How to Choose Curtain Length

Primer: Choosing Your Curtain Length

Hanging curtains is not a straightforward endeavor. From where to attach the curtain rods to whether to use a valance, there are a lot of decisions to make that affect the style and function of your window treatments. One of the most crucial choices you'll make is the length of your curtains, which affects whether your room has a dressy or casual look. There's no right answer, but I do have a few guidelines that will help steer you in the right direction.


  • In formal rooms, such as dining rooms or living rooms, curtains should hit the floor. Take exact measurements.
  • In kitchens, laundry rooms, or other utility rooms, curtains that meet the windowsill offer a practical look that doesn't interfere with tables, countertops, etc.
  • For a casual look in rooms like offices, bathrooms, etc., curtains should come to the bottom of the apron. If there's nothing in the way, you can also try this in the kitchen.

Continue reading for more of these tips.

  • For a very romantic, elegant look in dining rooms or bedrooms, try extra-long curtains that drape into flowy puddles on the floor (like at left). This look should be reserved for rooms with hardwood floors or marble tiles, etc.
  • Whatever you do, the biggest no-no is curtains that fall short of the floor, somewhere after the apron. To remedy this, either have them tailored to meet the apron or windowsill, or lower the curtain rod so they meet the floor.

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