In carpentry there is the adage “measure twice, cut once”. This saying can be applied to decorating as well as carpentry. Getting measurements right can save you time and money and headaches. Whether you are measuring for an area rug for the living room, curtains for the bedroom or a new sofa for the family room, make sure your measurements are accurate. Write down your important measurements in your home notebook or design file for future reference. Few things are worse in decorating than finding something you love and getting it home to find out it doesn’t fit the space it was intended for. This might be okay if it is a bowl or an inexpensive accent. If it is the custom upholstered sofa you’ve waited two months to have delivered it can be more than disappointing. Professional designers will begin by measuring the size of the room so that they know what will work with the scale of the space. Buying a nine foot sofa for a room that can only handle a seven foot sofa will make the space feel cramped and crowded. Once you have your room measurements you will have a base on which to build the design. You can even make small examples of the furniture you are thinking about bringing into the room to scale to see how they will all fit in the space. Scale representations of furniture and rugs can help you visually plan a layout before you have furniture to move around. This will save your back as well as your wallet.
$%#@! I measured and it still doesn’t fit! Sound familiar? Why is it that something so seemingly simple as hanging a window covering can be so dang complicated? Here is a quick list of tips to consider as you measure – BEFORE you purchase or order your window coverings. Yep, guesstimating isn’t going to work most of the time.
Keep in mind that each window covering is going to require different measurements.
Each window covering has its own installation process. If you don’t measure exactly, your covering may not function properly.
Each and every window must be measured. Don’t take shortcuts!
This seems like a no brainer but here it is anyway: An inside mounted window-covering houses the window covering inside the window casing. An outside mounted window-covering fits around or outside the window casing.
Window sheers can be installed with an inside or outside mount depending on the window molding and sill construction. It’s the depth of a window casing that determines whether or not a window covering can be installed with an inside mount. It’s important to know if your window casings are level. If not this can be corrected by installing shims – thin wedge shaped pieces of material.
Normally sheers are mounted inside the window casing. Curtains are mounted outside and the last part to be installed over the curtains is the valance.
Then of course there are variations such as an inside/outside mount. In this case the mounting bracket and head rail are installed inside the window casing, but they are not fully recessed, meaning a portion of the head rail will not be completely flush with the face of the window.
So get out your tape measure and be as exact as possible!