyone who has embarked on a home improvements project can tell you that getting the measurements right can prove to be a headache. Get it wrong and it can be a costly mistake to put right, not least when it comes to soft furnishings.

When it comes to upgrading windows and doors, of course, you would expect the professionals to take the measurements accurately down to the last millimetre. With curtains, however, it is often left to the customer to take the measurements.

Taking measurements

Curtain specialists will have experts who can advise, but it is a good idea to know how to take some rough measurements on your own.

You may have just had your windows replaced by a Dublin windows and doors specialist such as www.keanewindows.ie/. If this is the case, ask them for the measurements they took. These will be 100 per cent accurate and are likely to come in useful when measuring for curtains.

Deciding on the size of your curtains

If you are looking for a new curtain pole, you will need an idea of how long it should be. Make sure you add approximately 30/40cm to the width of your window to give sufficient space for the curtains to frame the window without blocking out too much light. If you already have a pole, make sure you exclude the end pieces when you take measurements.

The measurement would then need to be doubled for eyelet, pencil or triple pinch pleat headings, or one and a half times the measurement for double pinch pleat or tabletop styles. Increasing the measurement by these amounts results in full and luxurious-looking curtains when closed.

The length of your curtains depends on your taste, but it will also be influenced by how high you place the pole. Generally, the pole should be around 15cm above your window; however, if you want to make the ceiling appear higher, you can raise it a little.

Whichever length you choose, make sure it is measured from the top of the pole or track. Keep the curtains 1.25cm above the windowsill or floor; alternatively, if there is a radiator in the same room, give it 3cm clearance to make sure that the curtains don’t block the heat from circulating around the room.

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