Curtains can make or break the look of a space, especially in the living room. As we decorate our space, one question frequently pops up: “are living room curtains supposed to touch the floor?”
Many people think the patterns, colors, and textures are the focal point of curtains, but the length is equally important. The most stylish curtain length right now is floor to ceiling, but this look isn’t always the best option for everyone’s space and lifestyle. We’ll help you understand which curtain length will be best for your living room.
In This Article We'll Discuss
How does curtain length change the look of a room?
Long, full length curtains can add height and elegance to a room. This is a great touch for a formal living room. Hanging curtains close to the ceiling will help the living room appear larger and more spacious.
In addition, full length curtains can be used to divide a room and hide features, like window seats.
Smaller length curtains, like apron curtains and sill curtains, are better suited for less formal rooms, like the kitchen or bathroom.
Are Short Living Room Curtains Out of Style?
Short living room curtains are seen as dated today. But, if you have radiators in your home, you may need to opt for shorter curtains so they don’t touch the heat source. Long curtains can also sometimes stick out unnaturally past the radiator.
However, there are still ways to style short living room curtains. For example, you can make sure the end of the curtain extends 3 inches below the window. But, shorter length drapes likely won’t look as nice as floor to ceiling curtains. We suggest going with just blinds or shades if full length curtains aren’t an option in your space.
Of course, if you like short curtains and think they’re best for your living room, then you should use them. In the end, it all comes down to your personal style.
Is it Okay for Living Room Curtains to be a Few Inches Off the Floor?
Curtains that hover a few inches off the floor won’t look quite as stylish, but the good news is they won’t gather as much dirt off the ground.
Generally, you should keep your living room curtains ½ an inch off the floor so they hang perfectly straight. Since the living room gets a lot of foot traffic, this length will be the easiest to maintain while still looking stylish.
Curtains that hang an inch or higher off the ground will look strange and off-putting. If your curtains are just a little too short, you could play around with the height of the curtain rod on the wall to achieve the length you’d like to have.
Should Curtains Be Longer than a Window?
If you want floor-length curtains in your living room, you should hang them above the window, between the top of the window molding and the ceiling. So, yes, in this case, curtains should be longer than a window.
Even if you have short windows, your curtains should still extend about three inches below the windowsill.
How High Should I Hang My Living Room Curtains?
Generally, you should hang curtains 4-6 inches above the window frame. Another option is to hang the curtain rod ⅔ inches above the windowsill from the ceiling. Or, you can hang them right below the crown molding.
The higher you hang your curtains, the larger your windows will appear, and the more elegant they will look. The long curtains will help your space feel taller, larger, and more inviting.
In What Situations is it Okay for Living Room Curtains Not to Touch the Floor?
If your home has short, small windows, full length curtains that touch the floor may not look right. For short windows, the best option is to choose a fabric that extends three inches below the windowsill.
Also, if you have radiators underneath your living room windows, it’s okay for your curtains to not touch the floor. The radiator will break up some of the visual space, helping the shorter curtains look more natural in the room.
In addition, if you have small children or pets, and are worried that floor to ceiling curtains will be too high maintenance for your lifestyle, shorter curtains might be your best option.
What is Curtain Drop?
A curtain drop is the measurement from the top of the drape to the bottom. This is also known as header to hem.
Curtains will usually come in three standard drop sizes: 54 inches, 72 inches, and 90 inches.
If you’re buying drapes with eyelets or tab tops, you should measure from the top of the curtain rod. For pencil pleats, pinch pleats or wave headings, measure from the top of the track. This will help you decide what drop length will work best for you.
What are the Types of Living Room Curtain Drops?
There are three great drop options to choose from for the living room: brushing the floor, breaking the floor, and pooling on the floor.
- Curtains that brush the floor are usually half an inch above the floor.
- Curtains that break the floor have an extra 1-3 inches of fabric on the floor.
- Curtains that puddle on the floor have an extra 6-12 inches of fabric that pool on the floor.
Usually, the optimal curtain length for a living room is one that brushes the floor. That’s because it’s stylish and it’s the easiest to maintain. Of course, the best type of curtain drop for you will depend on your personal preferences.
The living room is one of the best rooms in your home to style floor to ceiling curtains. And, it’s easy to switch up your look by changing the curtain length, or adjusting the height of the curtain rod.
What length curtains do you have in your living room? Are you happy with them? Let us know in the comments!