Finding the right drapery is an important decision. It can drastically change how a space looks and functions, whether it’s providing privacy or masking unsightly features. And it doesn’t take much thought to know that choosing the wrong length will negatively impact your choice.
After all, if your curtain ends are too short, any potential benefits of hiding things are negated by the lack of privacy.
With so much importance attached to length, you might be wondering what other factors come into play as well. Luckily for you, we’ve done some research on this topic and have summarized everything you need to know about drapery lengths and their effects on your home decorating choices.
What is the difference between curtains and drapes?
Drapes are used for decorative purposes. They can be used for window treatments to add elegance to a room, without blocking any of the interior decor. They’re often used in luxury and high-end homes, or hotels. When choosing drapes, you’ll typically find them in contrasting colors, patterns, and materials. For example, a drape in a bold, bright color is a great way to liven up a room. Curtains are used for insulation.
They’re usually made of thinner material, allowing them to be hung differently than drapes. Curtains are typically made of heavier material than drapes, but are often found in lighter colors, designs, and patterns, allowing them to be used to cover up unsightly features in a room. The terms “drape” and “curtains” are often used interchangeably, but they do have slightly different meanings.
What are the different types of drapery lengths?
Shower curtains are typically made of a heavier material, allowing them to be used for a variety of indoor uses. Shower curtains are typically made of a matte material to help keep water from ruining your floor.
Roman curtains are typically a bit longer and are a common choice for window treatments on windows with a length of 36 inches or more. Roman curtains are also popular for hanging at the top of a window opening.
Paneled curtains are a bit shorter than regular curtains and are typically used for window treatments around smaller windows, such as French doors.
Sheer curtains are made from a sheer material and can be used for a variety of indoor uses, including decorative purposes.
Linen curtains are made from a heavier material, typically a bit longer, and can be used for a variety of indoor uses, including decorative purposes.
A jalousie curtain is a type of sheet that used primarily on windows with a pitched roof. Itâ€™s a type of sheer curtain, but is designed specifically for use with a pitched roof and is designed to let light in while keeping heat and rain out.
Lace curtains are typically a bit longer than sheer curtains and are typically used for decorative purposes.
A paneled shower curtain is typically a bit shorter than a regular shower curtain, allowing it to be hung in a narrower space.
How to Measure Your Window for Curtains
Before you start shopping for curtains, you’ll want to measure the length of your window to ensure you pick drapery lengths that will cover it completely. This can be tricky, as many draperies are sold based on their length, so you’ll want to make sure you have a length measurement from the outside of your window to the center of the curtain.Next, determine what kind of rod you’d like your curtains hung on. There are three main types of rods you can use:
1 C-Clamp: A C-Clamp is a piece of hardware that’s attached to your wall and has a hook on one side and a clamp on the other. You’ll need to buy a C-Clamp for each pair of curtains you purchase.
2 Wall-Mount: A wall-mount is a decorative piece of hardware that’s typically mounted onto your wall. It has a hook on one end and a curtain on the other. You’ll need to buy one Wall-Mount for every pair of curtains you purchase.
3 Track Lighting: Track lighting is a decorative hardware that can be used in conjunction with curtains. You’ll need to buy one Track Lighting for every pair of curtains you purchase.
Drapes vs. Curtains: Which Should You Choose?
Both drapes and curtains can be used for indoor decorating purposes. Drapes can typically be found in more decorative styles, while curtains are often more affordable and are available in a wider variety of styles and colors. Generally, drapes are heavier and used in more formal settings, while curtains are lighter and less expensive, making them a more versatile choice for more casual settings.
Choosing between drapes and curtains is largely based on personal preference. If you have a formal dining room, for example, you may want to choose drapes for their ability to provide privacy, while a pair of sheer curtains in a more casual room might be more appropriate. There are, of course, other factors to consider as well, such as what you want to use your drapery for and your budget.
Choosing a Window Treatment Style
Deciding on a window treatment style is an important first step, as it will help you determine how you want to use your curtains. There are several different styles you can use with your curtains, each with a different effect on your home decorating choices.
Sheer: Sheer curtains are typically made of a sheer, lightweight material, allowing them to be transparent. Sheer curtains are often paired with drapes to create privacy, and can be used to create a warm atmosphere by using them as a source of natural light in a room.
Paneled: Paneled curtains are often made of a thicker material, allowing them to be used with a variety of window treatments. They’re often used in pairs, with the bottom curtains being more decorative and the top curtains being sheerer.
Roman: Roman curtains are a bit longer than paneled curtains, typically being 64 inches or more and are often paired with drapes to provide privacy.
Linen: Linen curtains are typically a bit longer than other styles and are typically sheer, allowing them to be used with a variety of window treatments. They’re often used as a decorative choice, as they’re a bit heavier than other styles.
Jalousie: A jalousie curtain is a type of sheet that’s used primarily on windows with a pitched roof. It’s a type of sheer curtain, but is designed specifically for use with a pitched roof and is designed to let light in while keeping heat and rain out.