How Long Should My Curtains Be?

Do you have young children? Do you have pets? Will the curtains be in a room with high traffic? These are some of the questions I ask clients when they ask me how long their curtains should be. Think about your lifestyle, do you like the look of curtains that puddle on the floor and you don’t mind lifting them when you clean the floor? Would you like to be able to sweep under your curtains because they are in a high traffic area of your home?

Floor-length curtains are the most popular length, unless there’s a radiator or a deep sill in the way. Measure from the floor to where you’ll hang the rod. You’ll get the most current look if the fabric makes contact with the floor. This look is classic and tailored; it makes sense if you’ll be opening and closing the curtains often. The fabric should just touch the floor or hover half an inch above. This is also a great approach for café curtains (short panels that cover only the lower portion of a window and hit the sill), which work well in spots like the kitchen and bathroom, where long curtains aren’t practical.

Panels that extend onto the floor by one to three inches are another stylish option. They’re more relaxed than those that graze the floor but they still feel tailored—think of a pair of dress trousers. If you have uneven floors or are worried about precision measuring, this style is more forgiving.

In formal rooms, six inches of fabric or more, pooling on the floor can look romantic but is also high-maintenance. They’ll need to be cleaned more often and will have to be readjusted every time you vacuum or the cat lies on them.

You may need custom curtains made to achieve the length you want. And that’s where DrapeStyle comes in. We have been making custom curtains for over 15 years. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are happy to help you create stunning curtains for your home.


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Drapery Length

Hover.  Break.  Puddle.  You probably know these words but did you know they also pertain to drapes and curtains?

Determining the length of your drapes takes a little thought.  First, ask yourself a few questions:

What is the style of the room you are having drapes made for?  Is it formal or casual?

Does this room get a lot of traffic?  You do have kids and pets constantly running through the room?  Will there be traffic going in and out of the door the drapes will be hanging from?

What kind of flooring is in this room?  Carpet?  Tile?  Wood?  What length will look best with your type of flooring?

Finishing Touch

Not only are drapes like “Jewelry”, creating the finishing touch to your room, but they can provide privacy, help with heating and cooling cost, and make your room and windows appear larger.  So it is important that we make your custom drapes the correct size.

What a difference drapes make!  

This is the same sized window; doesn’t the window on the left look so much bigger?
dodont

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hang ’em HIGH and WIDE!

This is a trick that designers use to make the space appear larger than it is.  Your room will look taller if your drapes hang 2″ from the ceiling.  Measure 2″ below the ceiling or moulding, to the floor for your finished length.  If your space doesn’t allow you to hang your drapes this high, you can hang the drapery rod 4″ above the window moulding.  Measure from this point to the floor and this will be your finish length.

     

Next, let’s define a few terms:

Hover or Floor Length-Drapes that meet the floor:

This is the most popular option for customers to select.  Floor length drapes lend a more casual look, and are a more practical option if the drapes will be opened and closed often.  If you are using a drapery rod with rings, measure from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor to get your finished length.

Salaam Dupioni Custom Silk Drapery

White Linen with Sand Border and Velvet Ribbon Detail

Trouser Break-Drapes break like a pair of trousers-one inch of fabric on the floor:

Trouser break drapes offer a tailored, but more casual look with that designer touch.  Take the measurement from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor and add one inch.  All fabrics look great with this look.

Minimal Puddle-Drapes “puddle” or gather slightly on the floor:

Beautifully tailored looking drapes with a minimal puddle.  This look adds softness to a room for a more cozy feel.  Take the measurement from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor and add 1-3″ to create this look.
 Double Bordered Dupioni in New Ivory + Cashmere Border

Moderate Puddle-Drapes with a more substantial amount of fabric gathered on the floor:

Take the measurement from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor and add 3-6″ for a moderate puddle.  This style is more appropriate for rooms with less traffic, where you won’t be cleaning the floors often.  This lends towards a more formal look, and drapes that puddle can really help with heating and cooling loss!

Shown: Milano Lucia with Optional Emperor Tassel in Gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opulent Puddle-A large amount of fabric gathered on the floor:

A more formal, luxurious feel.  Measure from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor, and add 6-8″ for an opulent puddle.  This style is usually used in formal settings, perfect for drapes that won’t be opened and closed often.  For a romantic look, silk fabrics look beautiful when puddled on the floor.


