Decor Snob Interior Design Ideas and Inspiration
The 6 Most Popular Types of Curtain Rods

Small Workout Room Ideas when space in your home is tight.

By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

Types of Curtain Rods

In the past, style choices for curtain rods were limited. They only had a utilitarian use and were not considered part of the window treatment décor. Times have changed and now there are numerous styles and colors to choose from. Curtain rods are used to both accentuate and finish off a curtain.

The most common types of curtain rods are:

  • tension,
  • continental
  • traverse
  • conventional
  • wrap around
  • swing arm

These curtain rods come in shades of wood or different metallic colors. Many also have elaborate finials to accentuate your window treatment’s look.

Today’s curtain rods do more than just hold up the drapes. They are a decorating statement. We’ll go into the different curtain rod styles and discuss how they will work with your decorating choices.

Curtain Rods Add a Decorative Touch to Your Interior Design

The lowly cousin of the curtain is now a decorator’s secret weapon. Curtain rods have become a game changer. They can switch up the look of curtains and help tie a room together.

The Simple Tension Rod is Still a Staple

The spring or tension curtain rod has grown beyond hanging grandma’s gingham curtains in the kitchen. Today’s tension rod comes in various colors. It makes more than just a utilitarian contribution to the curtain’s look.

tension curtain rod


Some tension rods we found include:

  • Ivilon Tension Curtain Rod—A beautiful rod that can be used in any room. This includes the shower. But why hide it in the bathroom. The gold-plated design brings a touch of elegance to a basic rod. If gold isn’t your look, don’t worry, it also comes in black and satin nickel. Built with a sturdy design, this tension rod can handle heavier curtains.
  •  Briofox Tension Curtain Rod—This heavy-duty, matte nickel, steel tube is made to work. A thicker rod, it comes in several matte finishes. Your choices are bronze, chrome, black and white. Its strong tension can handle weight up to thirty pounds.
  • Desyne Stamp Café Rod—This rod looks like it belongs in a Parisian café with pretty white ruffled curtains. It’s definitely not grandma’s tension rod. Two words describe it: simple and elegant. The satin nickel finish gives it a clean look, while the decorative finials add a touch of class not usually found in a tension rod.

Often Used and Seldom Noticed, the Continental Curtain Rod

The continental curtain rod is overworked and underappreciated. As a wide expandable rod, it’s used for curtains with rod pockets. It is also used with valances. Although it’s not given much credit for decorating, it does offer one special touch. It gives your curtain a clean look.


continental curtain rod

There isn’t a rod interrupting the flow of the curtain with the wall. If you don’t want a finial jutting out detracting from your curtains this is the rod for you. Here’s an added benefit, if you’re looking to install a curtain rod inexpensively, that can handle a load, there’s no better choice.

Big Windows Demand a Big Traverse

If you have expansive windows you need a traverse curtain rod. These rods can handle heavy curtains or light sheers. You have your choice with either mounting the rods on the ceiling or wall. In the old days they came in white or white. Now they are stylishly made of wood and metal.


Traverse Window Curtain Rod

Several traverse rods that tickled us include:

  • Infinette Tekno 40 Tama—The Infinette Tamo comes with sixteen carriers, one baton, and two beautiful finials. It’s hand-drawn and allows for right, left, or center stacking. Now that the mechanics are out of the way, let’s talk style. The color options are fabulous. They include antique silver, maroon, black, sienna, and sandal. One of these will complement your walls and curtains.
  • Infinette Tekno 40 Garibaldi—Infinette has done it again with the Garibaldi. It too offers the wonderful, antique silver, black, sienna, sandal, and marron colors, but it also gives you an upgrade on the finials. Think disco ball. This clear, round, faceted ball makes the Garibaldi finials a wonderful touch to this rod.
  • Infinette Tekno 40 Elfin—Once more, offering all those wonderful finishes, we have another Infinette. The finials on this curtain rod are lovely and will work in a casual setting if you go with the sienna. You can also dress it up with black or antique silver finishes. These finials have a twist to them, literary. Spirals finish them off.

Conventional Curtain Rods, Both Versatile and Beautiful

There’s nothing conventional about today’s conventional curtain rods. They come in two styles: a single rod and double rod. The double rod allows you to hang a sheer under your heavier curtain. Conventional curtain rods are available in many wonderful finishes. They usually come with matching wall hardware.

conventional curtain rods


We’ve selected a few that are sure to accentuate your room’s look.

