Know how high to hang your drapes for that “pro look”!

Follow a few guidelines to get your drapery length right and make your room have a polished professional look. Drapery, a big ticket item when redecorating can take a room up a few notches if done right (more than a few, but who’s counting). Follow our easy steps to cinch it!

One: Hang them High

A common mistake when hanging curtains is to place the rod too low. This will shorten your room just when you want to create a strong vertical line. To draw the eye up giving the illusion of height, always hang your rod high as this will make your window appear much larger and it will make you room look taller and grander.

How high? A good rule of thumb is to hang your rod 4-5 inches above the top edge of your window or if possible, 2-3 inches below your crown moulding. If you are confused at all, split the difference between the top of your window and the bottom of the crown molding.

Pro tip: If you have tab curtains or are using curtain rings, measure the length of the panel and add this length to the 4-5 inches. If you do not include the extra length, your curtain will be too long.

Elegant traditional living room with classical millwork trim showing floor to ceiling drapes

Two: Choose the right length curtain

A good analogy when understanding drapery lengths is comparing them to pants or jeans. Wearing pants that are too short will make your legs look shorter. Apply this thinking to your drapery.

There are a few options that you can choose from:

The Float:

Aim for the bottom of the curtain to be roughly 1/2 to 1 inch (max) above the floor for a relaxed feel.

Pro Tip: If you are using white drapery, this is the way to go to keep the hemline from getting soiled.

The Kiss:

This is the hardest look to achieve as all your measurements need to be very accurate, but it offers a crisp, tailored, professional look. To get this look, measure the length of your curtain (including tabs or rings if used) and hang your curtain rod at the total length height.

Pro tip: Buy extra long drapery and have them hemmed after the hardware is installed to get this perfect.

Modern round tulip table with chairs and floor lamp in front of window with white sheers and blue drapes.

The Puddle:

If you want to achieve “the puddle”, where the curtains pool and puddle dramatically on the floor, add 3 inches to the length of the drapery. Adding to the length is important but so is the choice in fabric. Choose a high-quality washed linen or velvet – a fabric with weight, to accentuate the texture of the fabric. This style is a great for feminine and romantic, or glamorous interiors.

Pro tip: This is a great tactic for uneven floors where it is impossible to get the length right to perfectly “kiss” the floor or hover just above it. This will disguise the unevenness.

Picture of doorway to outside with drapery on each side of door pooling at the floor

Those are our go-tos for drapery length but there is more you can do to up your game and get a pro look…

Three: Extend your curtain rod beyond the window

Maximise your view by extending your curtain rod past your windows so you can push your curtains beyond the frame of your window. Extend your rod 6-10 inches past your window on both sides and this will give the illusion that your windows are larger and wider.

If you want to achieve more volume or you are adding an extra panel, add 1-2 inches to the length of your curtain rod to accommodate this.

Photo of modern living room with round coffee table, sofa, and teddy bear chair in front of floor to ceiling, wall to wall drapery

Four: Pleated Curtains and Drapes

If you want your space to look luxurious and elevated, opt for pleated curtains. There are many types of header styles to choose from which can be overwhelming so stay tuned for our post on drapery header and styles to see the different kinds of headers and what we recommend.

Pin with illustration to show drapery length and width