Swing Arm Curtain Rods

Michelle Radcliff
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Swing arm curtain rods or crane rods are a creative alternative to traditional curtain rods and provide a convenient way to open and close curtains.

Using Swing Arm Curtain Rods

A swing arm curtain rod is a rod that is attached to the wall on one side only. The hardware used to mount it consists of a specialized bracket with a hinge that allows the rod to swing 180 degrees to the left or right, depending on which side of the window you install it on.

The beauty of this unique design is that it allows you to open your drapes or curtains in one easy motion. If you have a heavy drape, you can attach support brackets in the appropriate places so that the swing arm rod can support more weight when the open end is closed against the window or wall.

A creative way to use this type of curtain rod is to line your drapery with a different type of fabric. Then, when you swing the rod towards the wall to open up the window, a different color or design of fabric is displayed on the other side.

If you have a narrow hallway linen closet, a swing arm drapery rod would work well for hanging a lightweight curtain over the doorway. When you need to get clean linens, just swing the curtain out of your way.

Swing arm rods work great with French doors, shutters, closets, café style window treatments, bathrooms, windows on doors, etc. On wider windows, swing arm rods are hung in pairs.

Installation

Swing arm rods are easy to install. You can estimate where on the wall, windowsill or door to install the mounting bracket by holding the rod up to the window. Use the mounting bracket to lightly pencil in the two screw holes needed to mount the rod. If the screws are going into drywall, you'll need drywall anchors. Whenever possible though, try to install the mounting brackets into wood or a wall stud. Without a strong anchor, the rod may start to sag.

Once the mounting bracket is screwed into place, test the rod by swinging it open and closed. If nothing obstructs the movement of the rod, you can add the curtain, attach the finial and start enjoying your new window treatment.

If you need to install to support brackets, use a level or a tape measure to make sure you are installing the support brackets at the same height as the mounting bracket.

Styles

These specialized rods come in distinctive styles, which helps add an extra flair to your window treatment. Swing arm rods have been around for a long time. You can even find antique rods online at One Antique Shop. The swing arm rods you can find here have a floral design and would look great in a Victorian style home.

Swing arm rods are available in different metallic colors with stylish finials. Finial designs include:

  • Large and small balls
  • Tulips
  • Buttercups
  • Javelins
  • Hooks
  • Torches
  • Fleur-de-lis
  • Pineapples
  • Leaves
  • Arrows

You can also find swing arm rods that have floral or scroll embellishments that project upwards and sideways over the rod. These designs appear to reflect the Victorian style seen in the antique rods. These curtain rods not only have a unique way of functioning, but many are unique in their ornate designs.

Where to Buy

Swing arm curtain rods can be found online at:

Another good source for vintage swing arm rods is eBay. eBay usually has a page or two of listings for vintage swing curtain rods. Some sets do not include the mounting brackets, so you will need to buy those separately. If you're not sure about being able to find mounting brackets that will work on a vintage rod, ask the seller for suggestions before you buy.

You can also look for swing arm drapery rods at your local hardware stores, home improvement stores and window treatment stores.

Swing Arm Curtain Rods