Ah, curtain lengths, the bane of all attempts to renovate your home. How do you even get started? It is a well known fact that curtains can either make or break a room. They might lighten up the space, and suit your windows wonderfully or they might darken it and make it feel cold or even depressive.
There are many elements to choosing the best curtain for your needs. Let us set aside style considerations, for a moment, and let us focus on function. It all starts with finding curtains of the right length. And to do that we need to know how to measure curtains.
How To Measure Curtains
We cannot overstate the importance of measuring curtains. Whether you are opting to buy easy to fit and ready made curtains or are commissioning them to be custom made from scratch, you need to be exact and precise in your measurements. We heavily encourage you to use a metal tape measure to increase your accuracy and decide beforehand where you wish the drapes to end – this will allow you to determine their “drop”.
Before you start any measuring, you should have already installed your curtain track in place. Fit it approximately 6 inches above your window recess and center, making sure you have around 6 to 8 inches on either side of the window.
Another important element to measure is a curtain’s “drop”. Assuming you’ve used a curtain track, you should measure from the top of the track to your chosen end point. The same holds true for curtain poles.
As for the curtain length itself, you have pretty munch three options. If you are interested in a sill length, the curtain should end around half an inch above the windowsill. To get your second option right, the below sill curtain length, you should expect the curtain to end about 6 inches below the windowsill. Finally, the third option – and our personal favorite – the floor length curtain means you should measure it to end just half an inch above the floor.
A word of caution. Neither windowsills nor floors are always completely level. You should probably measure at least 2 or 3 different points and use the smallest measurement to make you get the best fit.
Do's & Don'ts of Hanging Curtains
Curtains are what will make your home complete. They help you control the light, add privacy, warmth to your space and can affirm your style by adding your favorite texture and color. We will follow up this short guide by a few tips you should use to maximize their various benefits.
We mentioned this before, but we will state this again: Don’t go too narrow. Select a curtain that is wider than your window. This will ensure that the window gets covered at all times. As a great side bonus, this also tricks our eyes into thinking the window is even larger than it really is.
You want your curtains to feel full, and luxurious, do you not? So please, do you use enough fabric. You really do not want your curtains to look skimpy. This cheapens the impression they make heavily. As a general rule of thumb, curtains should be around two times the width of the window.
While you are at it, choose the appropriate fabric type. This largely depends on your personal goal. Do you wish the room to feel formal, private? Then try something like heavy velvet. Do you want your space to feel light, and warmer? Go for a lighter blend. Linen is exceptional for this. For a nice middle ground, you should try cotton and cotton blends, or season-less wool and wool blends.
Whoops. Wrong Color.
Things go wrong often in two things: Color and prints & patterns. Our article would not be complete without addressing these two factors adequately. Let us start with the easier one, color. Have you ever chosen the wrong color in your clothing? Maybe an outrageous colored pair of shoes, or a hat disconnecting from the rest of your accessories? Now take that feeling of wrongness you felt and multiply it up to eleven. This is how it will feel if the color of your curtains is wrong.
Without knowing your idiosyncrasy it is unfortunately impossible to make your choice for you. What we can, however, is show you how you should make the choice. It comes down to one thing: Do you wish the curtains to blend in with the environment or to do you wish them to pop out and draw attention? For blending, try curtains a few shades darker than your wall, or another non-dominant subtle color. To pop out, consider your curtains the same way you would an exclamation mark. Bright blue? Red? These are all viable. Just keep in mind that the sun might infuse the room with their color.
Prints & Patterns Gone Wrong.
Despite often going wrong, the right print or pattern choice in your curtain can be daring and quite spectacular. We firmly believe these should be about you, your personality. Thus, we will offer general rules only. Feel free to deviate from our guidelines and follow your own instincts. A pattern, in most cases, should not be a cacophony. More than likely, you will be best served by subtlety. Thus, use low-contrast patterns. An overly “busy” patterned curtain more often than not ends up feeling old-fashioned more than anything else. Thus, we encourage you to make the pattern something that won’t compete with the focal point of the room.
This article covers it all. Which is the best length for your curtains? How do you measure it? What are the most important do’s and don’ts of hanging curtains? How can you express what you want to express through their color? And finally, a word on patterns. By now, you should be fully armed and capable to go for curtain shopping. Make sure your measurements are precise, and you consider all our advice: Your home will look amazing.