Design

Where To Put Curtains On A Window That has An Arch

May 10, 2013  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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I found this picture of the living room from exactly one year ago.
Crazy, right? The living room just keeps evolving.  But today we’re specifically talking about those curtains because this window has been a struggle to dress since we moved in.  As you can see from the photo above, I felt like the rod should follow the natural horizontal line of the window and leave the arch open? Arc windows are hard, but we lived with the above setup for years.  And then for a little while, during painting and paneling–with no curtains–and then most recently, I took some white drapes that were in our bedroom and hung them in the exact same spot and I just. Didn’t like it at all.  The white drapes looked cheap and they were made even cheaper looking by hanging them so low. 
I have been eyeing the DAGNY curtains from Ikea for about a year.  Not necessarily for the living room, but I wanted to use them somewhere! They are thick, and silky and heavy and $60 for the pair.  Expensive for Ikea.  Cheap for anywhere else. I’ll take them.
I hung them really high, utilizing all 98″ of curtain length, and it finally feels like I can breathe! This whole time I was concerned that a rod across the arch of the window would bother me so much, but it doesn’t at all. You? We hung the curtains at the corners so it is still at a natural-ish line and the color block at the top of the drapes meets the window line pretty well–which was a total accident, but works! Nice.
Sometimes they look taupe, sometimes they are a warmer light gold–but all the time, they look a lot more expensive than they were.

Other things to note in this room–that isn’t our real coffee table.  That was our plant bench that used to sit (holding plants–go fig) where Chris’s chair is, but now is temporarily holding the spot of our future coffee table that has been ordered. The old coffee table–you might remember it was a lot of gold circles that all collapsed together–well, someone offered to buy it from us and we couldn’t refuse.

Also, yes, Chris’s chair moved.  It felt too tall to be across from the couch–especially since that is where the entry is.  You walked in and, boom!, barricade.  We love it in front of the window.  As for my chair, the “her” chair, I have to say Chris was right.  It was pretty, but just not comfortable.  I sat in it only a handful of times before we knew, maybe this wasn’t meant to be. Luckily, we were able to sell it for what we paid for it so it doesn’t feel like a loss.  If anything, we got to try out a chair for 6 months.

We do plan on getting some low-profile seating for across the couch, but we’re taking our time finding something just right. Evolution takes time, you know.

What do you think?

  1. Nikki says:

    That looks great! What kind of rod do you use? I’ve only seen the type that has a middle bracket to keep it from sagging. That won’t work on my window, so I’m really curious what you’ve found to work best.

  2. […] Where To Put Curtains On A Window That has An Arch Chris Loves Julia source […]

  3. Brandy says:

    I have this same problem, except mine is the dining room. Right now there are cafe curtains that hang across the window line and sit at the sill…I’m not crazy about it though. So my question is if you didn’t have the corners blocking you do you think you would have went all the way up with your curtain rod?? Like above the arch?? And then there is still the issue of privacy at the bottom anytime the curtains are open. Geez, first world problems!?!

  4. The Suz says:

    I love the solution! My living room window is arch-topped as well, and I’ve hated the idea of hanging curtains so low at the straight edge. Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. Colleen says:

    That looks FANTASTIC! Remember those half circle blinds that people would put in those in arches in the 90’s? Ugh, those are the worst.

  6. I really like it! Arched windows are tricky and since you need the curtains for privacy I think this is the best option.

  7. I will admit, I was totally wondering how you would deal with these windows because I wasn’t digging the low curtain rod of years past. While I secretly rooted for no window treatment, now that your curtains are up I love them! Nice work!

  8. That looks amazing! The whole space has been elevated.

  9. Love it! Since the rod lines up with the corners it doesn’t look weird at all, and the fact that the top block of the curtain lines up with the window line is perfect! Those curtains were an awesome buy!

  10. Dawn says:

    I love what you’ve done.

  11. Kelly says:

    Doesn’t bother me at all. It actually gives incredible height to the room, and it looks much bigger and spacious in there. What a neat trick. I would love floor length curtains like this, they are so dramatic and elegant looking…but my dogs would use them as chew toys or face napkins!

    Did you ever consider abridged or “short” curtain rods, if you don’t ever plan on closing these curtains? They are just decorative and don’t span the length of the window, but instead are installed separately on either side. example rods on left: http://st.houzz.com/simgs/9561de760efb5439_4-5142/traditional-living-room.jpg

    • Kelly,

      I thought about short rods on either side, but we do close these curtains for privacy at night sometimes. That’s a good option too, though!

  12. I like that!!! The rod doesn’t bother me at all, but it would totally bother Ryan. It opens up the room so much! I am going to try this higher curtain rod thing in our new place. I’m excited. Especially now that we won’t have our vaulted ceilings, we definitely need to feel like we have more vertical space when we really don’t.

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