should curtains touch the floor

Should Curtains Touch The Floor or Not? Curtain Lengths Debunked

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Yes. However, when should curtains touch the floor? There are instances when the curtain can touch the floor and instances where it is inappropriate. We are here to talk about all that.

The curtain is what puts the room together. Think of this; a house with elegant curtains and limited furniture feels fine, but a house with furniture and no curtains feels like something is missing. Getting curtains is not enough. Getting the right curtains is what counts. So, what curtain length should you get for the different rooms in the house?

1. Kitchen

The kitchen sink is mostly located at the kitchen window frame. In such instances, you are compelled to use short curtains. However, the curtain length should not affect your daily operations, and the kitchen is one of the places where you spend most of your time.

The kitchen floor is relatively cleaned more than the other rooms. This is because there is more activity and spillage in the kitchen. Curtain lengths that touch the floor make it harder to clean the floor. Therefore, the kitchen door and window curtains hang slightly above the floor. The floor length does not have to be very high, maybe just enough to allow cleaning without messing up the curtain.

2. Dining Room

The dining room is a special room that requires special curtains. This is where you need to think of thick cotton or linen curtains. Luxurious fabrics are what you should go for in visible spaces. For the length, you should go for curtain styles that touch the floor.

Floor-length curtains feel comfortable, and that is the feeling we are going for in the dining. Floor-length drapes and puddle-length curtains do not distract the eyes at the dining table and create a sense of uniformity and calmness. In addition, a formal dining room can use long curtains to make the room feel bigger.

If you have tall windows, it goes without saying that you will need long drapes and curtains. However, you can pull off short curtains depending on the decorating styles that have inspired your choice.

3. Living Room

The living room needs new curtains every so often, and the good thing is that you can always experiment with a new style each time. Many things will dictate the curtain style and length you choose for your living room. For example, if you have pets and kids in the house, hanging curtains just off the floor might be a good idea. On the other hand, having trouser-length curtains will make the living room look great but might not cater to having kids in the house.

Too short curtains have never looked good in a living room, and full-length curtains might have a few shortcomings. Therefore, you can get average-length curtains. The perfect length is above the floor where the pets can dash, and the kids will not trip.

If there are no kids or pets to consider, then you have to look at the design of the house. How many pieces of furniture do you have, and what are you looking for? For example, do you want the curtains to hang straighter or do you want them to fold at the bottom?

There is so much we can say about the living room. Read through for more ideas to make your house cozier using curtains.

4. Bedroom Curtains

Bedroom curtains serve a bigger purpose that you need to pay attention to. Sleep is a vital part of our daily lives, and we must have the best night possible. Curtains play a huge role in sleep quality; that is why we recommend blackout curtains for bedroom windows.

Hanging curtains correctly in your bedroom should be the most intentional thing you do with bedroom design ideas. The curtain lengths can reach the floor to trap any noise. Remember, the low frequencies have the longest wavelengths that can affect your sleep. Floor-length curtains capture the noise and keep the room insulated from the cold outside.

Curtain length adds to the aesthetic value of a room. For example, there is a chance that your bedroom will have a long mirror. These normally look good against longer curtain lengths.

5. Bathroom Curtains

Different curtain lengths can work for different rooms but the bathroom. Unless your bathroom is large and has a tub right in the middle, your curtains must be functional first, then aesthetic. Most bathrooms have small windows and need shorter curtains than other rooms. So while you can pull off various decorating styles, the length might be limited.

Most bathrooms have frosted glasses and will hardly require curtains. Therefore, bathroom curtains are not the most talked about. However, there are a few exceptions where you might need long curtains for the bathroom, and if your bathroom is one of those, go for the modern look.

Types of Curtain Lengths

There are languages that interior designers use that may be useful to you whenever you are out there looking for a curtain. So, without picking up the measuring tape, here are terminologies you can use to describe curtain lengths.

a) Sill

Sill is the shortest of all curtain lengths. These curtains hang a few inches above the window sill and have practical and aesthetic uses, just like the floor-length curtains. If you have furniture or the screen next to the window frame, these are the curtain lengths you should go for.

The sill curtains are a practical option in a kitchen or the bathroom.

b) Trouser Length Curtains

Trouser-length curtains can be one of the best window treatments you can have. These curtains exceed the standard curtain drop length by a few inches. In addition, the curtain hem is some inches more than the floor-length curtains and folds on the floor to give a pleasing and homely feeling.

c) Apron Length Curtain

If your window has objects that may object to floor-length curtains, these are the curtains you should go for. This curtain is perfect for kids and pets because it leaves enough room for playfulness. In addition, the curtain does not attract dust from the floor, making it perfect for the living room.

d) Puddle Length Curtains

These curtains are synonymous with the word luxury. Puddle-length curtains are the longest curtains of them all and are about 6 inches longer than the floor. In addition, the puddle-length curtain comes in an exceptional curtain fabric compared to other curtains.

If you have tall windows, then tall window curtains are what you need. Of course, the first thing you will hear your guests mention is how elegant your curtains are.

e) Floor Length Curtains

These are very popular, especially in the family room. The curtains hang about an inch and a half above the floor and do not touch the floor. Floor-length drapes and curtains are the most popular floating curtains.

These curtains look good with plants because they can achieve a neat and modern look.

f) Break Puddle Curtains

These curtains are more tailored to fit the needs of the given design you are going for. The curtain can be an inch from the floor and creates folds that are good to look at.

g) Café Curtains

Café curtains hang halfway up the window, allowing privacy and some light. These curtains are great for kitchens and bathrooms. In addition, you can find half-cafe curtains as options to explore.

h) Grazing Curtains

Grazing curtains touch the floor precisely and are the most satisfying curtains to look at. The curtains touch the floor just enough not to form a fold and not show the wall. These curtain styles are hard to achieve. However, you can pull them off by adjusting the curtain rod length after installing the curtains. It is always easier to adjust the curtain length than the rod. With these curtains, you will not see even a slight fold.

i) Floating Curtain Length

You can achieve a floating curtain easily. All you need to do is hang curtains on the drapery rod, and as long as they do not touch the floor, you have achieved this style. With this style, the drapery rings do not have to be thoroughly measured by an interior designer. Only the lower portion is where your attention needs to be.

Most ready-made curtains are floating curtains.

Final Thoughts

The curtain lengths we discussed are not the only lengths you can have. You can customize your curtain length depending on your room design ideas. Whatever curtain length you choose, you need to consider how it affects the look of your house or room. Your room is more than your curtains, but the curtains affect the look of your room by more than 50%.

Be playful and careful simultaneously. You do not want the room to be boring, nor do you want it to be overly active with colors that do not match.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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