These Are the Right Curtain Lengths for Every Window In Your Home
Find the ideal curtain length for each window to enhance your home’s interior design and visual appeal.
Hanging curtains in your home can be stressful. From determining how high to hang the curtains, how to install the curtain rod, and deciding where the curtains should hit the window or wall, there are several things to think about. Before you head to one of the best places to buy curtains, it is important to gain an understanding of the various curtain lengths available to choose from. Working with this information about average curtain lengths can help you determine the appropriate placement and length for the curtains in your home.
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Standard Curtain Lengths
There are several standard curtain lengths that will each hit the window or the wall below it in different places. You may see curtain lengths referred to as cafe, apron, floor, or puddle. Read on to learn more about what each of these terms means and which one will offer the look you desire in your living spaces.
Cafe is one of the curtain sizes you may find during your search. Curtains of this length are designed to offer privacy, while also allowing ample light to enter the room. Rather than being hung above the window, as is the case with other types of curtains, you hang cafe curtains across the middle of the window. They are typically between 24 and 36 inches long, meaning they should end right around the window sill.
Apron is another one of the most common lengths of curtains you can find. The curtains are about 84 inches long, but possibly up to 94 inches long, and end just under the window sill. This length makes them a good deal longer than cafe curtains, but still significantly shorter than floor-length curtains. They are most commonly used on windows that are above heaters, furniture, or another item that makes it impossible to hang floor length curtains. Apron curtains can also be a good choice if you want your home to have a more casual feel.
Another common drapes length you may see is floor length. Floor length curtains are about 96 inches long, but could be up to 107 inches long. With this length, they are designed to end right above the floor, but without actually touching it.
Floor-length drapes can help give a living space a more formal or refined space. When hung correctly, they can also help a room feel larger. Just make sure that you hang the curtains closer to the ceiling than to the top of the window itself. If the curtains are hung too low, they could end up spilling over on the floor, which could result in the need to sew the curtains for a better fit.
Of the standard curtain sizes, puddle length will be the longest. These curtains, which are at least 108 inches long, are longer than the distance between the curtain rod and the floor. This causes them to puddle at the base of the window, which is where their name came from. These extra-long curtains work best in formal living rooms and dining rooms, or any other spaces where you’re looking to create a more elegant atmosphere.
Keep in mind, however, that because they hang past the edge of the wall, they could create a tripping hazard, so you might not want to choose this length for higher traffic areas in the home. Moreover, the longer length also makes the curtains a bit more difficult to open and means that they will collect dust and other debris more easily.
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How to Measure Windows for Curtains
The first step for measuring for drapery sizes is to find the width of the window, including any trim around it. To leave space for the curtains to be pulled to the side and to prevent them from looking too small for the window, add an extra 8 to 12 inches on either side of the frame, for a total of 16 to 24 inches to the total width to help you find the right curtain rod. For example, if your window was 36 inches wide, you should look for a curtain rod that is 52 to 60 inches wide.
Once you’ve determined how long the curtain rod will be, you can determine the ideal curtain width for the window. Make sure that the curtain panels are wide enough to properly fit the window without looking too small. In most cases, you will need the total width of the panels to be at least twice that of the window itself.
Finally, when measuring a standard window size for curtains, you will also need to determine the ideal length before making a purchase. When deciding on the ideal length of drapes, consider the different options presented above: cafe, apron, floor, and puddle. Then, consider the placement of the curtain rod—which should be almost all the way to the ceiling for homes with 8-foot ceilings or about a foot above the window for rooms with high ceilings. Then, measure the distance from where the rod will be placed to the point where you want your curtains to end.
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Curtain Length Tips and Tricks
There are several things to keep in mind when deciding on the ideal curtain length for your home. These include:
- When choosing the ideal curtain length, don’t forget to also account for any added space that curtain rings (if your curtains require them) will take up.
- Take multiple height measurements across the width of the window to account for the possibility of an uneven floor or ceiling.
- When buying curtains, it is better to choose a set that may be a bit too long, rather than a set that could end up being too short. You can fix too long by having the curtains hemmed or adjusting the height of the curtain rod, but you won’t be able to add length to curtains that are too short.
- If you can’t find a length that matches your exact needs, consider working with a designer and getting custom curtains.