Alternative Curtain Styles to Consider for Your Home's Windows

When choosing the curtain fabric for your home's curtains, you want to consider more than just their pattern and colour, and also consider a few alternative styles for how the curtains will be hung. Curtain panels that hang straight from the rod are not the only style available, and your chosen style may affect what curtain material would be best. Note a few of those alternative styles so you can discuss these with a curtain maker or know what to search for when shopping.


Scarves are long, narrow panels, and you hang just one on each window. The panel is placed behind the rod, with the middle of the scarf pulled over the front of the rod so that it curves down slightly. This style provides a bit more visual interest around the curtain rod than a straight panel, and the curve of the scarf can offset the look of the square windows. To ensure these curtains drape properly, scarves should be a light linen or very loose weave cotton material.


Hourglass curtains are hung in a single panel from the curtain rod, and then tied around the middle rather than off to one side. You can use any number of materials for these ties, including belts, velvet ribbons, or pieces of lace. This makes hourglass curtains very unique, and allows them to fit easily with any style of decor in the room. Hourglass curtains should made of a thick material that will stay in place easily, including cotton, chenille, or wool.

Tent flaps

Tent flap curtains are made with a bold border along the inside of the panel; this inside edge is then folded back and tied in place. The fold adds depth to the curtains, and the border gives the curtains more visual interest. Tent flap curtains need to be made of a sturdy material so that they stay in place; avoid linen, silk, and lace, which may pull away from the fold and look messy.


An overlap style of curtains requires what is called a traverse rod, which works with a set of pins in the back of the rod. This rod is used for pleated drapes, or for hanging two panels that overlap each other. To create an overlap look, these two curtains are both spread across the traverse rod, and then their sides are pulled open and tied. This leaves an overlap of the two curtain panels at the top. To ensure this overlap doesn't seem too heavy or dark, stick to lightweight sheers or cotton panels.