Should Dining Room Curtains Be Long Or Short?

Curtains function mainly to filter light and provide privacy, however, the material, design, and length greatly influence the appearance and aesthetic properties of most rooms. So, would long or short curtains be best in the dining room? Read on to see the recommendations we've found.

Interior decorators and expert designers tend to recommend long curtains. The general principle is that they complement any room by seemingly extending the ceiling to floor dimensions and making an area appear larger. Shorter curtains can be used if the room has fixtures below the windows.

Design preferences are personal and tricky at times to make the right choice. However, most experts agree and recommend the same curtain length. In this article, we feature the types, designs, and applications of both long and short curtains to help you decide which best works for your dining room.

Modern dining room, Should Dining Room Curtains Be Long Or Short?

Which Curtain Length To Choose?

Curtains and any other window treatments have the same function. It is however significant to determine the various kinds of curtain lengths, and the sizes and types of your dining room window in order for you to know which is the ideal option for you.

Long Curtain Hanging Lengths

There are several ways to hang curtains and the exact distance between the edge and the floor would affect its overall appearance and function.


Floating - Modern living room interior with beautiful curtains on window

Floating curtains hang about 1/2 inch above the floor and should not be any shorter. Otherwise, they would appear unfinished or incomplete. It is the standard for hanging curtains and generally makes the ceiling look higher. It is ideal for frequently used and opened windows and heavy foot traffic areas. 


Grazing - Sofa in the room in front of the window with curtains

Grazing curtains hang at exactly the floor level and the length should be equal at all points since the hemline is clearly defined. It would take accurate measurements to create a uniform, neat finish. It creates a slightly more formal look especially if suspended at the ceiling line.

Breaking Or Trouser Curtains

Breaking Or Trouser Curtains - Modern room interior with armchair and curtains

Trouser curtains extend one or two inches past the floor and produce a more informal and relaxed atmosphere. The broken hemline creates a casual look that softens the window area. 

However, the overlap tends to gather dust, dirt, pet hair, and so they have to be cleaned more often. Also, people in the household, especially children, could trip or slip on the curtain edges.


Puddled - Backlit window with white curtains in empty room

Puddled curtains feature around six inches of excess fabric material that pools on the floor. It creates an elegant look when the window treatment begins just below the ceiling line and nestles dramatically on the floor. 

Then again, it may be hazardous in the presence of children or the elderly. Like breaking curtains, they require more maintenance and can get in the way when sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming. 

Long Curtains: Layout Considerations 

The curtain length impacts the area and defines the room but the general layout completes the application.

Curtain Rod Placement

Curtain placement is more important than the actual length of the material. By placing the rod or other suspension mechanisms close to the ceiling, the curtain creates continuity and draws attention to the entire length of the wall. This makes the room appear higher than it actually is. 

Using rods that extend beyond the window frame will allow you to draw the curtains away and let maximum light penetrate and afford a clear view of the outside. 

When fully closed, it provides total privacy and prevents light from entering the sides of the curtains. Extended rods also increase the width of the area and create the illusion of more space.

Curtain Color

For a more subtle and sophisticated effect, experts recommend using curtains in a shade slightly darker or lighter than the walls.

As mentioned, full-length applications create the look of a bigger room while curtains that end somewhere between the window sill and the floor look incomplete and unfinished.

Check out NICETOWN Grey Full Shade Curtain Panels on Amazon. 

Is It OK For Curtains To Be Short?

Inasmuch as experts prefer floor-length coverings, short curtains have their own practical uses. 

While they are ideal to hang in kitchens and bathrooms, this window treatment can also be utilized in children's rooms for safety purposes, and in households that own pets to prevent them from climbing as well as chewing the fabric.


Valances - Window drapery with side panels and valance

Valances are short curtains that measure an average height of 15 to 25 inches (38 to 63 centimeters) and are placed on the upper portion of windows. It is used as an additional ornament paired with other window treatments including floor length coverings, blinds, and shades for decorative purposes. 

Valances can be placed on your dining room windows as long as they are combined well with grazing, breaking, or puddled curtains. They can even be added to bare windows, however, it would not offer you privacy. 

Window Sill Curtains

Window Sill Curtains - Room window with light curtains

Sill curtains are known for their functionality. Since they flow evenly or just above the window sill, they are mostly used in kitchens, bathrooms, and those living areas with small windows that you open every day. 

You can place sill curtains in your dining area considering that there are small cabinets, radiators, heaters, or any other fixtures placed just below the window. Short curtains are best suited for these areas since it will be easier for you to access the windows.


Apron curtains are similar to sill coverings in usage but they differ in size or dimensions. In most designs, the rod is placed a little higher above the window and the fabric goes a few inches below the sill. 

What Window Type Is Best For Long Curtains?

Naturally, the type of windows in your dining room would be the final determinant of which curtain type to use. 

Standard Size Windows

With standard windows, you could simply consider the recommendation of experts and stick with long curtains. Choose the length design - hanging, grazing, breaking, or puddled - based on your preference

Also consider the household situation. The presence of young children, the maintenance needed and the area's traffic situation could influence curtain length.

Picture Windows

For picture windows, long or short curtains with extended rods are both suitable since they are drawn most of the time. If you opt for a shorter application, putting a narrow table or display cabinet below the window would break the unfinished look or effect when the curtains are closed.

Bay Windows

Though not common in dining rooms, bay windows could be treated with three short curtain sets that extend just above the seats of the alcove. The challenging part is adding fixtures to hold the curtains although prefabricated or custom-ordered materials are available in most hardware and DIY outlets.

Do Curtains Look Better Short Or Long?

All window treatments have the same purpose, however, it does not necessarily mean that they have the same visual appeal. The size, functionality, and practicality are all taken into consideration. 

To illustrate, short curtains alone will make a room appear smaller and the window more confined. It is preferable to use them in spaces where there are fixtures such as cabinets and radiators just below the window sill. This idea will change its overall visual appeal.

On one hand, long curtains are more utilized in several homes because they are considered to be more versatile. They can easily be paired or combined with other designs inside a room. 

With that being said, short and long curtains will look better if combined and used depending on their overall aesthetic effect. 

In Closing

Dining room curtains can either be short or long depending on your preference and the overall style and design of the dining area. We hope this article has been insightful and has helped you make an informed decision. 

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How High Should Curtains Be Above Window?

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