The Do’s And Don’ts Of Curtain Placement

Design Guides

March 23, 2021

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  1. Meleah says:

    Hi. Wanted your opinion if you’re open to it. I have this hideous odd shaped sky light over my sliding patio doors in my beach house. Right now I have the curtains above the doors, but am wondering about installing the rod up toward the ceiling with longer panels to the floor. using the recommended extended rod.

  2. Deborah says:

    My living/dining room space has two large windows adjacent to each other. They are the same size. In one window the ceiling is sloped so I can only hang a 84” curtain to touch the floor. The other window is under a 10 foot ceiling and can hang a longer curtain. Would it look better to keep them both 84” or have two different length of curtains but keep the same curtain so they match? Really appreciate your feed back on this as it’s a new home and I don’t want a bunch of holes in the wall trying to figure out what looks best.

  3. Tweety says:

    When you say "Do position the rod 8-12 inches wider than the window frame", do you mean 8-12 inches wider from EACH side of the window frame? Or total length of rod is 8-12 inches wider than the total width of window frame?
    Also, will it be different if doing 4 panels vs 2 panels?

    • Danica says:

      I prefer the rod to be 8-12" wider on each side of the window. When you have 2 curtain panels on each side, I would extend the rod wide enough that the panels don’t cover the window.

  4. debee says:

    Danica, I have 2 windows in my dining room. One is 78 inches high the other 68 inches high. Should I still place the curtains 6 inches from the ceiling for both. I want a uniform look. One window is a lot shorter in appearance. Thanks, I love your blogs.

  5. hiwc says:

    Great site and feedback on dos and don’ts. What are the when and when not to place curtains behind crown molding. It seems to make the room appear taller, however I wonder if it matters how tall your ceiling is whether this makes sense. Also in my case, its french doors and their side windows on each side that I am trying to use drape coverage for. Thank you!

  6. Jksheetz says:

    Hi! We have baseboard heaters that span the entire wall of every outside wall in our home. I don’t have the option of putting curtains that are floor length on the outer sides of the window because there are no “breaks” in the baseboard heaters. I’ve read that curtains should be at least 6 inches above the baseboard heaters for safety issues. I feel like this is going to look funny…any suggestions? Please help!

  7. elissa says:

    I love these tips!One question: Do I need to use a center support bracket? I’m putting black curtain rods on white walls, so I think it will detract from the look. If I need a bracket, maybe I’ll use a different finish.Thank you!

  8. dd says:

    Wow, the graphics are a great help in seeing the how a room looks with the different placements. My question is, with the curtains so high up, how would you open and close them if they are pleated and hooked on to rings (on a rod)? Thank you.

  9. leon says:

    What would you suggest for a sliding patio door 4 ft wide per side = 8 ft wide of glass . 1 curtain or 2? Width and Height of Curtains? I have 8 ft ceilings. Thanks.

  10. Ise says:

    Thanks for this post , what would you say are the best type of luxe curtains , pinch pleats or found t or box am confused

    • danica says:

      Any curtains with a pleated header tend to look more high end, but I’m partial to tailored and pinch pleated curtains!

  11. nikki says:

    I have a wall of windows in my master bedroom (9ft ceiling). Could I do a panel on each side or is it still best to a full panel?

  12. jtsai says:

    This article is so helpful! I have mounding on the sides and top of my window that basically extend to my ceiling, giving me no place for the rod. Is it a big No to drill directly into the mounding ? Any suggestions? Thank you!!

  13. avetter says:

    I have heat registers right below the windows so I am unable to have curtains to the floor. How far below the window should they hang? How high above should I attach the curtain rod?

  14. emojis says:

    What about for a floor-to-ceiling window with a ceiling beam blocking one side. I can’t hang the curtain rod above the window trim 🙁

  15. laura says:

    Does the same height rule apply for rod caps that are more bulky?

  16. Donna says:

    What do I do if one side of the window space is smaller than the other side. It’s about 5 inches on right side and 28 inches on left

  17. Tmeyer says:

    I have 2 windows with the tv between . On each side of the tv there is only 8” then the window frame. I was only going to put one panel on the outside of each window. (I.e. treat the window TV window as one unit with the panel on the outer side ) however, after reading your don’t on second, guessing myself, your thoughts, please. The curtains will be only to soften/add texture to the room. I don’t need them to actually function curtains.

  18. Laurel says:

    On “Do” #2 should the rod extend 8-12 inches past the window frame on each side or total?

