The most common mistake that people make when measuring for off-the-shelf drapery is the rod itself. I see this so often I decided to write a post so that at least all my readers will be in the know.
Your drapery rod should generally be 10 – 15 inches longer on each side of the window to allow for the fabric to hang on each side. In the photo above, it appears as if the drapery rod is not much longer than the window (obviously intentional in this case as a designer decorated this room) but the problem is that the fabric then covers part of the window and most of us want as much light as possible coming into the room so the proper way to do it is to have the ‘stack’ hanging beside the window, not on top of it.
The panels on the window on the above left hang over the window as well because there’s no other option but notice how the window on the right is lower, yet the rods stay the same height so it gives the illusion that the windows are the same height.
The window above is probably the same size as the ones in the first image but the rod is longer on each side leaving enough room for the drapery to just cover the casing which makes the window look bigger in addition to adding softness and vertical height. Also make sure you buy at least two panels for each side, even if you don’t plan to close them it should look like you could. There’s nothing worse than one panel hanging like it’s on a clothesline (so flat) on your rod when it’s drawn—that’s when it really looks like Ikea!