How to Hang Curtains in a Rental Apartment in 14 Ways
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Are you moving into a new apartment? If you're renting from a landlord or property company, there are restrictions on what you can do with the decor in your new home. If you're thinking of hanging curtains, you might need to use the existing fixtures in the apartment or make a plan to work around them. So the question becomes how to hang curtains in a rental apartment without putting holes in the wall.
There are several options for hanging curtains and blinds without altering the apartment's structure. This post unpacks 14 DIY methods on how to hand curtains in rental apartments.
14 Ways to Hang Curtains in a Rental Apartment
Curtains are essential for any apartment. They block the morning light and prevent nosy neighbors from staring into your living space and bedroom. While small holes are considered normal wear and tear, your landlord may consider the larger holes and anchors required to support curtains as property damage.
If you can't make alterations to the property that damage its structure, you have the following 14 DIY methods for hanging your curtains or blinds in your living room, dining room, or bedrooms, etc.
1) Buy New Curtains
Many apartments come with a curtain fixture and rod installed in the unit. So, instead of changing the setup, you can buy new curtains that fit the current system. If you have the budget, buying new curtains is the best option and will allow you to explore all the types of curtains out there for a fresh decor.
You can always offer them to the landlord after you leave. They might buy the curtains from you if they look good and feature design and construction with high-quality materials. If not, you can always offer them to the new tenants.
2) Modify Your Curtains to Use the Existing Curtain Rods
You might get lucky and have curtains that fit the existing curtain rods. If not, you could modify your curtains with a professional haberdashery to fit the curtain rod. It's a more affordable option than buying new curtains.
3) Spring Tension Rods
The next option for installing your existing curtains is to use spring rods. These rods usually accommodate any space and are the quintessential renter-friendly curtain rod. They allow you to fit curtains on a wide range of home-related items and rooms, including doors, windows, lounges, and bathrooms.
They don't require you to drill to install them, so there's no chance of you damaging the landlord's property. These types of no-drill blinds are ideal for hanging lightweight curtains, but they don't have the strength to hang heavy curtains. They won't work well for hanging curtains on an arched window unless you like having the top of the arch curve exposed to allow light through.
4) Drape Them Over the Rod
If you don't have the budget to adjust your curtains and they don't work with the apartment's fittings, you can always decoratively drape them over the existing rods for a creative finish. Use tacking pins of clothes pegs to secure them to the rod, allowing you to open and close the curtains without pulling them off. This works well for curtains that touch the floor for when you step on them, you won't pull down the rod or tear it out of the wall.
5) DIY Curtain Customization
We also need to account for those apartment dwellers with sewing and haberdashery skills. You can always adjust your curtains if you have the knowledge and the tools. Adjust the rod space by adding curtain rings, making it easier to hang your curtains.
6) Use Heavy-Duty Sew-In Magnets
You can hang your curtains over the rods, securing them in place with magnets. Sew them into the fabric liner using color-compatible materials. The magnets will snap together around the rod, providing it a similar effect to sewing in new curtain rings. When it comes to how to hang curtains in a rental apartment, this is a very clever idea if there are existing rods in place.
7) Use Clip-on Brackets
Clip-on brackets are another affordable option. Add them to the curtain rings and use them to hang your curtains. This is a great choice for hanging a shower curtain in the bathroom, too. Of course, use the kind that don't require puncturing the drywall. They offer easy installation and are ideal if you only have a three or six-month lease on the apartment. This setup also makes it easy to remove and wash the curtains.
8) Use Roller Shades
If the apartment has roller shades and you prefer your curtains, use the roller shade to hang your curtains. Roll them up and form a tube to use as a rod for hanging your curtains. While you lose the functionality of the roller shade, you get a stable platform accommodating the weight of hanging your curtains.
9) Build a Curtain Frame
If you have handy skills, you can build a free-floating curtain frame. Design it to accommodate your curtains, and you have a free-standing way of hanging your curtains you can take with you when you leave the apartment. You can design the frame to fold, making it portable for when you move.
Start by measuring the window frame dimensions and source materials from a local hardware store to build a curtain frame. You can decorate the curtain frame to the room's color theme, blending it into the décor of your new apartment.