  • Kamanina 1 Inch Curtain Rod—This traditional rod is a single style. The bronze finish gives it a warm feeling that can go either dressy or casual. It’s a sturdy rod and can handle heavy grommet curtains. If you’re planning on using blackout curtains, it will hold them. The finials are beautifully netted, textured balls that make this curtain rod a standout.
  • Exclusive Home Curtains Ogee—Finials make a curtain rod, and that’s especially true with the Ogee rod. The finials are round with a cage-like shape. Dress it up with the matte silver finish or go for casual with bronze. The black finish will give you that rod iron look.
  • Meriville Double Window Treatment—Gold is a rich color and with this curtain rod it’s even richer. The Meriville comes with fluted ball finials, hand-painted, and made of polyresin. It’s designed to work with double window treatments.

Keep it Dark with Wrap Around Curtain Rods

This is a great rod if you’re a shift worker needing to sleep during the day. It allows the curtain to wrap around and meet the wall. And they’re durable.


Wrap around curtain rods are strong enough to hold heavy blackout curtains. They let the blackout curtain extend to the wall. After all, why have a blackout curtain if you’re going to let the light peek in the sides. 

Place a wrap around rod in your bedroom for privacy and one in the nursery to keep that baby sleeping. One other perk is that a wrap-around rod is available in either a single or a double.

Swing Open Your Curtains in One Swoop

Swing arm curtain rods are fun. They only attach on one side of the wall and just swing open when needed. Install it on either side of the window. You’ll be able to open your curtains easily. And if you had trouble deciding on your curtain, you’ll now be able to have a different color or pattern on each side.

Swing arm curtain rods

Since, with the swing arm, you’ll be opening your curtain like a door. Both sides are unique and will change your room’s look.

Swing arms are versatile. They work great as:

  • Closets
  • Shutters
  • Window treatments
  • Doors
  • French doors

They’re a simple rod that usually has a sleek clean style. This lets you go in any direction with your window treatments.

Change Your Finials and Dress Up Any Curtain Rod

Whether you’re going for a high-end curtain rod, or something more budget friendly, the right finials will dress it up.

When choosing finials, you want them to complement the curtain rod, not pick a fight with it. In other words, don’t go with bronze finials and a gold rod. But you can go with bronze finials and a stainless steel rod. Wood and bronze also complement each other. Keep an eye on your room’s style. You might have fallen in love with those Victorian finials but if your room is contemporary or even French provincial, they will stick out, and not in a good way. Have fun choosing those perfect finials. Some of the finials we found came with the rod others didn’t. Here are some we liked:

  • Exclusive Home Curtains Rope Knot—Whether you have a homey den or a country bedroom, this curtain rod-finial set is the ticket. The bronze rod accentuates this woven brown rope knot finial. The round finials are traditional and classic.
  • Kamanina Replacement Finial—Elegant is the word that describes these finials. Round with a flat cap on the end, these beauties are black with a netted texture design and have a hand gilt pattern. They would go perfectly with a black or gold curtain rod. These finials also come in silver and bronze.
  • Amazon Basics Squire Acrylic Finials—These finials have a different kind of look. They’re square. The nickel-base of these finials are capped off with a clear acrylic square. They’re beautiful and you can dress them up or down depending on your curtain. The square design also comes in bronze, which accentuates the acrylic.

Use a Curtain Rod to Finish off Your Look

Finish off a room with curtain rods. They can be used to accentuate your window treatments, or they can simply disappear and let your curtains shine. With choices like, tension, traverse, conventional, continental, and swing arm, you’ll sure to design a window that will pop.

Transform Your Home in Just 7 Days

Our LA designers create stunning spaces without the hassle or wait.
Get a custom design plan in just 1 week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy. All images and recommendations have been carefully curated assuring that we provide you with the most accurate and trustworthy information available to us.

Every item on this page was hand-picked by a Decor Snob editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Get More Inspiration For Your Window Curtains & Window Treatments

Common Questions About Your Window Curtains & Window Treatments

Let's Get Started

Create an Account

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions
Already a member? Log in here

Welcome Back!

Sign in to your Decor Snob account.

Don’t have an account? Sign up.

Want to know when I post more Decor Ideas?

Type your email address below and you’ll be the first to know!

By subscribing you agree to receive newsletters and special email promotions. See privacy policy.