As a professional window treatment consultant, I am often asked, “What curtain length is right for me?” People want to know if their curtains should be full-length, short, or puddle. Although, it is perfectly normal to want your curtains to be the ideal length, when it comes to designing your home or office there are no right or wrong answers. Either you like it or you don’t! However, there are some guidelines that are worth mentioning, particularly when it comes to choosing the curtain length that is right for you.
For a practical, casual look, hang your curtains so that there is just a finger width of space between the floor and hem (1/2 inches from the floor). This is a great length for the family room or any high-traffic area. It is also a great length because dust, dirt, and pet hair won’t gather. Hanging floor-length panels higher than the window (about 6 inches above the window frame) gives the illusion of height to a room.
Puddling Your Curtains
For a romantic, bohemian look, opt for extra-long – 6 to 10 inches extra – curtains. This will provide a puddling or pooling look. This is a great length for low traffic areas, sans kids and pets, such as a formal dining or living room. This is, however, not a low-maintenance option nor is it functional. You can opt for a shorter puddle – 1 inch or 2 to 4 inches – rather than the 6 to 10 inches.
Generally, curtains can end at the window sill, the bottom of the molding or 4 inches below the bottom of the window. Ideally, you want to hang short drapes, so that the hem isn’t visible. Shorter curtains work best in rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom. Café curtains look amazing in these rooms. If you have more than one window you need to cover in these rooms, make sure the lengths remain consistent.