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You’re Five Steps Away from the Perfect Window Treatments

In an ideal world, perfect custom-made window treatments would be a given in every nursery design. But these days, going custom can mean an investment of hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, which can be overwhelming to new parents-to-be. I’ve designed a lot of nurseries lately in which we’ve opted to go with ready-made window treatments and splurge instead on high-quality furniture that will grow with baby. Choosing drapery panels can be tricky, so I’ve put together a step-by-step guide for choosing the right ready-made curtains.

Sheer Linen Drapery Panels from RH Baby & ChildSheer Linen Drapery Panels from RH Baby & Child

Step 1: Determine the sheerness. This step may take a little sleep training research up front, but before you start shopping for curtains, you need to know what you’re looking for. Sheers? Opaque cotton? Full blackout? Some parents want to keep the nursery completely dark, while others prefer their baby sleep with some light. Another option is to layer blackout curtains with sheers so you have both options. Choosing darker colored drapes provides added light protection.

Embroidered Navy Curtains from AnthropologieEmbroidered Navy Curtains from Anthropologie

Step 2: Determine the length. Ready-made curtains are usually available in 84″ and 96″ lengths. Ideally, you’ll want to hang the drapes a few inches below the ceiling for maximum effect—it gives the illusion of taller walls. If you like the look of drapes that puddle on the floor, add a few more inches. And if your final length doesn’t quite fit with the available options, choose the longest length available and either hem the curtains or use fabric tape to bring them up to the correct length.

Tassel Window Panels from Serena and LilyTassel Window Panels from Serena and Lily

Step 3: Shop. Now you can start shopping for curtains. If you need a very specific color, look for companies that are willing to send you a fabric swatch or that have a good return policy. Some of my go-to sources for ready-made curtains are Anthropologie, Serena and Lily and RH Baby & Child.

Step 4: Choose your hardware. The easiest and most cost-effective drapery hardware comes in a set that includes an adjustable rod, brackets and finials. As for the size, choose a rod that is about 10” longer than the width of your window, and plan to place your outer brackets at about 3-4” outside of the window casing on each side. If you’re going with the layered look, you can also purchase a double-rod attachment set. Finally, if your window is very wide or your curtains are heavy, you might want to also use a center bracket, which may need to be purchased separately.

Finials from AnthropologieFinials from Anthropologie

Step 5: Install. Installing window treatments can be tricky, so this might be the time to call in a handy-man or watch a great video tutorial.

Keep in mind that window treatments can be fun as well as functional. Play with pattern, color and texture, and you can really make a statement in your nursery with ready-made curtains!