It depends on factors such as window length, but more often than not, curtains look best when touching the floor. However, how low you want your curtains to hang will determine what you want to achieve. In reality, different decorating styles employ varying curtain lengths.
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.
How Long Should Curtains Be? Floor-length is the way to go unless there's a radiator or a deep sill in the way. Ready-made panels are available in lengths from 63 to 144 inches. Measure from the floor to where you'll hang the rod, then round up.
The proper position is ½ inch above the floor for free hanging curtains. This distance allows for mopping and cleaning while creating the illusion that the curtain touches the floor.
Standard curtains typically hang from about a half-inch from the floor to halfway between the window trim and average-height ceiling. But to maximize visual height, let the walls determine your curtain's length; in a living room, library, den or bedroom, the longer the panels, the better.
When hanging curtains, it is important that the curtains are the right length. Curtains that are too short make the room look short, stubby and awkward. The cut the length of the wall, making both the window and the room look smaller. An example of curtains that are way too short!
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.
DO Hang High
The higher the curtain rod, the taller the window will appear, so fix your curtain rod closer to the ceiling than the top of your window, if you can. One rule of thumb is that they should sit 4-6 inches above the window frame.
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.
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.
Above the sill
As the sill is always visible, it's important that the gap between the curtain and the sill remains uniform at every point, so if you've an older property with an uneven window sill, this curtain drop would not be suitable.
"Extending your draperies from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall surrounding your window makes them appear bigger," explains Francesco Bilotto.
How High to Hang Curtains 8 Foot Ceiling. An 8 foot ceiling is pretty standard for a residential home. With this standard height will be safe to put the rod about 6 inches above the top of the framing of the window. This avoids any extra framing and gives space between the frame and the rod.
For a 9 foot ceiling, pick 96-inch curtains. Typically, your curtain rod is hung about a foot from the ceiling. 96 inches covers the distance between the floor up to one foot from the ceiling.
But the fabric side (also described as the woven or rough side) is made to face the window because of the durability. Face the fabric side out to avoid yellowing or sun damage, which will preserve the lifespan of your curtains.
As you're ordering curtain panels, measure your window. You typically want curtains that are pleated down from fabric that is 2 1/2 times the width of your window.
Drapes may stretch. Fabric is made of threads woven together, and there is no glue holding these threads in place. Knowing how the fabric may react after hanging will help you choose fabrics that should not stretch.
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.
Curtains absolutely can make a room look smaller or larger, depending on their design. Thick curtains and dark curtains are known for making a regular room look slightly smaller, while sheer curtains made of lightly-colored fabrics are ideal for helping to visually expand a room's size.
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.
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.
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.