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European curtain hanging solutions are superior to the traditional American rod & ring home decor.  Sadly, many American designers are still not using them. What’s different between the two?

In Europe curtains are hung using track systems.  They are minimal, adaptable – letting curtains glide easily around corners – AND, most importantly they allow you to slide the curtain effortlessly. In other words, whereas curtains on the traditional American rod and ring system can typically be moved only by reaching up and  pulling each ring across the rod, the European track systems allow you to simply grab the curtain to move it. What a concept! Moving= opening and closing curtains. Gone are stationary curtain panels.

Example of European Track:

Are you energy conscious? Energy efficiency starts with right home goods. While  exciting new green products come to market every day,  some things our grandparents did still make sense…one of those is closing curtains to keep out wind drafts and keep heated air inside the room.  Of course, one could measure the energy savings.  But this is one case where your body tells you:  Comfortable equals less energy needed to heat the room and money saved.

Where do you find such tracks in the US?  Ikea is a great place or commercial suppliers like Recmar Products, for example.

Europeans prefer not to focus on curtain hardware so most track systems are made of simple aluminum channels. Fasteners allow for ceiling or wall mounting.

For a variation on the theme, Smith and Noble recently introduced their so-called “Traversing Track Collection.” (see lead photo) Here the track is embedded in the rod, which maintains the traditional rod look but now allows the curtain to be pulled easily.  One important difference remains between the European tracks and S&N’s traversing tracks:  In Smith and Noble’s system the tabs from which the curtain hangs are in fixed positions / spacings.  Thus the curtain moves as a unit while in the European system each tab is a separate entity – a little but important detail!

Imbedded traversing tracks have been available in high-end lines like Kravet and Robert Allen (see example below).  These high-end units follow the free hanging tab system of European designs. Install one in your home – I guarantee you will never return to the outdated rod and ring system!

One more design tip: European tracks are great visual solutions or “visual stretches” in rooms with low ceilings:

Create cornices over windows as part of the crown molding around the room and mount a track inside the cornice.  Having a curtain that falls from the ceiling to the floor rather than just around or from just above the window visually lengthens the room.

Open yourself up for a whole new perspective on window decor !!!! Home design that looks great and functions efficiently!

Another Example of a European Curtain Rod System:

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