While your curtains may be the obvious starring attraction in your window dressings, an all-star supporting cast is essential if you want to have a big hit. Your curtain pole may have its obvious function but just like the curtains, it can also be a quite beautiful design element in its own right. Metallic curtain poles especially, come in so many variations that they can be used to further any scheme you have chosen for your rooms.

A period setting, for example, can be given a really cohesive and satisfying finish if the door handles, fireplace décor and curtain pole all match up in a lovely brass. Similarly, a country or rustic theme would really feel the benefit of an ornate wrought iron curtain pole.

More modern tastes are catered for in brushed steel or powder coated curtain poles in a black or white finish.

Metal curtain poles obviously come in various lengths, but as they’re usually supplied in increments of half a metre, they will probably need to be cut to size. They can also be bought as bay window curtain poles.

Before you start, decide what you want your curtains to cover. If you are hanging curtains over some patio doors, you will need to make sure the pole provides ample length for them to be swept back out of the way.

With those considerations taken care of, it is crucial that – if you need to cut a curtain pole which is in two parts and screw them together – you cut an equal amount from both ends; otherwise you will end up with the middle joint exposed and off centre. When cut correctly, this middle joint will be neatly concealed by the supporting bracket.

Before cutting the pole, wrap the area with some thick masking tape to avoid splintering the decorative surface. With the pole cut to size, it is time to fit the supporting brackets from which it will hang. To do this, first measure and mark the exact centre of the window or patio door frame and also make a pencil mark at the required distance down from the ceiling.

The usual position is exactly halfway between the ceiling and the top of the window frame- this is where to fix the centre bracket.

As you’ll probably be making the fixings into plasterboard, be sure to use good-quality plugs to ensure a really secure fixing.

Next, having marked the centre of the pole, measure the distance out to each end, and subtract 10cm. The reason for doing this is to leave a 10cm gap between the end brackets and the finials or end caps. This gap will accommodate a single curtain ring, and prevents the whole curtain sliding when drawing the shades.

You can now mark the position for each end bracket, remembering to also measure the same distance down from the ceiling as the centre bracket.

The next step is to sit the pole into place on the support brackets, and secure it using the screws located on the underside of the brackets- but before doing so, remember to slide on the curtain rings to avoid that fantastically annoying moment when you realise that you have to unscrew it and start all over again!

The final stage is to add one curtain ring outside each end bracket, and then screw on the end caps to complete the job.

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