Pairing curtains with vertical blinds softens the sometimes industrial feel of the blinds and adds structure to the often traditional look of curtain panels. But these window treatments are both intended to work on their own, framing a window, creating privacy and controlling light; when coupled without proper thought and a calculated installation, they can easily overpower one another or the window. For this look, inside-mounted vertical blinds work best, allowing you to hang any style curtain over top. Achieve a designer look by multiplying the intended mounted width of the rod by 2 to 2 1/2 to find the ideal total width of the curtain panels.
Install the Blinds
Measure, from the back of the window opening to the front on the left side, the distance recommended by the manufacturer for the head rail. Mark the point with a pencil and repeat on the right side. Draw a level line between these two marks. The directions that came with your vertical blinds note the ideal distance between the glass and the brackets for the head rail, generally between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches.
Hold a straightedge or level against the line and make marks indicating the center point of each bracket. Follow the manufacturer directions regarding spacing. Center the first bracket on the first point, and mark the screw holes. Repeat with each point, working your way from the left end of the line to the right.
Drill pilot holes slightly smaller than the screws provided with the brackets, and install the brackets. Because inside-mounted blinds naturally install through the window's header, there's no need for wall anchors.
Assemble the head rail, if necessary, and secure the vane clips in place. Attach the head rail to the brackets according to manufacturer directions; some snap into place while others require screws. Attach the cord or wand and clip the slats, also known as vanes, to the installed clips.
Pull the blinds open so that the slats are perpendicular to the window. Measure how far the slats stick out from the window opening.
Hang the Curtains
Purchase curtain rod brackets or holders at least 1/2 inch longer than the distance the vertical blinds stick out from the window opening when drawn. For example, if the slats protrude 1/2 inch when perpendicular to the window, purchase rod brackets or holders at least 1 inch long.
Measure up from the top left corner of the window frame 4 to 6 inches; mark this point, and measure to the left of the mark at least 4 inches and up to 8 inches. Repeat on the right side of the window to mark the position of the rod's brackets. Mounting curtains higher and wider than the window keeps the space open and filled with natural light, but vertical blinds already add height, drawing the eye to the ceiling. Mounting the curtains higher than 6 inches above the blinds may make the window appear awkward; but all spaces are different, and higher curtains may work best.
Draw a level line between the two points. Use the rod brackets as templates to outline the screw hole locations. Plan for at least one center support for rods longer than 48 inches wide.
Drill pilot holes into each mark. If you don't go through a header or stud, tap hollow wall anchors into each hole. Attach the brackets to the wall. Add the curtain panels to the rod, and install the rod on the brackets.