Measuring windows is a wise investment of time to ensure that your curtains hang well and you achieve the desired look and feel. Here are a few tips to assist you in getting the most out of your new curtains.
Measure the width of the window from left to right. Generally, two to three times more material/curtain than the actual window width is required to provide a nice and full appearance when the curtain is hung. For a standard full look it is sufficient for the finished curtain to be two times the width of the window. For enhanced fullness in your curtains you may multiply the actual window width by two and a half, and for ultra fullness or sheer curtains you will achieve the best look by using a multiplication factor of three.
For instance, for a standard full look, if you have a window that measures 40″ wide, you will need curtains that have a minimum width of 80″ (40” x 2=80”), or 2 panels for that window. In this instance 2 panels would provide about 100″ to 120″ of width which will give a lovely, full look.
Measure the length of the window from top to bottom. Curtain length is a matter of personal taste and there is no right or wrong. Following are the various curtain lengths most commonly used:
Sill Length – These curtains should basically sit on the sill. They create a more everyday look and are perfect for windows that open often.
Apron Length – This look is well suited for kitchens and bathrooms. These curtains hang about 4″ below the sill.
Café Length – These are short curtains that cover only the lower part of a window and graze the sill.
Floor length – These curtains create a more sophisticated look and give the windows a longer appearance. They should hang about 1/4″ above the floor.
Extra-long puddle length – These curtains allow for a more dramatic look. They may be more impractical and are not suitable for heavily utilised areas. The curtains should hang an additional 6 to 10″ from the start of the floor.
Finding the Right FABRIC
When choosing your curtain fabric there are a few things to think about.
Colour? Consider which colour would best match and enhance the rest of the décor in the room. Should the colour be light or dark? Remember that a lighter colour will let in more light whereas a darker colour will do a better job at keeping out the sun and light, if so desired.
Solid colour or pattern? Patterned curtains can be a fun addition to a room in need of a new look and will make your windows a focal point. However, for an already ‘busy’ room, a solid colour may be more flattering.
Sheer or dense texture? Sheer and silk curtains let in more light and can have a subtle, captivating shimmer. Denser fabrics such as velvet block out more light, provide privacy and look luxurious. Somewhere in between there are the linen and cotton blends which can create a more natural look and can range in texture from sheer to opaque.