  19. Vas says:

    I have a baseboard register, what is the rule for that when hanging curtains? If they are too low it blocks the heat/ac. Thank you.

  20. tails says:

    How high do you recommend rod placement with coved ceilings? The ceilings are 8 feet tall with the coving about 12 inches from the ceiling. Got any suggestions? I’m baffled and because the walls are plaster, don’t want to drill holes willy-nilly to anchor the rods. Thanbks.

    • Danica says:

      I would hang the rod just below the coving to maximize the height without messing with the coved ceiling!

  21. bav says:

    Hi I have just honeycomb blinds on my living room window , it looks quite blah I was wondering if I could just put curtains just on the outside area of the window to make it look warmer?

  22. nj says:

    Thanks for the tips, they have been of great help.

  23. rgreggor says:

    I have a window on either side of a fireplace on the peaked wall of a family room with a cathedral ceiling. Where should I hang the curtains… even with the lowest point of the wall? or somewhere else?

  24. rgreggor says:

    Great advice!

  25. Christine says:

    I love reading these tips! So many times I have made mistakes and regretted my decisions, this time I’m doing my home work.
    My window is offset in our bedroom. To add to the problem we have a tv bracket on the smaller side, restricting the size of the wall usage. Removing the tv is not an option. I’ve thought about a blind on the inset. This won’t work either because of window locks, so it has to be curtains.
    Any suggestions?

  26. Olivia says:

    Thanks for the awesome tips! But where should I hang rods when I have 9’ (108.5”) ceilings and the top of the window is 11” from the ceiling. I bought 98” curtains and I’m trying to figure out a way to make them still work!

    • Danica says:

      I’d still hang the rod near the ceiling! I have several windows with an 11" gap between the window frame and the rod and it looks natural.

  27. morey says:

    Hi , great tips thanks !!! question what should I do with different height ceilings in the same room?

  28. nancy says:

    Because I bought into the high and grand business with my 8ft ceilings, I am in the process of hemming, a little bit, thirty-two (32) panels. THIRTY-TWO!!! Measure carefully, maybe buy one panel before you commit. Or maybe it’s my fault because I am too cheap for custom drapes.

  29. Benita says:

    I have 4 windows in my living room on one side. 3 are placed as 1 with separate blinds close to my fireplace and the other is about 6 inches away from the other close to my back door. What would be the best way to hang my curtains

    • Melissa says:

      I came to ask kinda the same question. I would cover up part of the window because of the fireplace. Do I not put curtains up?

  30. abg says:

    I have 2 windows, one is a door on both sides of a fireplace that lead to a sunporch. I have 8ft ceilings. I was going to hang curtains pretty close to the ceiling but only do a curtain (maybe 2) covering the outside window of both sets. I hope that makes sense. Your article says not to do just one side. I am assuming not to do one if it is the only window on the wall. Mine would still be “balanced” I think. Curtain, glass door, fireplace, glass door, curtain. The rod…should it go the length of the window and door or just enough over the window part, like 2 feet or so?

  31. cyndirobb says:

    I have 3 matching windows on one wall of my living room. We have installed shutters and I’m thinking about adding curtains to soften things a bit. Should I treat the 3 windows as a single unit and hang curtains at each side or should I install panels between each window? The windows are 36" wide X 75" tall and are about 8"-10" apart.

  32. jessie says:

    I want to do a curtain wall behind my headboard and to cover a really weird off center window( like it was never there) I was thinking about how to do that without seeing a break in the middle of the wall. Should I go all the way up to the ceiling? I’m not sure how to approach this. I was also thinking of adding a piece or crown molding so the curtains are tucked behind it. Thoughts?

  33. stefano says:

    I have a double door for a balcony and a 210x130cm window (both finishing at 210cm height) on the same wall. Below the window, there is a heat radiator.What kind of curtains should I put on the window so that it looks beautiful, yet doesn’t cause trouble with the radiator?P.s. I looove ceiling to floor double curtains. 🙂

  34. soco says:

    If my ceiling is 9ft tall, would 96" Curtains work? They would be about 15" Higher than the window frame.

    • Danica says:

      It’s hard to say without seeing it, but in most cases I recommend putting your curtain rod at the ceiling or just below. The exception to this is if your windows are significantly lower than the ceiling in which case you can drop your rod down a handful of inches.

  35. janice says:

    So I guess I’ve been doing it mostly wrong!!

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