What length should curtains be?

Updated February 21, 2017

Curtains can add class and style to any room and home decor. Choosing the right curtain for your room is based on many factors, including what type of room, the size of the window and the type of fabric you desire. Curtains can help make a room modern, elegant or even fun. For example, a baby's room with a duck theme may have ducks on the curtains for a light feel to the room. A few guidelines will help you choose the right curtain length for your room.

Sill Curtains

Choose sill-length curtains if you want a casual feel to the room and if it suits the decor. Sill-length curtains slightly touch the window sill. This curtain length is ideal for small, cosy rooms with recessed windows or homes with horizontal windows (windows that are wider than they are tall). This curtain can be light and airy with fun patterns on it to add to a kitchen motif or a themed room.

Below-Sill Length Curtains

Pick a below-sill curtain length that falls an inch or two below the window sill. This curtain is ideal for a kitchen because the windows are typically smaller and shorter, and thinner curtains are practical.This length is perfect either left open or tied back for a neater look. If you are trying to let more light into a dark room, it is best to tie the curtains back.

These curtains also are great for a child's room, particularly if the room has smaller windows. Choose a short curtain with a themed fabric pattern based on the child's interests: for instance, a sports-themed fabric for a boy or a Strawberry Short Cake theme for a girl.

Floor-Length Curtains

Purchase floor-length curtains if you have a bay or picture window. Floor length is ideal for these windows because the windows are often large and the curtains can add some elegance and provide some privacy. This curtain length should be flush against the floor, with no space showing. If the curtains do not get in the way, let them pile up on the floor and arrange them in nice folds. This can add a classy look to an elegantly furnished room; lush, thick fabrics such as silk, taffeta or chenille could be used to add a nice touch.

Cafe curtains

Look for a cafe curtain if you just want a little privacy without blocking too much sunlight. These curtains cover the bottom section of the window, while the top half is open to allow sunlight in. Cafe curtains can be a good option for kitchens and recreation rooms, because they can fit a variety of styles. These styles are available in cotton, with or without patterns, or in thicker materials such as bamboo.

Small or Oddly Shaped Windows

Cover up a small or oddly shaped window with a long curtain. If you have a short window, you can create the illusion of a larger window by hanging curtains that are larger than needed for the window. This is a tactic used by designers when dressing a window that is short or has a strange shape.

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