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Home Expert Advice Outdoor Curtains Buying Guides Outdoor Curtains Pt. 1

A few key considerations at the outset will make it a whole lot simpler to choose the outdoor curtains or outdoor-curtain sheers, along with curtain-hanging hardware, that's best for you and your own unique outdoor-living situation.

Where Will You Be Hanging Your Outdoor Curtains/Curtain Sheers?

Location, location, location!

Quality outdoor curtains are an exceptional accessory for any number of outdoor-living situations and setups – gazebos and porches, and with just a little creativity, poolsides, patios, decks, balconies and beyond. If hung on the inside of a front porch, outdoor curtains or outdoor-curtain sheers can also work wonders in enhancing curb appeal.

Is your outdoor living space in an enclosed area that doesn't receive much full sunlight, with your outdoor drapery to come between you and the direct sun?

One of the real beauties of outdoor curtains or outdoor-curtain sheers is their ability to turn a partially enclosed outdoor nook into a real outdoor room. But keep in mind that darker-colored curtains are liable to make a space that's already fairly removed from full sunlight seem darker still. If brighter light is what you want, then consider lighter-colored curtains; for even more natural light, go instead with outdoor-curtain sheers. Also, a heavier-fabric curtain may limit airflow in a space where there already isn't much. In this case, an outdoor-curtain sheer may again be the better option.

Does the space offer privacy from neighbors, or is it very visible to anyone who's looking in that direction?

If privacy is an issue, then you may want to go with regular outdoor curtains, not outdoor-curtain sheers. Though it's difficult to make out many details on the other side of outdoor-curtain sheers, there is nonetheless a sense of being more exposed than with heavy-material outdoor curtains.

Is the space where you hope to hang your curtains saturated in intense sun for long stretches of time?

If so, then you'd be wise to go with either our WeatherSmart® Outdoor Curtains or our Outdoor Curtains Made From Sunbrella®, our two solution-dyed outdoor-curtain brands, which simply are going to retain color longer than polyester can. If price is a primary consideration, and you opt for polyester outdoor curtains or outdoor-curtain sheers instead, then consider a more muted color that won't show fading quite as quickly.

Is there a workable surface for attaching curtain hardware so you can easily hang your curtains, or will you have to make some structural changes to allow curtain rods to be hung, or be more creative in your use of hardware?

Once you get the outdoor-curtain bug, it's hard to take no for an answer. Still, sometimes the reality of an outdoor living space can make it a little trickier to install curtains, and may even require some improvising on your part, or assistance from a professional carpenter. Quite simply, you have to have a suitable place to hang that curtain rod! Partially enclosed outdoor spaces like gazebos, porches and some attached decks are ready-made for adding outdoor curtains, yet many preferred outdoor-living setups may require some structural alteration or outright addition – vertical 4"x4" beams attached to the corners of your deck, for instance, or a wide arbor-type overhang installed into the ground – to support the curtain-hanging hardware.

For further ideas on how to hang outdoor curtains in the absence of existing overhanging structures, see our Installation Guide.

Next: How Do You Want Your Outdoor Curtains/Curtain Sheers to Function?

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