Can You Hang Curtains Too High?

If you just moved houses or you are redecorating, and you don't know the first thing about curtain installation you have come to the right post. Is there an ideal height at which the curtains are to be hung? To help, we asked home decor experts, and here's what they said.

You can, actually, hang your curtains too high. Generally, curtains should be hung 4 to 6 inches above the window frame. However, where the space between the ceiling and window is 6 to 12 inches, you should hang your curtains halfway between them.

For high ceilings or if the window is just too close to the ceiling, you can hang your curtains right above the window frame or hang directly from the ceiling.

Curtain height affects your room's general look. The ideal distance between your curtain and the ceiling as well as the floor, and what length curtains are in style are other questions that might have crossed your mind. Read on to find out the interesting answers we found. 

A collage of two Interior of a luxurious loft living room, Can You Hang Curtains Too High?

Can You Hang Curtains Too High?

Curtains can make or break the feel of your home's interior. The color, texture, material, and design are factors you instinctively consider when choosing curtains. But have you paid attention to how you hang your curtains and how high they are in relation to the ceiling and window?

It is possible to hang your curtains too high. It gives your room an awkward look especially if the window's height is visible through the curtain either owing to the light coming through it or because the curtains are made of sheer fabric. 

How High Is Too High For Curtains?

In deciding the appropriate height for your curtains, remember to keep a number of things in mind:

  • your room's size,
  • the ceiling's height,
  • and the window's height.

It is suggested to hang your curtains 4 to 6 inches above the window frame. However, if your ceiling is higher than the norm, at 10 feet for instance, you should hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible.

You might even look into rods specifically made to hang from the ceiling which are called "ceiling mount rods." This is because such high ceilings usually have equally high windows with virtually no space in between for a curtain rod. 

Get a set of ceiling mount curtain rod brackets on Amazon.

If you have the opposite problem - a low ceiling and low windows - hang your curtains closer to the ceiling to give the illusion of a higher ceiling. 

Should Curtains Touch The Ceiling?

Contemporary lounge / living room with sofa, curtains, table and vases.

It really depends on your ceiling and window height. Higher ceilings and/or high windows will leave you no other choice than to hang your curtains high, sometimes as high as the ceiling. It is apparently inevitable that your curtains in such instances will touch the ceiling. 

Interestingly, high ceilings and windows are making a comeback and floor-to-ceiling curtains are a thing. They make your room look bigger and give the illusion of larger windows. So, it is absolutely fashionable for your curtains to touch the ceiling. 

How Far Down From The Ceiling Should You Hang Curtains?

Close up of woman hands hanging curtain with metal hooks on ceiling ledge.

You've likely seen curtains hung in varying heights - some hung directly from the ceiling, others close to the ceiling, and others closer to the window than the ceiling. Any of these choices can turn out fabulous as long as it's ideal for your room.

Space Between Ceiling and Curtains

What's the ideal amount of space between the ceiling and your curtains? A good rule of thumb is 4 to 6 inches or halfway between the ceiling and the window if the space between them is 6 to 12 inches.

If you have a low ceiling though, you want to hang your curtains higher to give the illusion of a higher ceiling. 

For high ceilings, 8 inches above the window is recommended. This rule meets a challenge where there is little to no space between the ceiling and the window. In such an instance, your curtains would look just fine hanging close to the ceiling or from the ceiling itself.

Regardless of the ceiling height though, the minimum distance between your curtain rod and window should be 2 inches. Note however that if your window is arched, you have the option of hanging your curtain inside the window frame or across the window below the arch, leaving the arch exposed.

You can hang your curtains within your window frame if your window has a lovely trim on its edges that you want to show off.

How High Can Curtains Be Off The Floor?

Fragment of the classic interior. Blue curtains on the eyelets hang on the round cornice in the doorway.

Curtains that hang too high above the floor could give your room an awkward look. A minimum distance of half an inch off the floor is suggested for free-hanging curtains. This allows for easy cleaning while giving the illusion that the curtains touch the floor.

However, for high windows, having your curtain cover just half or two-thirds of the window cafe-style is an option that lets in natural light without entirely sacrificing privacy. Your curtain can also fall just below the window sill. It's down to your preference. 

Are Curtains Supposed To Touch The Floor?

Your curtains need not touch the floor. In fact, it would be a huge inconvenience if they do in certain cases. Kitchen or bathroom curtains should most certainly not touch the floor for obvious reasons. It's literally a sitting fire hazard if in the kitchen and a mold magnet if in the bathroom.

However, floor-to-ceiling curtains give the feel of a higher ceiling and that might be your favored look.

Your curtains should not puddle on the floor though except if that's the specific look you're going for. That's a recipe for tripping accidents and a more tedious cleaning time. If it's a look you want, bear these in mind. 

There are other looks that incorporate floor touching: breaking where the curtain extends 1 or 2 inches onto the floor; and grazing where the curtains just brush the floor. It all boils down to personal preference. 

Do Longer Curtains Make a Room Look Bigger?

Bright gray living movie room.

High-hanging ceilings, particularly those that run the length of the wall from floor to ceiling, make the ceiling look higher than it really is and make your room appear more spacious. So if you're working with a small room where you want to feel roomier, longer curtains are a good design choice. 

What Color Curtains Make Room Bigger?

Modern tv livng room with couch, new design coffee table and big windows.

A brighter room naturally looks bigger. If your room is not as big as you would have liked, having curtains that let in more light is a good way to make the room appear bigger.

Brightly colored curtains are your best bet for this. They can be light neutral colors like white, ivory, and beige or bolder ones like lavender and sage green.

Are Curtains Out of Style

Over time, different types of window treatments and covers have been created. Blinds, shades, and shutters are a number of them and seem to be the go-to in the corporate world. One might be tempted to think that the elegance of curtains is slowly becoming a thing of history books.

Check out this Cordless Pleated Blinds on Amazon. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Curtains are adaptable to changing times and are even beneficiaries of modern fabric technology. Moreso, curtains are simply a preferred choice for many reasons.

They are better insulators than other window coverings and are more suited to maintaining the room's temperature. It's also easier to adjust the amount of natural light entering a room with curtains. 

In addition, curtains muffle sounds and thus help a little with noise control. They are also a more versatile option. While other window coverings are made in fixed sizes, curtains come as fabrics that can be cut based on one's need. They are also more affordable, and easier to clean and replace. 

To Wrap Up

There is such a thing as too high and too low. A lot certainly depends on your room and window size and what style you want to achieve. 

Something to keep in mind is that while the ideal height is 6 inches above the window frame, small rooms require highly placed curtains to appear bigger. Another trick to having a larger-looking room is also choosing longer light-colored curtains.

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