How to Hang Drapes at the Proper Height

Updated: Apr. 24, 2023

Curtains add style and privacy to your home. Here are the dos and don'ts when it comes to hanging curtains.

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Curtains can help tie a room together. Not only do curtains offer privacy, they can lend color, control light and add texture and warmth to your space.

Here’s how to make curtains double as insulation in the winter.

So when it comes to hanging curtains, do you go low or do you go high? Do you let the curtains fall just below the window or let them drape across the floor? Here are the dos and don’ts when it comes to hanging curtains.

Here, we’ve outlined living room curtain ideas that are trending right now.

How to Mount the Curtain Rods

When selecting the right curtain rod, go for one that is a bit wider than the width of your window. This will allow whatever curtains you chose to cover the window at all times. Go for a curtain rod that is between eight and 12 inches wider than your window, as it will give the illusion that your window is larger than it is. This is just one idea for how to make a small room look bigger.

How High to Hang Curtains

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.

Psst! Check out this handy curtain rod hack.

How Fabric Impacts Curtains

Lighter fabrics, such as sheers, will help make the room feel airy as they let in more light. If you need to warm up a room, try denser fabrics or thermal drapes which will also give you more privacy. Winter curtains can stop drafts and save energy.

What is the Proper Length for Curtains

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. If they do puddle at the floor, you can wash your curtains as needed.

When it comes to the width, your curtains should be at least two times the width of the window.

Final Hardware Installation

If you don’t like the look of your curtain rod, there are more appealing hardware options. Decorative curtain rods are an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade your window hardware. You can also hide the curtain rod with a DIY window cornice.