Arched Window Curtains

Arched Window Interior

If you’ve got an arched window, but aren’t sure if you can fit curtains for it - here are a few options for fitting arched window curtains for you to consider.

The option you choose will probably depend on how desperate you are to get curtains up at the window concerned, then how large the arch is that the curtains will be covering and finally exactly what sort of aesthetic are you looking for in terms of how the curtains will look, apart from their function as curtains providing privacy.

A Quick Fix for Arched Windows

Regardless of the size of the arch, or the number of individual window panels in the arch requiring curtains, if you’ve just moved in to a property getting a curtain fixed to give privacy to the room is probably the more important than having a perfect and aesthetically pleasing curtain arrangement in the arched window. To achieve this all you need to do is buy and fix a length of curtain rail to fit on the wall above the arched window and then hang two appropriate curtains from it that will close to the middle of the rail.

To avoid unnecessary light loss when the curtains are open, make sure that the rail extends beyond the edges of the arch. For this method of fixing curtains across an arched window - you could alternatively use a curtain pole.

Small Arched Window Curtains

For a small arched window it would be suitable to use the method described above, having a curtain rail that closes curtains across the arch. However, proving the arch is a gentle one you could fix a plastic curtain rail along the arc of the arch. The arc of an arch is simply the line that the arch takes from one edge to the other. A plastic curtain rail can easily be bent to fit a gentle arc shape, but to fix it you will need to add some extra support.

When buying the curtain rail explain to the DIY store that you’ll be fitting it to an arched window and they will make sure you get the correct rail support to go either side of the curtain rail to keep it in place.

The rail, and its supports, should ideally be fixed to the window frame. However, if you’ve got a vinyl window frame this might not be the best thing to do, as if they’re new windows fixing screws into the frame may well invalidate any warranty on them. If that is the case, instead you can ask for rail fixings that can be used in the ceiling above the arch.

Larger Windows and Sharper Curves

The larger an arched window is, or the more severe the curve of it is - the less likely it will be that a single curved curtain rail can be fitted due to the pull and tensions involved on the rail. One way to get around this is to fit two half rails, one from the right and one from the left; that meet in the middle.

Getting both of the rails at exactly the same height and level is essential if you’re not to end up with a gap in the curtains. Alternatively, for each panel of the arched window you can fit short individual rails that buffer up to one another - each with their own short piece of curtain to pull across for privacy. Again these all need to be fitted level and at exactly the correct height in order to look good from the inside.

If measured properly there should be no reason for gaps to occur. However, a big drawback of this method is that for the central window panels, even when the curtains are open they will still be visible inside the arch and will block out some of the light in the daytime.

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Photo by Elsie esq, Creative Commons Attribution License