7 Curtain Length Rules to Know About When Designing Your Home Interior

curtain length rules

When it comes to curtains you are usually regulated two standard curtain lengths. So, you must figure out how to maneuver your curtain rod, buy extra curtains or many other tricks to get the look that you want in your curtains. However, custom curtains come in all lengths, sizes and shapes. However, there are a few unofficial rules that you may want to keep in mind when you are designing your home and choosing your custom curtains.

At Emma Custom, it is important to us that you have all the information you need to make the best choices in custom curtains. That is why, in this article, we’ll uncover 7 of the rules you need to know about curtain length, so you are not caught off guard. No matter which curtain length you choose, you are sure to find the perfect curtain to match your unique style and décor.

Curtain Length Rules

We’ll talk about a few simple rules when it comes to determining the curtain length that is appropriate for your windows. However, don’t worry not all these rules are hard and fast, and you should always choose a curtain length that is just right for you.

Rod Placement Matters

In the past, it was not uncommon to find the curtain rod hung just above the window frame. However, we now know that it is more aesthetically pleasing, in many cases, to move the curtain rod closer to the ceiling. Anywhere from six to eight inches from the ceiling at the most is the most appealing. What this does when it comes to curtain length is it allows you to properly measure so that your curtains fall somewhere between about an inch above the floor to a puddle of curtain on the floor. Where the curtain stops will be decided based on the overall look you wish to achieve.

Stationary or Functional Curtains

Curtain length is also determined based on the function of the curtain. For example, stationary curtains are more likely to be puddled or allowed to just kiss the floor. These curtains are not intended to be moved, so you do not have to worry as much about wear on the fabric, or excess dirt. Conversely, for functional curtains, a great rule of thumb is to have the curtain fall 1/2 to one inch above the floor less wear on the fabric keeping the curtains looking better longer. A special note, if the curtain is to hang above a baseboard heater it is recommended that the curtain be no closer than 4 inches from the baseboard heater for fire safety.

Match Curtain Lengths Throughout the Room

No matter which curtain length you decided to go with, it is extremely important that all the curtains in a room or visual space be proportionate to each other. This is most easily achieved by having all the curtains hit near the floor at the same level. However, one exception to this rule is windows that are extremely distinct from the other windows in a given room. It may be best to have a completely unique treatment window treatment for that window give it a chance to stand out and be a focal point of design and interest for the entire space.

Windowsill-Length Curtains

For short windows, the length of the curtain will likely be decided by what is or will be below the window. For example, if there is furniture or a cabinet sitting below the window, you cannot, or at least do not want to have your curtains hang behind a stationary piece that is especially close to the wall. You are probably going to want to go with a curtain that hits about an inch from the top of the windowsill this will allow to the entire curtain to be seen and enjoyed while keeping the curtain from picking up excess dust that may collect along the sill.

Café-Length Curtains

A unique design can be found in café length curtains. These curtains are typically paired with a valance. The curtains hang from a rod mounted at the middle of the window, or sometimes just above the halfway mark of the window. The lower portion of the curtain is functional and will typically fall to just above the windowsill while the top curtain or valance will remain stationary

Puddled Curtains

Typically found in rooms designed to offer a romantic atmosphere, curtains can be long enough to puddle on the ground. As mentioned above, puddled curtains are usually stationary. Puddled curtains are around fifteen inches longer than the rod height, allowing for a generous and beautiful puddle at the bottom of the curtain. Additionally, puddled curtains are typically made of lighter, sometimes even sheer fabrics this allows them to get a gentler puddle and not so stiff causing breaking or folding in the fabric.

Curtain Width May Determine Length

One final rule is that usually, curtains should be longer than they are wide, except for valances. Determine the width of your curtains by the rod length, usually two to two and a half times the rod length for the total width of your panel curtains. Additionally, you want to be at least one and a half to two time the rod length in the drop of the curtain from the rod but can extend beyond. This will keep the appropriate proportion to the curtains. Short, square curtains do little for aesthetic appeal.

Final Thoughts

There you go, every rule of thumb, guideline, or simple opinion that may be related to curtain length. It is our sincere hope that this article has helped you find the right curtain length for you. Custom curtains do not have to be difficult. Custom curtains offer you a chance to breathe a little personality into your home, without breaking the bank. If you get a little overwhelmed by all these rules, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. At Emma Custom, our mission is to provide you the most beautiful and affordable custom window coverings to meet all your design need. We are here to help you every step of the way.

Start shopping for your custom curtains today or contact us for questions or guidance!
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