Curtains are an important part of any room, offering both practical and aesthetic benefits. While there are many factors to put into consideration when choosing curtains for your home, you must get the length of your curtains right to get the theme you desire.
As a result, we look at one of the most frequently asked questions homeowners send our way, ‘Should curtains be longer than windows?’
Curtains should be longer than your windows for the most stylish designs. Short curtains look outdated, but there are instances, which will be discussed later, where they may be the most practical option.
You can vary the length of your curtains to dab the floor, hover an inch or less above the floor, or break at the floor, forming ‘puddles.’ Short curtains are not ideal and look outdated and make your room smaller.
In this article, you’ll learn about the pros and cons of short and long curtains, as well as the ideal curtain length for various themes or designs. So stay tuned.
Is it better for curtains to be too long or too short?
We think it’s important to define what it means for curtains to be ‘too long’ or ‘too short.’ Puddled curtains are the longest type of curtain pooling or even dragging on the floor for a dramatic, romantic, and sophisticated look.
The length of curtains that pools or puddles on the floor can be anywhere between 2 to 18 inches. And anything above this may be considered too long.
To call a window ‘too short’ will depend on the type of window and the look the designer intends to achieve.
Whether curtains are too long or too short is a matter of perspective. Your curtains can be as long or short as you want according to your preferences and interior design style.
How long should your curtains be?
As we said earlier, the length of your curtains mainly depends on your preferences and the look you intend to achieve. However, as a general rule of thumb, the longer your curtains, the more elegant your room will look.
Below are the most popular curtain designs with varying lengths that can help you achieve unique looks in your home.
We discussed puddled curtains above and will provide more information here. You already know that this type of curtain ‘pools’ or ‘puddles’ on the ground for a dramatic yet elegant look.
For best effect, choose curtains made of thick, quality fabric curtains will stay in place after being styled.
While puddled curtains will look great if used in the right settings, note that they require more maintenance as they collect dust easily, requiring you to wash them regularly. Also, you’ll have to move around them when cleaning or vacuuming your room.
If you are okay with all these, then the extra elegance and sophistication puddled curtains add to your room will be well worth it.
Length: The length of the curtains that pool on the floor can be anywhere between 2 to 18 inches. But it’s more common to see people using 2 to 6 inches.
Floor-length curtains, which slightly touch the floor, are considered to be the most stylish curtain length to use. Usually, floor-length curtains are long and usually hang from the ceiling down to the floor. This makes a room look more spacious and elegant.
Take measurements of your windows (the width) and the length from the ceiling to the floor. This will cause curtains that fit perfectly, showing that you are intentional about the design of your curtains.
Floor-length curtains have the advantage of not getting dirty as easily as puddled curtains while also being more durable. They are also ideal for high-traffic areas as you can move back and forth easily without the curtains getting in your way.
Note that the length of this type of curtain must be precise, and an inch more or less can compromise the look you intend to achieve.
Length: Depending on how high your ceiling is, floor-length curtains can be anywhere between 60 – 140 inches.
Hovering an inch or less above the floor
Curtains that hover an inch or less above the floor are also stylish. The aesthetic effect of this type of curtains depends on them slightly hovering above the floor, and anything more than an inch may ruin the effect.
This type of curtains is ideal for windows you often use as they are quite easy to open and close. Also, your hemming won’t be derailed if your measurement is a few millimeters off. This type of curtains also works well if the floor in your room is slightly uneven.
Length: It can be anywhere between 60 – 140 inches depending on the length of your ceiling, with the curtain hovering an inch or less. above the ground
How long should curtains hang below the window sill?
Most curtain styles extend below the window sill, slightly touching the floor, hovering an inch or less above the floor, or pooling on the floor.
How long your curtain hangs below your window sill will depend on the style you choose and the height of your ceiling.
There are also curtain designs where the curtains stop at the window sill (Sill length curtains) or the apron (Apron length curtains).
Sill-length curtains are the shortest type of curtains you’ll come across as they hang or slightly above the window sill. They are used where it’s not hygienic or practical for the curtains to reach the floor.
For example, it’s not hygienic for bathroom curtains to reach the floor. Also, the curtains in your kitchen may not extend below the floor because of interference by another object such as your kitchen counter.
One advantage of sill-length curtains is that they are easy to open and close while also requiring little maintenance. However, they are restricted to kitchens, bathrooms, or any other place where using long curtains isn’t practicable.
Length: Still length curtains should hang at or slightly above the window sill.
Apron-length curtains are just slightly longer than sill-length curtains invoking a casual, and relaxed look. This type of curtains hang at the bottom of the apron, also referred to as the window rim) or below the window sill.
Apron length curtains have similar uses to sill length curtains as they are used in bathroom and kitchen windows. However, apron length curtains can sometimes be used in bedrooms. They work best with smaller windows as they make such windows appear bigger.
By being short, apron length curtains require less maintenance and may be suitable for children’s rooms.
Length: Apron-length curtains can be anywhere between 60 – 80 inches. The major factor deciding their length is how high they are placed.
Can you put long curtains on a short window?
Yes, you can put long curtains on short windows. In fact, using long curtains on short windows draws attention away from the size of the window, makes the room feel spacious, and increases the importance of the window while bringing it into proportion with the room.
Believe us when we say you don’t want to use short curtains on short windows unless it isn’t practical (for example, a radiator below the window) to use long curtains on such windows.
Hanging short curtains on short windows will draw attention to the size of the windows, something you want to avoid. Also, short windows will also reduce the significance of a room.
To use long curtains on short windows, take the width of the curtains into consideration. Obviously, you need to go for curtains wider than the windows, and curtains at least 30% wider than the window will give the best results.
Using wide curtains ensures you expose as much of the window as possible when you open the curtains, and this helps create the illusion that the window extends behind the open curtains.
Try to imagine it. Your window is going to look a lot grander than it actually is.
After deciding on the width of your curtains, the next thing to consider is how long the curtains will be. The length of your curtains affects the overall style of the room.
If you want a formal and contemporary theme, then floor-length curtains will do the trick. We’ve talked about floor-length curtains above, so scroll up for more information on them.
Puddled curtains provide a dramatic yet elegant look. If you go for puddled curtains, make sure that the curtain rod is hung high just below the ceiling.
If not, you create the impression that the curtains are just too long or hung too low. But by hanging the curtains high, you show you are intentional about the style of the curtains.
Regardless of the length of your curtains, always try to mount the rod up as high on the ceiling as possible as this is one of the most effective ways to make a small window appear larger.