Drapery Length – Tips to “Get It Right”

I knew it would happen, and it finally did!  Last night, while writing this post (to be published maybe next week), I accidentally clicked the “publish” tab.  No pictures.  Just a few words.  Nothing complete.  I changed it to a private post quickly, so you may have gotten nothing when you clicked to continue reading the post.

Here is the complete post.  To avoid extended confusion, I decided to publish it today rather than next week.

When ordering or making floor-length draperies, what do you need to consider in deciding the length that is best for your situation?

The ins and outs of the three main drapery lengths are as follows.

  • 1/2″ above the floor – a traditional look for sleek draperies that need to easily move along the floor without contact.  When using a traverse rod, for example, draperies need to move freely. This style is the most fuss-free and requires no fluffing or fixing later.   The panels I made for our bedroom recently are made at this length.

Bedroom Draperies - Phase One

  • Touching the floor or 1″ longer than floor length – popular for stationary panels and lay slightly onto the floor with a bend similar to a man’s pant leg.  Recommended for panels that will remain stationary most of the time. The draperies in HH’s office are hung to touch and slightly drag the floor.  You can see a slight bend in the bottom of the panels.

Pant Leg Length Drapes

  • Puddled on the floor –  achieved by adding 2-8 additional inches to the panel length to allow yardage to lay across the floor.  This requires extra floor space, so is not practical for tight spaces.  They require extra fluffing and fiddling on occasion.  It’s not a good idea for light-colored fabrics, since they tend to get dirty.  Recommended for stationary panels only.  Here’s a puddled drapery from Ldesigns Interior Decorating and Decor

(Click the picture for source.)

The most popular look recently is a smaller puddle, where the drapery extends only 2-4″ beyond the floor.

(Click the picture for source.)

Puddled draperies hung from the crown molding are the best look for 8′ ceilings, as they extend the fabric to the longest line.   The picture above is a lovely look without crowding the room with fabric spreading far into the floor space.

Taller ceilings can handle the shorter lengths of panels.  A newly popular look is to have your panels extend to an inch or so above the floor line, creating a sleek, pencil-pant look.  We’ve seen this slimming effect in clothing fashion, and now we see it in window fashion.

I hope this information helps you make a wise choice for drapery length in your particular room.

As a warning for the future, if you receive an email post from me that’s not complete, just shake your head from side to side and say, “That queen must have ‘lost her scepter’ (aka mind).”  And, you’ll most probably have it right. 😉

Thank you for visiting! ~ I’d like to invite you to follow me through RSS feed, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram,  or Hometalk.  Also, I’d love it if you shared Curtain Queen Creates  with all your sweet friends. 

Thanks, y’all.

I’m sharing this post with Metamorphosis Monday and Make It Pretty Monday.  Won’t you join us?


  1. says

    Don’t worry, we all do it! I’m just surprised I don’t do it more often!! Thanks for the drape length explanations, I’ve never really paid much attention!

  2. says

    Hey, Kim! That has happened around here before, too, and I understand the feeling or sheer terror you must have had when you realized what had done!!! Been there, sister! 🙂 As I’m still hunting for the proper drapes for our home, this is a really good tutorial. I have always kind of liked that super puddled look, but you’ve given me something to think about so far as space constraints and that look. You also have made me think about how difficult it would be to draw the curtains at night. (I’d just as soon have no window treatments at all, but Ramon insists…especially in winter. What a buzz kill! 🙂 ) Great post! Thanks!

    • Kim Hood says

      Alycia! It’s great to hear from you! Thanks for your support and understanding. 🙂 I’m glad you found this post useful. I think soon I will post more considerations in window treatment choices. I’m sorry to say it, but Ramon is right. Anything additional covering your windows adds to the R-value, and some more than others. Stay tuned…

  3. Sheryll & Critters. says

    I do not like any puddling, just looks sloppy and lazy to me… okay old fashioned here. Plus, now I could NEVER, cause all the kitty kats would take turns and maybe fight over sleeping on them…..GRIN.

    And I do remember life before my fur babies.

    Great post.