How Long Should Your Curtains Be: 4 Tips For Finding the Perfect Size

Curtains are a crucial piece in homes that serve the extraordinarily practical purpose of privacy and light control in day-to-day life. Beyond their practical purpose, however, they also serve as an absolutely excellent way to decorate and elevate a simple space by adding texture, character, and personality to a room. Many interior designers will actually report that curtains are probably one of the easiest and most affordable ways to completely alter or update the feel of a room. If you’re looking to add cool tones, warm tones, a fun print, or a statement color to your room, something as simple as blue curtains can add personality, quality, and finishing touches to your space.

perfect size curtains

Where people get caught in the process of picking out curtains is in the measurements. We can all agree that a quality set of curtains can transform a space, but too many people get stuck in the logistical nightmare of selecting and installing curtains. We totally empathize with how confusing the measurements can be in the process of curtain installation, and as a response, we’ve consulted some interior designers’ expertise to get a better feel for the numbers. Not to fear, here’s everything you need to know about finding the perfect size for curtains.

1. Find the proper length for your curtain rod

To find the correct length of the curtain rod you should buy, measure the width of your window and then add about eight to twelve inches. This allows you to fully open your curtains by creating space for them to go. It also creates a more elegant look to have a longer curtain rod than the simple width of the window pane.

2. Decide the perfect height for your curtains

Finding the correct height of curtains will depend highly on your taste and what type of look you are going for. Start by measuring about four to six (though to create different stylistic looks, the minimum can be two and the maximum can be eight) inches above the window frame to your desired spot you want the curtains to stop. For some, they add extra length as they like the look of their drapes pooling on the floor. This puddle curtain effect creates a more formal look. Others like the curtain to stop directly at the floor. The break at the floor look creates a clean and classic look. Still others like the bottom of the curtain to stop at the bottom of the window frame. This can be great in kitchens or in smaller windows in more practical locations.

For the conventionally sized window, a good rule of thumb for finding the perfect size and length for your curtains is to know that a 63-inch curtain will typically fall right below the window sill. An 84-inch curtain will typically reach the floor. A 95-inch curtain will in most cases puddle on the floor. Taking it one step further, a 108-inch curtain will pool on the floor.

3. Learn the necessary width of your curtain panels

As far as the width of your curtain, they should be at least as wide as your window including your molding. People always make inevitable mistakes when they try to measure only the inside of the window panes, so try to avoid this. Beyond this, there are stylistic choices that will also come into play. How many curtain panels do you want? You could do a single panel that is the full width, or two panels that add up to the total width.

But in general, most professionals will tell you that when your window width is up to 29 inches you only need one panel. If the window width is 30 inches to 39 inches, you need two panels. If the width is 40 inches to 48 inches, you need will need two to three panels. If the window itself is 49 inches to 72 inches, you will most likely need three to four panels. If the width of the window is 73 inches to 96 inches, you will need four to five panels. With a window that is 97 inches to 120 inches, about five to six panels are necessary. Finally, for a window that is anywhere from 121 inches to 144 inches, six to seven panels are needed.

4. Determine the precise place to install your curtain brackets

To find where to place your bracket, go back to your measurements and check the height you determined. This is the measurement from number two in the height section which measures about four to six inches above the window. From that height spot, the bracket should then be placed four to six inches over the side of the window frame. This will allow you to fully open your curtains.

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What are the different types of curtains?

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