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How to hang outdoor curtains: and why every backyard needs them

Jul 05, 2023Jul 05, 2023

Whether for shade from the sun or a little backyard privacy, outdoor curtains are a must, designers say. Here’s how to hang them stylishly

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Hanging curtains outside may not be the first thing that comes to mind when decorating your outdoor seating areas, but they offer a host of benefits. But how do you hang outdoor curtains and why do designers deem them a necessity?

Reminiscent of Mediterranean beach getaways, a set of flowing outdoor curtains hanging from a porch or pergola makes for an aesthetic patio privacy screen, and helps curate the perfect outside sleep spot offering shade from the midday sun.

Here, designers have explained why every relaxed outdoor space needs curtains, and how and where to hang them for a laid-back summer seating area.

How you hang your outdoor curtains will depend on the type of curtain you have, and what you are attaching it to. Usually, you will use one of four methods to mount your curtains:

Wire Rope Mounting Kit | $23.99 at AmazonThis wire kit comes with all you need to mount tension wire between posts for hanging curtains of lights outside. The wire itself is rust-proof too, perfect for exposure to the elements.

Outdoor curtains are one of the most underutilized garden decorating ideas but are arguably the easiest way to decorate your outdoor space for summer hosting, staying warm when dining outdoors, and creating a cozy, intimate seating area for relaxing in, says Jennifer Ebert, deputy editor (digital) at Homes & Gardens. ‘They are both useful and aesthetically pleasing, adding an accent of color, softness, and personality to your outdoor seating – there isn’t much not to like!’

Jen is the Deputy Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens online. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.

What’s more, outdoor curtains, when hung correctly, provide excellent protection against the sun, both for you and your best outdoor furniture, adds Jason Farr, outdoor living designer:

‘In my opinion, outdoor curtains are a great way to make your outdoor space feel more like home. Aside from providing privacy and protection from the elements, outdoor curtains can also help to keep bugs out, provide warmth on cooler days and even add a cozy feel,’ he explains. ‘Go for heavier fabrics in winter to ensure maximum warmth and insulation. This way, you can enjoy your outdoor space all year round.’

There are three ways you can hang outdoor curtains without drilling. Firstly, you could use tension rods to hold curtains up between two stable surfaces, you can thread the curtains onto the structure itself such as the top beams of a pergola, or you can use adhesive hooks to hold a curtain rod up to support a light curtain.

To weigh outdoor curtains down, you can attach weighted clips, at Amazon, to the base of the curtain, spreading them out equally to keep the curtain down when the wind blows. Alternatively, if you are crafty, you could create a more permanent solution by sewing weights into the hemline of the curtains.

When hanging outdoor curtains, it is best not to pick your generic indoor drapes. Instead, opt for fabrics designed to stand up to adverse weather such as rain and strong winds to prevent them from getting damaged when you can't take them down easily. Olefin fabric is best for this, being UV resistant as well to help prevent fading, but acrylic, polyester, and canvas also work.

Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.

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Hang curtains from a traditional rod:Incorporate curtains into a pergola structure:Mount a curtain track on ceilings:Use tension wire to mount curtains discreetly:Wire Rope Mounting Kit | $23.99 at Amazon