Ideas for curtains for wide and short windows

Window curtains are an easy way to add a finishing touch to a carefully decorated room. While the colour scheme and overall design of the room will greatly influence your choice of curtains, the size and shape of the window should be taken into consideration as well. Windows that are exceptionally wide and short can make the room look off balance; however, several options are available to make the windows appear taller and help them fit in with the overall scheme of the room.


Selecting the right pattern for your curtains is important, especially when you want to effect how viewers perceive the size of the window and the surrounding room. Curtains with vertical stripes are ideal for short, wide windows. This pattern will make the window appear taller. It will also lend an elongating effect to the entire room. If you have low ceilings, these curtains will make them appear a bit higher.


Curtains typically fall at one of four lengths: to the sill, to the bottom of the apron beneath the sill, to the floor, or past the floor so that the curtain puddles on the ground. For short windows, a floor length curtain will have the subtle effect of helping them appear longer. A curtain which puddles on the floor, however, may be taking this effect too far by drawing undue attention to these windows. Long curtains also help to balance out the extra width of windows that are especially wide.

Rod height

Cleverly placed curtain rods can trick viewers into thinking that your windows are much taller than they actually are. If you want to hang a valance over a short window, you may find that this piece covers too much of the glass. To solve this problem, raise the curtain rod about 10 cm (4 inches) above the top of the window. The bottom of the valance need only hang over the top of the window by about 5 cm (2 inches). The rest will simply cover the wall, while giving the impression of taller windows.


Wide windows often seem to dominate too much wall space in a room. The expansive view out of the window may draw too much attention away from the decor in the room. This type of window can be especially bothersome if it is placed across from a television, and throws a glare onto the screen. You can solve all of these problems by hanging multiple curtain panels over the window. In addition to the standard panel on either side of the window, include a third panel in the middle. This will break up the wide window into what will appear to be multiple windows. This technique will also allow you to draw the curtains closed over only half of the window at a time to combat glare.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. As a previous employee of Walt Disney World, she enjoys writing travel articles that make use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.