Tier curtains are also known as café curtains or privacy tiers. They cover the lower half of a window to afford privacy and can be combined with a coordinating valance to complete the look. On shorter windows tier curtains can be used as a full window treatment.
Where to Use Tier Curtains
Tier curtains are versatile and can be used to create a decorative ensemble that coordinates the color theme of any room. Privacy tiers are a popular choice for bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens because they allow natural light into the room and afford the desired element of privacy.
Full-length curtain panels or drapes can be hung over tier curtains if you want even more privacy at night and can be pulled to the side with a swag during the day. This layered approach provides a number of decorative options.
Make Your Own Privacy Tiers
If you have basic sewing skills, privacy tier curtains are easy to make. Sewing your own curtains can save money and affords the benefit of creating the exact curtains you want. Materials are minimal and the project can be completed in quick fashion. Twill tape is used to create a channel for the curtain rod. It should be 1½" longer than the width of the curtain panel to allow for hemming. Curtain material should also be 1½" wider that the window and about 5" longer.
Use a straight stitch to sew along the top edge of the twill tape to secure it and fold the top 2" of the curtain panel over and sew to create the channel for the curtain rod. Finish the remaining edges by turning ¼"- ½" of the edge and sewing with a straight stitch for a finished edge. Fold over 1" of the finished edge along the sides. Press the fabric and sew. Finish the tiers by hemming the bottom edge to the correct length. Press and they are ready to hang.
For a more professional finished look, hem by hand with a slipstitch.
If you are searching for that vintage country look, instead of buying fabric, you can use things like an old quilt for your curtain panels. Other alternatives include:
- Antique handkerchiefs
- Vintage fabric
Ready Made Options
Ready-made tier curtains are available in a large range of fabrics and sizes. They can be purchased at your local department stores such as Target or Wal-mart, or you can find a large selection online. Here are a few resources to help you find just the right curtains:
Choosing a Curtain Rod
The most common curtain rods used with privacy tiers are the spring-loaded or brass varieties. Spring-loaded rods are easy to install because they fit inside the window's frame. That's just one of the reasons for their popularity. The other is that the rods are invisible when the curtains are hung.Brass rods take a little work to hang as you must measure and affix small brackets to hang the rod. Scalloped, laced and fringed tiered curtains look especially nice hung from these more decorative rods.
The large selection of curtain rod styles on the market today make it easy to find exactly the look you want, but tier curtains don't have to be hung by a traditional rod. Don't limit your creativity. Here are a few ideas that have worked for others:
- Hand carved cane
- Decorative sword
- Shepard's crook
- An arrow
- A branch
Hanging tier curtains can be as simple as two panels at a small window or as extravagant as layers of lace hung beneath top drapes. With all the fabrics and rods available and your creativity, the possibilities for your curtains are endless.