How do I install a curtain right next to a window?
February 2, 2013 3:33 PM   Subscribe

How do I install a curtain between my apt's paper thin vertical blinds and the window to block out the light? [pic inside]

I just moved into an apartment where the bedroom has a fantastic view of a street lamp.

The vertical blinds are paper thin. This is not helping me sleep.

I looked behind the blinds and discovered that the previous occupant may have had the same problem. Here's a picture of remnants of the previous install.

When I shop online for curtain rod, I either get curtain rods that install in place of the blinds, or tension ones for bathtubs.

The former won't work since I can't (shouldn't) remove the apt's blinds. The latter won't work because I'm thinking of getting some heavy insulating/blocking curtains.

What did the former occupant have installed? What should I be searching for?
posted by veryblue1 to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Searching for "tension curtain rod" on Amazon yielded a bunch of results.

I have ones for my window and they are pretty darn sturdy (you have to yank pretty hard for them to shift out of place).
posted by littlesq at 3:45 PM on February 2, 2013

I have curtains on tension rods because I hate the look of standard blinds. They're sturdy, although my curtains are really super-light, so perhaps that doesn't say much. This is one of the rods I have. I like it because it doesn't look like a bathtub rod, and it feels pretty solid.
posted by redlines at 3:53 PM on February 2, 2013

You could do a "blockout-weight" roller blind instead. They can be installed right inside the window next to the glass, so you might be able to make it work with your other blind too. I put one on a window that is right next to an outdoor light and I get absolute darkness when it is closed. But you need to make sure it is wide enough that it actually touches the insides of the frame. No problem if your window is a standard size (luckily mine was).
posted by lollusc at 4:19 PM on February 2, 2013

I though tension curtain rods are only good enough for shower curtains which are pretty light.
posted by veryblue1 at 4:26 PM on February 2, 2013

They make tension curtain rods that you can sort of screw to the length you need and then fit in with a spring. I have a few up now, like littlesq said, they're pretty sturdy. I have heavy blackout curtains hung on them for a year with no troubles at all.
posted by nevercalm at 4:47 PM on February 2, 2013

Nah, you can hold some pretty impressive weight on a spring/tension rod - I use one in the winter to "zone" my house by hanging a 4ft by 7ft lined curtain at the base of the stairs to the 2nd floor... I could probably do chin-ups from the thing. :)

That said, depending on your sleep schedule and sensitivity to light, you may want more than that. In my home theatre, I have a window right next to the screen; I use a light-blocking roller-shade combined with a baffle (a 2"-ish wooden moulding that overlaps the shade's edge), and then a lined curtain as the outermost part of it. Works like a charm, you can only barely tell the difference between day and night through it.
posted by pla at 5:26 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

They sell tension rods and blackout type curtains at Target, if you live near one.
posted by dottiechang at 5:48 PM on February 2, 2013

It looks to me like a pretty standard curtain or closet rod support. Measure the inside diameter, and the interior width of your window and go talk to the folks at your local hardware store. They should be able to see you a matching support piece and a rod in plastic, metal or wood to hold the curtain up.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 7:41 PM on February 2, 2013

You can also try Ikea's dignitet -- I believe but I'm not sure that it can go straight out, and if I'm wrong you can definitely hang it from the ceiling and have it point across the window.
posted by brainmouse at 8:17 PM on February 2, 2013

Light blocking roller shades can be found at any home store and they will cut them to the exact width of the window.
posted by orme at 9:17 AM on February 3, 2013

Not sure if this is an issue in your place, but I have a lovely street view with about 12 feet of windows overlooking a very busy street. The ambient noise of traffic and the street lights tend to keep me up. Because the wall of windows is so long I could not use a tension rod and there was nowhere along the sides of the windows to attach a really long/heavy rod. I had to improvise a way to fit 12 feet of curtains without damaging the rental unit's ultra-thin walls and cement ceiling.

My solution was to hang a couple of 6 foot telescoping window rods from the ceiling using flat-bottomed plant hangers attached to the ceiling with a lot of the 3M sticky safe-remove tabs.

planter hangers here:

3M sticky stuff used from one of the heavy duty hooks:
posted by forkisbetter at 11:04 AM on February 4, 2013

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