17W508 22nd St, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181


Determining the Ideal Drapery Length for Different Room Types

Table of Contents

You may ask yourself how long is the ideal drapery length be? The answer is that it depends on what look you are trying to convey in each room of your home. Some combinations look a bit on the sad part if not done correctly, kind of like you went shopping in a big box store and just grabbed something off the shelf to make do with.

You should also understand what fabric drop means to get the right width of curtains or drapes that will look nice in your windows. Curtains are often made by using ‘drops’ or widths of fabric, with the drop referring to one full width. An example might be a pair of drapery panels with two drops per panel, which amounts to four widths of fabric or four drops.

Window coverings that are too narrow won’t naturally form folds from top to bottom and will appear just flat on the front. If your length is too short, your curtains or drapes also look awkward. Measuring correctly will ensure your window treatments looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

You should secure at least twice the width of the window in total for your width of your curtains to add fullness. The length can be floor-length for a formal appearance, sill-length for a kitchen window or a child’s bedroom, or below sill-length for other rooms in your home.

Standard lengths of pre-made curtains and drapes are 63, 84, 96, 108 and 120 inches long. One of these may fit your windows perfectly, depending on where you place the drapery rod. The curtain lengths to suit your style varies, but the most common choice of length is to have drapes or curtains that slightly graze the floor.

When measuring for curtains and drapes, you can make your room appear larger by placing the drapery rod higher over the top of the window frame and extending it outward of the window frame on each side. Determine this first, and measure from these points for your width at the drapery rod position and from the drapery rod down to the length you desire.

Tips and Considerations In Calculating the Ideal Length for Window Curtains in Living Rooms

Window Curtains in Living Rooms

Living room curtains are usually long and sweeping. Kitchen curtains, bathroom curtains, and hallway curtains are shorter and less formal. Shorter styles of above sill curtains are more casual and will sit approximately just above the windowsill. It is perfect for windows that you open frequently. Below sill curtains will end about 6 inches below the windowsill.

For the most tailored look, you want curtains 1/4 inch above the ground. For a more traditional look, full-length drapes hang about an inch or two on the floor. Dramatic length curtains allow 3 to 4 inches of the drapes to puddle on the ground to create a luxurious, romantic look.

For very tall ceilings, floor to ceiling length drapery with a puddle effect at the bottom adds drama and accents the height of your room. For smaller living room windows, the puddling effect doesn’t look as good and a traditional appearance with the panels slightly kissing the floor is more acceptable.

Selecting the Right Drapery for Bedrooms and Bathrooms

For bathroom windows, it really depends on the size of window you have. For full-length windows, use full-length drapery to barely touch the floor for a nice secluded feel of privacy. If you have small windows, it’s best to keep the window treatments just below the sill level to look like they belong on the window.

For bedrooms, it depends on the formality of your decor. The same rules apply as they do to the living room. Choose between above sill, below sill, traditional length of 1/4 inch above the floor, kiss the floor or the dramatic puddling effect.

Choosing the Perfect Fit for Kitchen Windows

Kitchen Windows - Window Coverings Wheaton, IL Area

The majority of homes have a small kitchen window above the sink. If you don’t get a lot of sun and heat in the window, choose café style curtains that are hung in the center of the window height and just touch the window sill. Anything longer will have a propensity to be splashed with water while washing dishes. You should also choose a fabric that can be machine washed because the heat, humidity and cooking odors will eventually absorb into the fabric.

For other windows in your kitchen, the most popular and best idea is for the traditional length, with the drapery or curtains panels just kissing the floor. Consider adding a coordinating valance at the top of all your kitchen window treatments to tie all the elements in together.

Your goal in kitchen window treatments is to allow as much natural sunlight in as possible, so you can clearly see to cook, clean and read recipes without adding artificial lighting.

Measurement Guidelines For Optimizing Family Room Windows with Floor-Length Drapes

In your family room, floor length drapes are quite lovely and artistic in nature. If you have pets or children, you may want to steer away from the excess fabric to create a puddling effect, though, because it can cause a tripping hazard for some. Dramatic length drapes also will attract more dust, debris and pet dander and can be hard to keep clean with pets and children.

Floor length window coverings give your family room a sense of height, elegance, balance and visual continuity in the space for a pleasing effect. If you happen to have something under the window, such as a heater, then floor length drapes are not going to work. In this case, choose sill-length. Floor length drapes look best in windows that don’t have furniture covering them to get the maximum effect.

Choosing a medium weight fabric always works well in a family room. Choose a pattern if your room has no other patterns in it, or choose a solid color fabric to pick up an accent color in a patterned rug or couch to balance functionality and aesthetics.

Pro Tips and Techniques In Measuring Curtains Correctly to Ensure a Perfect Fit Every Time

Measure Curtains

First, decide the height you want and the width of your drapery rod to start the measuring process. You can make a dot on the wall at the center of the window width as to the height you want your drapery rod to be. Drapery rod styles look best when they are at least 4 inches above the window frame or crown molding, but you can place them just below the ceiling height for a dramatic appearance if you wish.

Then use a measuring tape and stretch it out for the drapery rod width to be the same number of inches wider than the window frame on each side, and mark a dot on the end of where the drapery rod will fall. Try to add at least 4 inches to each side of the window frame if you have room on the wall.

Measure from the center dot to the length you determined you want for your drapery or curtains. Measure between the two dots on the wall marking the drapery rod width, and at least double the measurement to give you enough fabric for it to drape properly.

For bow or bay windows, you can use the same measuring techniques for each individual window, or you can take measurements across the bay or bow for one set of drapery or curtains to cover the entire set of windows.

For arched windows, measure the bottom portion that would be a rectangle and the arch above it separately, as you will need two different window treatments to cover them. You can choose a sunburst to cover the arch separately as a stationary covering, or you may leave it uncovered if you prefer.

Optimizing Style, Functionality, and Aesthetics with Beyond Shades

It’s of the utmost importance to understand the drop and length of window treatments. You should also understand how to properly size your curtains for different rooms and window types for the ultimate style, room aesthetics and functionality. Choose your length depending on the formality of each room in your home,

including kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and family rooms. Make certain you measure properly to secure the right size window treatments. The correct fit and size of curtains can enhance the overall appeal and ambiance of a room to add style, privacy and light control.

To make the process easier and ensure the perfect fit for your window treatments, consider scheduling an appointment with Beyond Shades, a renowned expert in custom drapes and window coverings. Our experienced professionals can provide valuable guidance and assist you in selecting the ideal window treatments that align with your style preferences and specific requirements. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore our extensive range of options and achieve the perfect balance of style, privacy, and light control for your home.

Rachel Gregersen
Rachel Gregersen

Owner of Beyond Shades and also an accomplished designer with 25+ years of experience specializing in interiors, architecture, and window fashions, dedicated to meeting clients' unique needs.

Skip to content