Curtains are the most impactful decorative items in your house. Not only do they set the tone of your room, but they also harmonize different aesthetic elements in it. Believe it or not, a big part of that is the curtain’s length. Yes, different lengths have different aesthetic impacts.
So, how long should they be? Should curtains touch the floor? What variables factor into your choice? In this article, I answer all of these questions so you can choose curtains that bring the best out of your house.
Should Your Curtains Touch the Floor?
There isn’t a definitive answer to that question, as it depends on how you want your house to look. However, most interior designers agree that floor-length curtains offer more aesthetic value than any other style.
They combine traditional and modern looks, giving your house a polished appearance and complementing the furniture in your room. They can even give the illusion of depth and height. If you have a short ceiling, hanging a long curtain above the windows makes your room look taller.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Length of Your Curtain
From what I said, you might think floor-length curtains are the perfect all-rounders, capable of matching any environment. That’s not entirely true, though, as there are several factors you need to consider when choosing the length of your curtains.
Besides personal preference, the length of the curtains depends on where you want to hang them in your house. Some house owners choose to hang curtains in the kitchen or the bathroom. In this case, opt for a shorter curtain.
Since the main purpose of living rooms is to host guests and social events, it makes sense to prioritize the aesthetic value of long curtains. However, the kitchen and bathroom are areas where you do physical activities, like cooking, cleaning, and taking showers.
In that case, you need to prioritize practicality, which makes shorter curtains the logical choice. If you decide to hang curtains in your bedroom, you can use long curtains to add depth and sophistication.
However, measure your curtains so that they barely graze the floor to decrease the chances of tripping.
Since you need to measure the length of your curtain accurately, it’s crucial to consider how the material it’s made from can change through time and exposure to external elements.
Although it differs from one material to another, different fabrics can shrink as their temperature and humidity levels change.
So, if you’re set on choosing a viscose curtain, for example, you might want to get a few extra inches. You can expect the same results from voile and linen.
On the other hand, knitted fabrics can stretch when you hang them, as the weight of the curtain pulls the interlocking loops, causing them to expand. So, make sure your curtain is shorter than the desired length.
The perfect curtain should combine both aesthetics and functionality. Don’t just think about the aesthetic value of its length. Consider how practical that length would be as well.
If you have kids or dogs, I recommend avoiding floor-length curtains unless you’re okay with your dog using it as a chew toy and your kids creating the new live-action adaptation of Tarzan.
In case you want to hang a curtain over a radiator, go with short curtains, as long curtains can block the heat.
How to Hang a Floor-Length Curtain?
Since you want your curtain to be the right length, you need to learn how to take accurate measurements and hang the rod and brackets correctly.
The dimensions of your curtain are relative to the dimensions of the window you want to cover.
Lengthwise, measure from the floor to 4-6 inches above the frame of your window. Widthwise, choose a curtain rod 8-15 inches wider than the frame.
Curtains come in five lengths: 63, 84, 96, 108, and 120 inches. So, choose a curtain that matches your measurements. If you want to hang them close to the ceiling, you may need to get custom curtains.
Screw the Brackets
Once you’ve marked the position of the bracket’s screw holes with a pencil, drill holes where you left your marks and drive the screws. I recommend using a level to ensure they’re straight.
If your rod is flimsy, screw a third bracket to support its center, as the weight of the curtain could force it to sag. Put the curtain on the rod, place it on the brackets, and it’s good to go.
So, should curtains touch the floor?
Yes, floor-length curtains will add more depth, sophistication, and aesthetic value to your house. That said, they’re not always the most suitable choice for you.
You need to keep several variables in mind, like the curtain’s location, material, and practicality. The most decisive factor, though, is the length and width of your window, as it dictates the dimensions of your curtain.