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How Tall Should My Window Treatments Be?

October 14, 2013

Homeowners, have you ever wondered where exactly to hang your window treatments above your windows?

Maybe you’ve heard the old adage to hang draperies four inches above a window. But that rule was established when ceilings were only eight feet high. Today, most homes have ceilings at least nine to 10’ tall. Also, some windows have creative architectural details and invite more custom flair.

So just how long and how tall should contemporary window treatments be? When you’re hanging your window treatments, always consider the finished length and height. “For the most visual impact, I like to hang drapery as close to the ceiling as possible,” says Henderson, Nev. interior decorator Christine Ringenbach.

Hang Drapery As Close to the Ceiling As Possible

Contemporary Dining Room with Red and Black Accents

In this dining room (see photo above), the builder placed the windows low and left a lot of empty wall space between the ceiling and the windows. Imagine how this room would look if the side panels had been hung only 4″ above the windows: Boring. Instead, by hanging the curtain rod near the ceiling, the line of vision is drawn all the way up the wall. This keeps the height of the room taller, rather than cutting it off at a lower height.

Then the designer cleverly filled the empty space by mounting a bold mirror below the rod.  Notice how the design of the mirror reflects back to the graphic pattern of the drapery fabric. Together, the mirror and drapery complement the overall design and deliver a fashion-forward contemporary style.

Add a Cornice and Custom Details

Contemporary Dining Room with wall of windows

This dining room shows another good example of how an experienced designer knew just how high to mount the window treatment. Here, the window treatment is above the transom window and just below the crown molding.  Had the drapery been placed below the transom, the room would have an entirely less impressive appearance.

In this case, a cornice is also mounted over the side panels to create a traditional, two-layer window treatment. The cornice’s fabric is intentionally plain, with no pattern to compete against the side panels. But even with this simplicity, the customized accents show in the crisscrossed welting and a center medallion.

Hire a Professional Decorator to Help

While talented do-it-yourself homeowners may be up to the challenge of hanging window treatments, many homeowners often make the mistake of hanging drapery too low in the room. This is partly because they can’t find ready-made window treatments in longer lengths.

With a professional interior decorator, homeowners don’t just benefit from help with hanging window treatments. Decorators also bring access to customizable window treatments in many more styles and lengths, complete with custom dressmaker details. With a professional to help, you’ll soon find the right window treatments for any room and you’ll have help with the installation process too.

To hire help with hanging window treatments or to explore custom drapery options, call Henderson interior decorator Christine Ringenbach at 702.914.3741.

Authors: Christine Ringenbach with Allyson Siwajian © 2013

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