The Definitive Guide to Curtain Holdbacks

Draperies paired with the right curtain rod are not only beautiful but utilitarian as well. Curtains drawn shut can be useful to keep sunlight out and to keep nosy neighbors from peeking inside. On the other hand, it can be preferable to draw curtains wide open to let in natural light and show off the scenery outside. To achieve an elegant look when curtains are drawn, there needs to be a way to neatly tuck the drapery away from the window without sacrificing aesthetics. The solution is using a beautiful pair of window curtain holdbacks that complement your drapery hardware. In this blog, we are going to explain everything there is to know about decorative curtain holdbacks and how to shop for these useful and decorative items.

What are Curtain Holdbacks?

Curtain holdbacks, also called curtain pullbacks, come in various forms, from tiebacks made of fabric to metal hooks or knobs that are installed in the wall next to a window. Tiebacks are typically only used for decorative curtains that will stay shut, while knobs and hooks offer more versatility of use. Usually placed about halfway down the wall, they all function to keep curtains swept to the side of a window for a visually-pleasing effect that is just as functional as it is pretty.

To use a curtain holdback, you simply pull the curtains towards each side of the window, behind their holdback, and tuck them onto the inside of the hook or knob. They keep curtains perfectly bunched and away from the glass. Oftentimes, curtain rods and drapery hardware are sold as curtain rod sets with matching holdbacks. There are many colors and designs to choose from, with some of the most popular mimicking vintage door knobs that come in both metal and wood variations.

Why Use Wall-Mounted Curtain Holdbacks?

Curtain holdbacks are convenient and allow you to hold open your window treatment in a decorative way. Curtain tiebacks provide a similar benefit but are more limited in functionality. When you use a wall-mounted curtain holdback, you don’t have to worry about all of the fallbacks of using a rope or fabric tieback. Tiebacks can be cumbersome to undo, meaning they aren’t great for everyday use. They can also create creases in the fabric of a curtain, which can be unsightly when the curtains are let down. Holdbacks are easy to use, as it takes just a sweep of the hand to push drapery behind a knob. They are also less likely to create creases in your curtains, so your drapery will look great when drawn as well as when let down.

Something else to note is that wall-mounted curtain holdbacks are not just useful for stationary windows, but for other applications as well. Holdbacks work well when paired with curtain rods for sliding glass doors. Sliding glass doors can give outsiders a wide view into your home, so it's no surprise that you may want to cover them up with curtains. But when people are constantly moving in and out, curtains can get in the way. With curtain holdbacks, curtains can stay neatly tucked away during the day while the sliding glass door is in use. Then at night, the curtains can be closed once again for increased privacy.

Curtain Holdback Installation Tips

Before you can install new holdbacks in your home, you must first make sure that the holdbacks you choose complement your existing hardware. If you cannot find anything that is suitable or would prefer to find a drapery hardware set that contains both curtain rods, curtain mounting hardware, and curtain pullbacks, Drapery Rods Direct has everything you need to get started. Once you have received and installed your new drapery hardware and window treatments, you will finally be able to install holdbacks in their proper place.

All of the curtain holdbacks offered by Drapery Rods Direct are modern knob styles that is mounted onto the wall. The installation process is simple and only takes a few screws. Additional instructions are included with every product, but keep reading for more tips on how to install holdbacks:

How Should Curtain Holdbacks Look?

Technically speaking, there is no right or wrong way to install a curtain pullback. The finished look of your curtain holdbacks is subjective and depends greatly on the individual’s taste and preferences. But as a rule of thumb, designers recommend holdbacks be placed about a third of the way up from the bottom of the curtain. Higher is also fine too, so you should experiment to find the height that works best for your space. Luckily, there is a lot of flexibility in how to hang and use holdbacks, and they are suitable for both single-curtain rod and double curtain rod installations.

Where to Place Curtain Holdbacks

The position for curtain holdbacks depends on your particular taste and how you would like the final product to look. There are many factors to consider, from how close to the trim a holdback should be placed to how to make sure the holdbacks appear even on both sides of the window.

The first step in determining where to place a curtain pullback is to hold the holdback up to the wall and try tucking the curtains behind it. You can experiment by raising and lowering the holdback to find the look that suits you. As a general guideline, if you prefer the fabric of your curtain to be fuller at the top, install the holdback ⅓ of the way up from the bottom of the curtain, and if you want the fabric to be fuller at the bottom, install the holdback ⅓ of the way down from the rod.

Secondly, you must also decide how close to the window to place the curtain holdbacks. This will also contribute to how much of the window is covered by the bunched draperies. The standard is to place curtain holdbacks at least one inch away from the side of the window, but you can go further depending on your preference. For the most secure installation, use a stud finder to locate the studs on either side of the window. This may influence the location of your holdbacks but ensures that they will not easily fall off the wall when in use.

In order to make an effective decorative statement, holdback placement should be even on both sides, which can be achieved using a level. If the screws are in the same position on each side, you are guaranteed that the holdbacks will be perfectly even too.

How to Install Curtain Holdbacks

Once you’ve found the perfect spot, installing curtain pullbacks is easy. Make sure to mark where the curtain holdbacks should go. Then, simply screw into the wall at your desired location. We recommend customers follow the product manual to properly attach their holdbacks.

Shop Curtain Holdbacks

There are great choices in curtain holdbacks at Drapery Rods Direct. The best part is that the holdbacks in each of our collections can be purchased with a set of perfectly matching drapery hardware. The variety within our collections is what makes our selection of decorative curtain holdbacks stand out from the rest. We sell both modern curtain holdbacks as well as those that provide a more antique look. Each comes in the finish of your choice to best match your existing drapery hardware and curtains.

Drapery Rods Direct offers curtain holdbacks in our Wood Trends, Designer Metals, and Orion Drapery Hardware collections.

Wooden Curtain Holdbacks

The best of our wooden curtain holdbacks can be found in the Wood Trends Collection. 

Designer Metal Curtain Holdbacks

Some of the most modern and sleek metal curtain holdback designs can be found in the Designer Metals Collection at Drapery Rods Direct. Every piece is polished or satin metal, and because they are less intricate than other Drapery Rods Direct holdback styles, the holdbacks in this collection are likely to pair well with existing drapery hardware that you already own. In this collection, there are three holdback designs available in eight different metal finishes. Our Designer Metals Collection curtain holdbacks also come with an adjustable base assembly, meaning you can position your holdbacks at your desired distance from the wall. That means these holdbacks can be positioned either 2 1/2", 5", or 7 1/2" from the wall.

Questions about Curtain Holdbacks?

If you have more questions about curtain holdbacks and what we offer, our friendly staff of drapery rod experts will be glad to help. We can explain more about the selection at Drapery Rods Direct, help you to pick out the right curtain holdback, and answer questions about installation.

To speak to a representative, just call 800-251-5009. We are available between 9 AM and 5 PM on business days. Our staff is ready to assist you with all things related to our drapery hardware, so don’t hesitate to call.

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