Curtain Call: The Guide to Pergola Curtains

If you find bliss in a morning cup of coffee or enjoy relaxing outside with a glass of wine at the end of a hectic day, there’s a good chance you’ve built a pergola to create a tranquil outdoor space. However, there may be one element you’ve overlooked while perfecting your space.

Pergola curtains give any outdoor structure a charming and elegant finishing reminiscent of a beach side resort.

Benefits of Pergola Curtains
Pergola with White Curtains
Bloom Concrete & Landscape

Pergola curtains not only add an element of romantic style to your outdoor space but are also practical. The drapes can block harsh sunlight or chilly breezes, hide unpleasant views, create a flexible ‘room,’ protect outdoor furniture from rain, and add privacy. These features help you enjoy the outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. Even when the curtains are not drawn and simply bunched together, they add drama and sophistication to the space and make an outdoor room feel more inviting.

Types of Hardware and Fabrics
Pergola Fabric
Taylor Made Landscape Design Inc.

Before you go ahead and start choosing the fabrics you prefer for your curtains, first determine which type of hardware you’ll use. Basically, there are two options: track or rod. Tracks are almost flush against the surface they mount to, while rods are typically hung below the beams so drapes can slide back and forth easily. If you are coordinating the drapes with a pergola canopy, tracks are the better option.

A wide variety of fabrics are available, almost as vast as your imagination. Transform your outdoor room into a colorful oasis with solid color or playful patterns, whichever you decide upon, pergola curtains will certainly help your personal style shine through. Be sure to invest in weather and mold resistant fabric that is specifically made to withstand the elements. Sheer curtains are used more for decorative charm and the soft, romantic ambience they create than for practical purposes. On the other hand, many of the new outdoor fabrics are designed to last and provide up to 98% UV protection offering more shade and privacy. Tie backs are great for versatility and can be anchored to your structure on stormy, windy days.

Cost of Pergola Curtains

A variety of outdoor pergola curtains are available for a wide price range. I’ve seen “outdoor” polyester curtains with grommets available on the Internet for as little as $39 a panel, but these drapes are not mold, water, or fade resistant, need to be replaced often, and don’t offer much in the way of UV protection. On the other hand, Sunbrella is among the most trusted names in outdoor fabrics with an unmatched history of quality and durability and well worth the investment in my opinion. This company now offers a ten-year no fade warranty. Prices range from the low hundreds and up. You’ll also need to add the cost of rust free rods or tracks into your budget.

 Measuring Precautions
Pergola Curtain Measurement
Chicago Green Design Inc.

You’ll want to determine the exact length of the curtain to create the desired look. The most important dimension is the ‘hung height.’ This is the distance from the point that the curtain is actually hung (a sliding hook or a hole which the curtain rod runs through) to the ground or deck (minus clearance from ground).

Decide at what level you want to have the rods mounted. Measure from the center of the rod (or the hanger hook land, the lowest point of the hook, if your rod uses hangers) to the ground and take off one inch for clearance of the bottom edge of the curtain from the ground. This is the hung height. Add the amount of fabric you want above the rod to your hung height to get the total fabric height. If you’re using a track, the bottom of the track will usually line up with the bottom of the pergola beam or rafter and you will measure from there.

Measuring the pergola curtain width is a fairly simple matter, whether you are using rods or tracks. Simply measure the width, making sure there is room for the track or rod you will be mounting.

Pergola curtains are great for their spectacular texture, color, and sophistication. You’ll love the way that fabric can soften a space and create a luxurious look and feel. Add a few more extra touches like an outdoor rug and a string of romantic lights and you’ll never want to leave your ideal outdoor escape.

Retractable Solutions for Outdoor Spaces

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