Hanging long drapes on a short window is one of the easiest ways to increase the importance of the window and bring it into proportion to the room. Short drapes on a short window call attention to the size of the window and reduce the significance of the room, window and drapery style.
One idea is to use a floor-length curtain to make short windows look taller. Hang them on stylish curtain rods installed at least 5 inches above the window frame. If your window is both short and wide, a medium-weight fabric is a better choice.
Short curtains. Short curtains and drapes are not ideal, and most often you don't want curtains that hang more than an inch above the ground. Too short curtains can not only look outdated, but they can also sometimes make the ceiling look lower.
A common rule for displaying curtains properly says the curtains finished width should be at least 2 times the width of your window (if not more - sheers can be 3 times the window width) to achieve a look of proper fullness.
1/2" above the window sill. Casual and charming. These are the shortest of the standard curtain lengths, which makes them a good opportunity to have some fun with pattern or color. Since they take up less visual space, you won't get tired of a bold choice.
While fashion once dictated a “flood level” bottom line for curtains—one that hung just past the window sill, short enough that it would not get wet in a flood—today, style calls for curtains to either hang down to within ½-inch of the floor or even puddle slightly.
Making Your Room Look Larger or Smaller with Curtains
High-hanging curtains with long vertical stripes create the illusion of height, which is excellent for low ceilings. However, short curtains and horizontal stripes shorten your wall height and make the room appear smaller.
Standard curtains come in three lengths—84 inches, 96 inches, or 108 inches. "Generally, you want to stay away from the 84 inch standard curtains unless you have very low ceilings.
The material should barely touch the floor or hover half an inch above. Use this approach for café curtains, too, short panels covering only the lower portion of a window, hitting the sill, which works well in kitchens and bathrooms, where long drapes or curtains aren't practical.
Visually speaking, high-water style is not the most appealing way to hang curtains. The shorter length can appear dated. Also, it can cut the visual height of your room in half. From a purely practical standpoint, however, short curtains are sometimes the best option.
Tiebacks slightly shorten curtains. This is why they don't work well with short bedroom curtains. Since shorter curtains form a small bundle when compacted, they look less appealing with the use of tiebacks. So, if you want to pull off short bedroom curtains, push them to the side instead of tying them.
If one of your windows is taller than the others, mount the curtains above all the windows at the height of the tallest window so they all appear to be the same size. You may even want to mount the curtain rods just below the ceiling throughout the room to give the illusion of large, expansive windows.
The answer to this question is important because it can affect the way we do our decorations. Yes, curtains should be long enough to touch the floor. With a few exceptions, the longer the curtains are the more stylish and elegant it will look. This is why most standard ready-made curtains are lengthy.
For curtains that are way too long, you may have a lot of excess fabric left. You can trim this extra material at the end, but if you don't want to cut the curtains, make 2 or 3 folds so the excess material is tucked in neatly.
Just Hitting the Floor or Sill
The fabric should just touch the floor or hover 1/2 inch above. This is also a great approach for café curtains (short panels that cover only the lower portion of a window and hit the sill), which work well in spots like the kitchen and bathroom, where long drapes aren't practical.
If you have the space between the top of your window frame and the ceiling or crown molding, though, you should hang the rod over the window. I like to go 3 to 5 inches down from the ceiling. Doing this visually extends the length of your wall, making your ceiling look higher.
If you want to make your living room look bigger, stick to lighter colors that reflect more light and make the space feel more open. Neutrals, like off-white, beige, or light grays, are a great way to add a level of sophistication and calm.
Soto follows what she calls the cantaloupe rule: "Decorative accents that are smaller than a cantaloupe cramp a room." Opt for a single, statement-making piece instead. Photo by iStockphoto. Media Platforms Design Team.
As a general rule, drapes will be open during the day, so make sure the curtain rod extends at least four inches on each side of the window's inside frame. To create the illusion of a wider window, extend the rod up to 10 inches beyond the window's frame.
While the curtains are still hanging, fold the bottom of the curtains under to the desired length. Use the stick pins to hold, to keep it folded and in place. Bring the curtain bottom up to the ironing board and iron a crease on the new fold. Cut off excess curtain a couple of inches past the fold and remove the pins.
In this case if you hang a curtain too high it could look a little off, especially if there is a lot of bright light coming through showing where the actual window is. In that case you should hang them about 8 inches or less above the window frame.
Interior designers note the bottom of your curtains should fall to the floor, and you can even let them “puddle” a bit. However, if you don't want your curtains to drag on the floor when you open and close them, let them stop about an inch from the floor, but no more.