10) Use Command Brand Hooks for the Curtain Rod
Command brand hooks come with solid, sticky slips, and they're easy to attach to a range of surfaces. They support curtain rods and curtains as long as they stay within a weight limit of 6 lbs. Command brand hooks are available in several designs and colors to suit your apartment décor.
Attach them to the walls by placing the sticky side of the hook on the wall. Leave it to cure for 24 hours and hang your curtains. Command Brand Hooks are waterproof, so you can use them to hang your shower curtain. This is the easiest way to deal with curtains for rentals, in my opinion. This works for hanging a heavy mirror without nails, too, if you use enough hooks.
11) Use Coat Hooks
Another great DIY option is using coat hooks to hang your curtains. Attach the hooks evenly across the top of the window, securing them to the wall where the holes will be less noticed after you patch them when readying to move out. Who knew hanging curtains in an apartment could be so nefarious!
If the curtains don't have the required accommodations for the task, make adjustments using a thin rod and balance the rod on the hooks. You'll find coat hooks in hardware stores and online retailers.
12) Try Double-Sided Tape
Some brands of double-sided tape offer excellent sticking action. Some tape brands carry enough weight to allow you to hang your curtains. It's not ideal for heavy curtains, but it's fine for hanging kitchen curtains or shower curtains. It's also easy to remove when it's time to move from your apartment.
13) Suspend Curtain Rods from the Ceiling
This DIY fix gives you a workaround for your lease agreement. You can screw in ceiling hooks to the drywall boards and attach a clear nylon line from the hooks, tying it to the curtain rod. The curtain rod will have a free-floating appearance, and you won't notice the line from a distance of a few feet away from the curtain.
For heavier curtains, double-up or triple-up the line for added strength. When it's time to pack up and vacate the apartment, remove the hooks, and use filler putty to seal the holes, the landlord won't know any better.
Most ceilings are white, and the filler blends seamlessly into the drywall material. If you have colored ceilings, you might have to get colored nail polish to cover up the white filler compound. Nobody will notice on a textured ceiling. This is how to hang curtains in an apartment if you want to be sneaky about it.
14) Buy Twist-and-Fit Curtain Rods
This DIY fix operates on the same principle as using the standard tension rod. Twist-and-fit curtain rods are popular curtain rod alternatives that secure across the inside of the window frame. You twist the rod, and it expands, forcing it against the sides of the window frame.
The design provides the impression of a separate rod and hooks when it's all one piece. The rods come in several finishes to match the apartment décor. However, they aren't suitable for hanging heavy curtains.
The Problem with Renting & Hanging Curtains in Your Apartment
If you own your apartment, you can do whatever you want with it. Drill in walls, put up fixtures, hang curtains, or whatever you want – it's your property. It's something you'll want as well to block a neighbor's view into your home as they walk to and fro outside your door and windows.
It's different if you're renting someone else's apartment. Think about it for a second, would you like people drilling into your walls and doing whatever they want with your property? Probably not. So then, how to hang curtains in a rental apartment without creating holes in the walls? And how and where would you place curtain holdbacks in these instances too?
When renting other people's apartments, you might find a unit you rent directly from the owner, who acts as your landlord. Or you could rent from the property company managing the apartment for the owner.
If you're renting from the owner directly, you have a better chance of bending them to your will and getting them to approve you making alterations to their property. They might allow you to drill and make alterations to accommodate curtain fixtures if you leave them when you vacate the property and if you promise to repair the damage you cause to the walls when you move out.
It's more challenging with a property management company. They're usually inflexible, allowing you to make alterations that involve drilling. If that's the case for your apartment, you'll need a DIY fix for hanging your curtains that doesn't include making extensive adjustments to the property.
If all of this is too much for you, there are plenty of ways to decorate a window without curtains that you can explore as well. Some will present similar problems as before but many don't, too.
That's How to Hang Curtains in a Rental Apartment
Before you create the elaborate setup mentioned above or ask the landlord's permission to make severe adjustments, consider how long you will live in the apartment.
Most renters last six to 24 months before moving on to another property. You might have to move because of your job or school or find a partner and decide to move in with them if you're single.
You'll have to weigh your options for how to hang curtains in a rental apartment and decide if it's worth the investment in hanging your curtains the way you want, or if you should just wait until you move again. Regardless, we're confident you'll find one of these methods appropriate for achieving your goal of hanging curtains in your new apartment.