Correct measurements are the key to success when you’re installing new curtains.
There’s nothing worse than spending hours measuring and then putting up curtains that are hilariously too short or ridiculously too long. But don’t let that scare you. Once you know how to measure curtains accurately, the rest is easy!
Check out this handy guide to learn how to measure for curtains the right way.
(Source: Vivien @ Posh Pennies)
You are going to be measuring BEFORE buying your curtains for three super important reasons:
- You need to know how wide a rod you need
- You need to know how wide each curtain panel needs to be
- You need to know how long your curtains need to be
What exactly do you need to measure?
There are 4 measurements we need to make note of. Let’s take a look!
MEASUREMENT #1. Measure the width of your window from trim to trim. Based on the width of your window, you’ll decide how wide your rod needs to be.
- The general rule is that the curtain rod itself should be 8″ to 12″ inches longer than the width of the window.
- You want to have an extra 4″ to 6″ inches of rod extending out from both sides of your window.
- Make sure you have enough “extra rod” so that when the curtains are fully open, you are only covering the very edges of the actual window.
- It’s important to make sure you can see as much of the full window as possible. This way you are only blocking minimal precious light from flowing into your room. It also gives the illusion of bigger windows and it doesn’t cover your view. 🙂
MEASUREMENT #2. Decide how high you want to hang your rod.
- The general rule is to mount the rod anywhere between halfway to two thirds between the top of the window frame and the ceiling or ceiling molding.
- You can even go closer to your moldings for maximum impact – 3/4″ from the bottom of the molding tends to look good. However if there is a LOT of space between the top of your window trim and your molding, being too close to the molding might look odd. Use your own discretion!
- This will help create the illusion of a taller window, higher ceilings, and will allow the fabric to hang gracefully. We want all of these things.
MEASUREMENT #3. Again, based on the width of your window, decide how wide each curtain panel needs to be.
- The general rule is that curtain panels should be about 1.5x to 2x times the width of the window you’re attempting to cover.
- This will ensure that you maintain a “gathered” look even when the curtains are pulled closed.
MEASUREMENT #4. Based on the height of your rod, measure how long each curtain panel needs to be.
- Don’t forget to take into account extra inches for hemming and the curtain header. For example, curtains with rod pockets will hang shorter than curtains with grommets or tab tops.
- Give yourself at least 5″ to 10″ extra inches to be safe! For more information on different curtain lengths, keep reading!
Picking the Length of your Curtains
Now that you are in possession of all these measurements, you can buy your curtains confidently!
If you’re stuck on measuring for step 4 above, you might be unsure exactly HOW long your curtains should be.
Take a deep breath! It’s going to be ok.
Here are the most popular ways interior designers hang curtains and drapes.
|Break puddle: The idea is that you add an extra 1/2″ to 1″ to the curtain length so that the panel “breaks” as it hits the floor. This way the panel doesn’t hang straight and adds a bit of interest.
|Kissing the floor: this is the hardest method to pull off but looks the most tailored and custom. You need to be incredibly accurate in your measurements in order to get this right. If your curtains kiss the floor, they are literally hovering perfectly on the surface of the floor. To accomplish this, you need to measure the exact distance from the top of the curtains to the floor. A tip to do this accurately is to hang the curtains on the rod and mark or pin them while they are already hanging.
|Floating: if you can’t get on board with the idea of your curtains touching the ground at all, then opt for hanging them just a 1/2″ inch above the floor. This gives an extremely clean look, albeit slightly less formal. Your curtains should hang perfectly straight with this method. Try not to go any higher than 1/2″ off the ground, or it will start to look like a mistake in your measurements.
So with all that being said, you need to consider not only what you like, but the function and style of your room.
Is it casual or formal? Romantic or laid back? Ultra-modern or boho vintage?
Bedrooms are normally less formal than say a dining room, so perhaps you want to avoid very long curtains. Unless you are going for a very romantic bedroom look: in which case, puddling would be entirely appropriate! Puddling can also look very pretty in a nursery.
Dining rooms tend to be formal so puddling would be a great option.
Living rooms are somewhere in between formal and casual, so kissing the floor could work well.
Of course, it is up to you and your personal taste!
|When you are shopping for your curtains, I would suggest that you err on the side of buying longer panels. Extra inches are always good to have. The standard length of readymade curtains are generally 63″ and 84″ and simply put this is TOO SHORT! Your best bet is to look for pre-made panels in 95″, 108″ or 120″ if you’ve got ultra-high ceilings (these are all also standard curtains lengths).
Is this project still overwhelming to you?
Don’t worry! Call us today and we’d be happy to take on your project from the measuring to the designing to the installing steps!
Give us a call 707.864.3000, Or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.