Short curtains are typically only used when long curtains are unrealistic (such as when a radiator, the bed headboard, or some other object would interfere with the curtains). In addition, long curtains provide a better aesthetic and can make the room appear bigger, especially when hung higher than the window frame.
If you are interested in stationary panels, you will want your curtains to be long enough to lightly brush the floor, but not so long that they bunch up in a pile. A good rule of thumb is for your curtains to break anywhere from a ¼” to ½” from the floor, similar to a break in pant legs on your shoe.
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.
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.
A rule of thumb (from Architectural Digest) is that curtains should be hung between four to six inches above the window frame, so install your curtain rod accordingly. When you hang the curtain rod high, it will make the window appear taller.
Hang the Curtains as High as Possible
In order to make your window and the whole wall seem higher, put the curtain rod as high above the window as possible. Attaching the rail close to the ceiling tricks the eye into believing the wall is bigger. Thus, it visually expands the whole room.
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.
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.
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.
Floor length: Long curtains that go from above your window frame all the way to the floor to create a traditional, formal look. Typical curtain length for this style is 84 to 96 inches; these curtains will fall about 1/4-inch above the floor. They are ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms.
Generally, you should avoid anything shorter than 96 inches, unless you have very low ceilings. When in doubt, go with longer curtains rather than a shorter, cut off length. If you can't find ready-made curtains that fit your home, you might need custom curtains.
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.
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.
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.
In Closing. For a 9-foot ceiling, 96-inch curtain panels are typically a good fit. This allows you to hang curtains that reach the floor, with the rod placed one foot from the ceiling. If you prefer curtains that pool on the floor or curtains that hang higher, just pick the next size up.
Hovering an inch or less above the floor
This option is also more forgiving than those that precisely hit the floor, which means your measuring and hemming won't be derailed if it's a few millimeters off. It also means you don't have to worry if you have slightly uneven floors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Big floral patterns make a room appear larger. Install wallpaper with horizontal stripes to make a room seem wider, or commit to vertical stripes to stretch the room visually and raise the ceiling. A busy pattern featuring chevrons, simple geometric designs, or a texture that mimics marble can make a room seem bigger.
Are White Curtains a Bad Idea? Although they bring a delicate warmth and homeliness to any space in the home, soften windows and offer a touch of privacy whilst allowing for an abundance of natural light, for some white curtains may not be the best idea. Why? Well, for starters, white is notorious for getting dirty.
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.
Sheers should be the general length as the curtain panels. However, if they are being layered behind solid curtains, sheers should hang approximately one inch shorter than their solid counterparts.