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Hover, Break or Puddle? What Length Should My Drapes Be?

Hover.  Break.  Puddle.  You probably know these words but did you know they also pertain to drapes and curtains?

 

Determining the length of your drapes takes a little thought.  First, ask yourself a few questions:

What is the style of the room you are having drapes made for?  Is it formal or casual?

Does this room get a lot of traffic?  You do have kids and pets constantly running through the room?  Will there be traffic going in and out of the door the drapes will be hanging from?

What kind of flooring is in this room?  Carpet?  Tile?  Wood?  What length will look best with your type of flooring?

 

Finishing Touch

Not only are drapes like “Jewelry”, creating the finishing touch to your room, but they can provide privacy, help with heating and cooling cost, and make your room and windows appear larger.  So it is important that we make your custom drapes the correct size.

These are examples of drapes that are too short:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a difference drapes make!  

This is the same sized window; doesn’t the window on the left look so much bigger?
dodont

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hang ’em HIGH and WIDE!

This is a trick that designers use to make the space appear larger than it is.  Your room will look taller if your drapes hang 2″ from the ceiling.  Measure 2″ below the ceiling or moulding, to the floor for your finished length.  If your space doesn’t allow you to hang your drapes this high, you can hang the drapery rod 4″ above the window moulding.  Measure from this point to the floor and this will be your finish length.

     

 

Next, let’s define a few terms:

Hover or Floor Length-Drapes that meet the floor:

This is the most popular option for customers to select.  Floor length drapes lend a more casual look, and are a more practical option if the drapes will be opened and closed often.  If you are using a drapery rod with rings, measure from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor to get your finished length.

Salaam Dupioni Custom Silk Drapery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Linen with Sand Border and Velvet Ribbon Detail

Trouser Break-Drapes break like a pair of trousers-one inch of fabric on the floor:

Trouser break drapes offer a tailored, but more casual look with that designer touch.  Take the measurement from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor and add one inch.  All fabrics look great with this look.

 

 

Minimal Puddle-Drapes “puddle” or gather slightly on the floor:

Beautifully tailored looking drapes with a minimal puddle.  This look adds softness to a room for a more cozy feel.  Take the measurement from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor and add 1-3″ to create this look.
 Double Bordered Dupioni in New Ivory + Cashmere Border

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moderate Puddle-Drapes with a more substantial amount of fabric gathered on the floor:

Take the measurement from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor and add 3-6″ for a moderate puddle.  This style is more appropriate for rooms with less traffic, where you won’t be cleaning the floors often.  This lends towards a more formal look, and drapes that puddle can really help with heating and cooling loss!

Shown: Milano Lucia with Optional Emperor Tassel in Gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opulent Puddle-A large amount of fabric gathered on the floor:

A more formal, luxurious feel.  Measure from the bottom of the drapery rings to the floor, and add 6-8″ for an opulent puddle.  This style is usually used in formal settings, perfect for drapes that won’t be opened and closed often.  For a romantic look, silk fabrics look beautiful when puddled on the floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special circumstances

If you are designing outdoor drapes, you may want your drapes a couple of inches off the ground.  Keep in mind that on your patio, water may puddle, dirt and leaves may collect, so by shortening your drapes two inches you will prevent the bottom of the drapes from getting dirty:

Custom Outdoor Drapes in Sunbrella Walnut Drape with Matching Tie-Back

Outdoor Shower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DrapeStyle has been making custom draperies for over a decade.  We have thousands of satisfied customers because we truly care about helping you design your dream drapes.  There are guide lines that can provide you with the information you will need when ordering your drapes.  Still need a little help?  We’re here to help you every step of the way and we can determine the best width and length for your drapes.

DrapeStyle has been awarded the Best of Houzz for customer service, three years in a row.  We LOVE helping our customers create their dream drapes!  Pair that with the most talented, experienced, studio staff who will take great care in custom making your drapes, and we think you’ll be pleased with the results.  For current promotional offers, please see our website: www.DrapeStyle.com.

 

 

 

 

 
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