Curtain Talk

types-of-curtains, curtains guide, how-to-choose-curtains

While brainstorming ideas for a post,  some comments that my living room pics received on the HGTV Rate my Space came to mind. The comments centered around the great debate on pooling/puddling curtains. What exactly is the right length for your curtains? What type of curtains look good? Is there a ‘best’ way to hang them? The answer is simple, the best way is to hang them the way you like it. Let’s take a look at the different options that are out there.

First, some detail on the different types of curtains.

Rod Pocket: This is the most common type of curtain that you would find. It has a pocket on the top that can slip over a rod like the ones in my dining room. 

dining room redo, types of curtains

I have these in my daughter’s room too. 

rod pocket curtain

You could also hang them with rings. These give a slightly more formal vibe yet keeps it contemporary. The rings have clips attached to them which you clip on to the top of the rod pocket.  The rings add to your curtain length, so keep that in mind when you hang your rod. I really love curtain rings and have them in our family room. 

curtain rings to hang curtains, types of curtains

Rod pockets can also have a ruffle on top of the pocket. This gives the curtain a more traditional/country look. Here is an example from our retreat.

different types of curtains, types of curtains

Grommet: These are my favorite kinda curtains. They look very contemporary/ modern and really crisp. The curtain rod passes through large grommet rings at the top giving it a pleated look without being too formal. Here is a shot of the my grommet curtains in the guest bedroom. 

grommet curtain

Tab Top: They are great for creating a casual and relaxed look. The rod is threaded through tabs/loops at the top of the curtains like in my son’s room.

tab top curtain

Back Tab: This one is a basically a mix of the rod pocket and tab top styles. The tab is at the back of the rod pocket. You hang the curtain rod through the tabs at the back. The curtain looks as if it is floating on the rod.

back tab curtain

via Hometone

Pinch Pleat: This is my least favorite one as it is very traditional and formal. Pleats are pre-stiched into the curtain at regular intervals. You can hang them using the back tab (like in hotels) or hang them with rings like in this pic below.

pinch pleat curtain

via Curtainworks

Onto the great length debate; to pool/puddle or not to pool/puddle.

I like to pool and the main reason is, it gives me some wiggle room when measuring the height at which I should hang the curtain rod. As I have mentioned here we suck at taking exact measurements. Next reason, for curtains where you can adjust the length like those of IKEA (where you use iron-on-tape to glue the bottom) again it makes my life easier, I don’t have to be exact! Plus I don’t really mind the look of some (not a lot) fabric pooling around on the floor.  

dining room makeover

When you puddle a lot of fabric on the floor it gives a very formal look (like the pic below), which we are not big fans of.

pooling curtains

Now for the main arguments against pooling/puddling:

It is a haven for dust bunnies – Haven’t been the case in our house. May be because I have been pretty careful to lift them up and sweep/mop under them every time I clean.

Kids might trip on them – Mine haven’t….but they are 8 and 6. So they know not to. If you have babies or toddlers in the home then it might not work for you.

Pets would sleep on/under the pooled fabric – Might, I am not going to be of much help here as we don’t have pets.

Some people just don’t like them – To each his/her own. Its your home, do what you like.

The verdict: If you have trouble taking exact measurements then pooling/puddling is the way to go.


PS: What is the correct height/width  to hang curtains is a topic in itself. Will post on that in detail another day.

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  1. Although rod pocket curtains are very common I don’t think they are necessarily ugly. I’ve seen some rather attractive designs using rod pockets that I wouldn’t mind emulating myself!