If you're dreaming of a four-poster bed but are on a budget, you can create the look of one with curtain rods and panels. The effect of a four-poster bed is achieved when you suspend four curtains rods from the ceiling, one above each of the four sides of the bed. You then hang curtain panels on the rods and gather them at the corners, giving the illusion of a four-poster bed. It's an inexpensive way to add romance and drama to your bedroom.
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Choose Your Decorative Curtain Rods and Panels
The curtain rods you choose for this project have to match the length and width of the bed. Measure your bed (or find the standard measurements for your bed size) and purchase adjustable rods that will expand. Four rods are needed, two for the length and two for the width. Additionally, make sure to purchase ceiling-mount brackets. These brackets hold the rod in place no matter which direction the brackets are turned.
To determine the length of panels you need, measure the height of your room from floor to ceiling, then subtract the length that the bracket extends from the ceiling. Curtain panels that are this length will fall just to the floor. If you'd like your panels to puddle at the bottom, add 6 to 12 inches to this measurement.
Determine Your Bed's Position
Are you ready for your bed to be in the same spot for a long time? Take this into consideration before you start drilling holes in the ceiling. Position your bed in your room exactly where you want it. Once the curtains and rods have been installed in the ceiling, you'll have to take them down and move them any time you move your bed to a new location.
Align Curtain Rods and Brackets
Adjust the curtain rods so that they are each two inches longer than the four sides of your bed. Hold each rod and bracket up to the ceiling to gauge its correct position, and use a pencil to mark the location to drill each pilot hole for the bracket screws. Use your tape measure to ensure the brackets are aligned and even. Each curtain rod should hang directly above but slightly outside one edge of the bed, so that when all four are installed, they will form a rectangle that is slightly larger than your bed and centered directly above the bed.
Drill Bracket Holes and Insert Wall Anchors
Your brackets will include instructions for drilling and for the hollow-wall anchors that are needed for holding the bracket securely to the ceiling. The brackets are attached to the ceiling with screws, using wall anchors for any screws that are not being sunk into ceiling or floor joists above. Hollow-wall anchors are necessary when hanging items that are not anchored into frame. For a secure installation, it's best to use heavy-duty toggle bolts or similar anchors; do not use the cheap plastic cone-type anchors that come with most drapery hardware. Drill pilot holes, insert the anchors, and attach the brackets with screws or bolts (depending on the type of anchor you use), or drive screws directly into the ceiling framing.
Attach the Curtain Rod and Arrange Curtains
Slide two curtain panels onto each rod, then slide one bracket onto each end of each rod. Hold each assembled rod/bracket/curtain combination up to the ceiling to double-check that all pieces are in their correct positions.
Push one curtain panel toward the end of each rod, so that two panels meet up at each corner. About one-half or two-thirds of the way down from the ceiling, gather the two panels at each corner together with a ribbon, tassel or some other curtain tie. This will form four "columns" of curtain hanging from the ceiling, one at each corner of your bed, and give the illusion that each column of curtain is hiding a post of a four-poster bed.
Sandra Rousseau has been writing since 1990, covering such topics as home decorating, fashion, health, beauty, gardening and cooking. Her articles appear her hometown newspaper, the "Aledo Community News," and on various websites. Rousseau holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and advertising from the University of Texas at Arlington.