How to Pick the Perfect Curtain Length for Your Windows
There are three standard curtain lengths: 84 inches, 96 inches and 108 inches, respectively. When choosing the length for your windows, go for longer drapes over shorter.
The length of your curtains has the ability to make or break a room design. The one rule that never should be broken when finding the perfect dimensions is this: When hung, your curtain panels should brush the floor. This is achieved by taking accurate window measurements and finding a fabric that will create a finished, streamlined space.
Measuring Your Windows for Curtains
Ensuring drapes look their best in your space begins with taking proper measurements.
- The Rule of 10s: When measuring curtains, there’s one magical number to remember: 10. The best fit is achieved by allowing 10 inches above the window trim and 10 inches beyond the window on each side. If that much width isn’t available, simply divide it in half and go with 4 or 5 inches instead. Also, take higher ceilings into consideration when figuring out curtain placement. Your hardware or curtain rod should be positioned either at the ceiling, just under the crown molding, or a foot or two above the window trim.
- Take Several Measurements: A single measurement taken from where you plan for the top of your curtain to be doesn’t allow for imperfections like uneven floors and ceilings. Always take multiple measurements across the width of your curtains to be sure they are adjusted appropriately.
Purchasing Standard Length Curtains
As mentioned before, pre-packaged curtains are available in three standard lengths: 84 inches, 96 inches and 108 inches. For the most part, avoid the 84-inch varieties unless your home has really low ceilings. This length tends to be awkward and inappropriate for most settings.
The two longer lengths — 96 inches and 108 inches — are more popular and work well for a large percentage of conventional spaces. Simply go with the length that is nearest to your measurements. When in doubt? Go long rather than short, even when the curtains will be partially covered by a piece of furniture. If you try to cut corners, the lack of weight, both physical and visual, will be apparent.
Try Custom Drapes
While a case for standard, store-bought curtains can be made for rooms you plan on renovating, the simple truth is you can’t beat custom curtains in any situation.
- Team Up With a Designer: By recruiting the services of a designer, you’ll make certain your curtains turn out the correct length. In addition, they can help you pick out a fabric pattern or print that is ideal for the scale of your curtains and space, leaving you with a finished product well worth the additional expense. Window treatments are a significant investment for your home, so it’s important to steer clear of avoidable mistakes. Designers can help with that.
- Partner With a Tailor: For a budget-friendly solution to achieving that custom look, consider enlisting a local tailor to hem existing curtain panels. While working with a designer obviously has more benefits, a clever tailor is the next best thing.