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Fantastic Curtain Rod Tips For Small Spaces

Choosing the proper window treatment for your windows is an important step that needs a lot of thought and consideration as it affects the way your home looks and feels. Besides, the right window treatment will also give you the privacy and light control you wish for a pleasant stay while relaxing and living inside the home.

The next most crucial step is to hang the selected window coverings over the windows. Despite the fact that it sounds pretty straightforward, it also involves some critical decisions about key details, such as proper curtain rod choice, which can make or break the overall look of the window. These decisions should be even more carefully though-through when you are about to install window coverings to small spaces or a small home. Below are some strategies you could follow before you pull out the screwdriver.

1. Make the Window Look Bigger

Installing the curtain rod ceiling-heigh will help make a small space feel bigger

Instead of replacing your existing smallish windows with a grand floor-to-ceiling model, try hanging your curtain rods at ceiling height rather than slightly above the window. This will save you thousands of dollars from window replacement costs and extend the window's height, giving a more airy feel to the room.

What we actually need to successfully achieve this result and make any small space feel lighter and larger is a longer curtain rod that will allow the curtains or draperies to extend over the walls adjacent to the window. This can also work from right to left too.

That aside, opting for wider curtains will also give you more unobstructed views of the countryside, skyline or other view you have access to when you pull them open. This is because they can be pushed even farther aside (and not be bunched up) thanks to the longer rod. Plus, given that the curtain rod is all the way at the ceiling, you won't see your curtains floating in the middle of the wall, which will enhance the symmetry in the room.

2. Choose Slimmer Versions

Small spaces will feel unpleasantly overwhelmed and somewhat cramped with bulky curtain rods, especially if there are multiple windows (especially small ones) in the same room. Instead, we need slimmer, more discreet curtain rods that will not turn attention away from your focal point – whatever you have chosen, the curtains or draperies themselves, your furniture or any other décor element.

Besides being fashionable in interior design circles, slimmer curtain rods usually come with sleek rings that help fasten your draperies when they are hung (if you have picked the style of coverings that require fasteners and not the ones that need to be attached to the rod). Finally, from a technical viewpoint, installing a lighter rod is easier for the novice DIYer due to its lighter weight compared to more bulky ones.

3. Take Advantage of Interior Design Principles

Match your curtain rods and finials with the other decor elements in the same space

Interior design experts, Prestige Decorating, comment that reflective surfaces help make any small space feel larger. With that in mind, selecting curtain rods with a metallic finish, be it brushed nickel, brass, oil-rubbed bronze, chrome or any other will add some glam to the room; even if it just a small reflective surface. The light will indeed bounce on them and scatter around. To enhance the uniformity in the design, look carefully at the finish of the other metallic surfaces in the same space, such as door knobs, plumbing hardware, and light fixtures and choose rods that share that same finish.

4. Be Creative

What is common among most small spaces is that they lack walls which can divide different areas of the home, such as the kitchen, dinning room or living space. Curtain rods and curtains can help define specific areas of the home. For example, you can get more privacy by hanging a curtain rod and drapery between the living space and the bedroom in a studio apartment. To do that, the standard size curtain rod we use for windows won't cut it. You need a longer curtain rod or even modular rod that comes in separate pieces that you will have to connect to the desired custom length.

5. Use a Return Rod

Return rods are curtain rods that have a distinguishing curve at each end (once installed, they will look like part of a circuit that goes inside the wall). They might lack the decorative finials traditional rods often feature, which add to the charm of the window treatment, but you save some serious space. This cannot be overlooked, especially if you have a window on a narrow wall. To avoid flanking that space, considering a return rod will help define the window and curtain or drapery.

6. Consider Swing Arm Rods (aka Crane Rods)

Take your existing furniture as the baseline of your inspiration and choose curtain rods that help unite the visual elements of your rooms (i.e. through finish, shape or colour). And, while carefully inspecting the room with a designer's eye, you might realise that your French door (also doorways, bathrooms, cafe style window treatments, closets, and shutters) is another great area in the room that you could cover with a window treatment! In this case, use swing arm curtain rods.

A swing arm rod is a rod attached to the wall (only on one side, though). Due to its specialised hardware (bracket and hinge), the rod can swing to 180 degrees to either the left or right (depending on which side of the window it is installed). Many homeowners that have a narrow hallway linen closet and want to hang a lightweight curtain over the doorway prefer swing rod arm rods for their functionality. They hide or divide the area the closet is in and they only swing the curtain out of the way when they need to get clean linens!

Use a curtain rod and curtain to divide areas within the same space. Re the privacy you seek, you may use sheers or thicker fabrics.

Swing arm rods are cheap, come in a variety of colours and sizes for all décor types, and allow you to fully open the selected area to sunlight, the outdoors or a hallway from one area to another, in one easy motion. They also come in distinctive styles to match your décor – from florals to Victorian-style and antique rods – all adding an extra flair to the window treatment. You will also find swing arm rods with stylish finials too (i.e. fleur-de-lis, hooks, leaves, javelins, tulips, arrows, pineapples, buttercups, torches, and more), as well as rods with scroll embellishments that project sideways and upwards over the curtain rod.

Traditional curtain rods are fixed over the windows (or doors). This means that you will probably have to pull the curtains or draperies from side to side to let more light in or go from one space to the other. Swing arm rods, on the other hand, come with more functionality as they allow you to simply swing your window coverings to the side and fully open the space.

As for their installation, it is super easy.


  • For heavier drapes, it is best to use support brackets so that the swing arm rod can support the weight of the drapes.

  • You may also line your drapery with a different type of fabric. That way, when you swing the curtain (or any other), visitors will see a different fabric, design or colour diplayed on the other side.

For more tips and help about picking the perfect curtain rod for your home, you can either browse our blog or contact us. Our friendly customer service reps will be more than happy to help!