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Hanging Curtains to Enhance Your Windows


on September 28, 2017


Hanging curtains is a bigger deal than you might think. There’s more to it than buying curtains and a curtain rod and then following the instructions.

You want your curtains to complement your windows and the rest of your house, but you also want to do it the correct way. But what is the right way to hang curtains? Some experts say you should hang curtains high and wide to give the illusion of bigger windows. However, others say that your curtains should overlap the trim boards.

So, which way is better? We consulted three expert design bloggers, revealing quality advice on the best way to hang your curtains.

How to Hang Drapes to Create the Illusion of More Windows

Kylie M. Interiors rarely uses the standard 84” drapes anymore. Instead, she goes in search of 96” drapes that would allow her to choose where she wants the rod to go. The goal is to avoid having to hem the drape, but usually there is at least some hemming involved.

"I do like to hang the rod higher than not," Kylie says. "This usually ends up being approximately half of the way between the top of the window trim and the ceiling line/crown molding. As for width, I like the drape to at least overlap the trim, if not a few inches of window -- I don’t like to see trim peeking out. From there, I like to have enough drapery on either side of the window so that it looks like there is ‘more window’ on either side. Hiding the trim helps to encourage that illusion!”

When hanging curtains, Deb from Seeking Lavender Lane generally places the curtain rod to the top of the ceiling to dramatize the look of the window and add height to a space.

"I have an eight-foot ceiling in my home," she says. "So adding a way to draw the eye up is important."

If the curtain is placed to the top of the ceiling, then it should also graze the floor or puddle on the floor. If you are looking for a place where you can find a lengthier curtain, Deb recommends Ikea. They usually have a longer than standard length window treatment, which is affordable and easy to work on any window.

"One of the other best ways to add a curtain that has the right length is by creating your own with DIY and affordable drop cloth curtains," Deb adds. "My tutorial shares how to create this without a sewing machine. Bonus!”

If you ask Niña and Cecilia, hanging curtains high and wide is the way to go. It makes a statement and makes the ceiling seem higher and space bigger. Additionally, going wider than the window results in extra light coming through when the curtains are open.

"This is especially important when the home doesn't get much natural light," the sisters say. "The photographer in us loves having as much natural light inside the house as possible.”

The design bloggers are all in agreement: hanging your curtains high and wide will enhance your windows and bring in more natural light.

While 84” curtains are usually the standard, using 96” curtains allows you to go higher and wider. You want your curtains to touch the floor and not be too short, and they can even “puddle” on the floor, if that’s your preference (that means they’re one or two inches too long).

When it comes to hanging the curtain rod, it’s best to hang it two to six inches from ceiling, and at least a foot outside of the window on both sides. This makes your windows appear larger and maximizes your space.

Like Kylie M Interiors mentioned, sometimes your curtains can be too long. In this case, you’ll have to hem them, which you can either do yourself or take them to a local dry cleaner.

As long as you remember high and wide when hanging your curtains, you can’t go wrong.


Getting new curtains can also be a good time to get new windows. For a variety of quality windows, consult with your local Pella professional.

Schedule a free consultation to find windows and doors for your home.