Measuring windows for curtains is not rocket science. However, it is important to know how to measure windows for curtains in order to achieve the look you want when choosing window coverings.
Knowing the right way to measure windows or drapes is a learned skill. The size and placement of each window will determine not only the size of your curtains, but also where you should install the curtain rod and, sometimes, the kind of rod you will need.
Here are the basics you need to consider:
Whether you have a small window in a bedroom or kitchen, room-size windows or sliding doors in a living area, or multiple windows in a wall where you want to create a unified appearance, it’s vital to know the actual window size. Start by measuring the width and height of the opening. Typically, for windows that have trim, a kind of “frame” around the actual glass, you should measure from outside to outside of the trim.
Note the width as well as the vertical dimension, from top of the frame to the bottom of the sill. Also, measure the window height from the top of the frame to the floor. In casual spaces, you might want to hang curtains inside the frame; in this case, also measure the width and height of the actual opening.
Select Your Style
Depending on the style of curtain you select, there are several other important dimensions. Floor-length drapes can extend to about an inch above the floor or you might want to let panels “puddle” on the floor at either side of the window. It’s a personal choice, but it definitely matters.
In addition, consider the window’s placement in the wall. Typically, it’s better to place the rod some distance above the window frame. Not only does that allow for a more finished appearance, but your windows will also appear larger.
Curtains that hang only to the bottom of the window offer a more casual look and are appropriate for informal spaces or children’s rooms. But even shorter curtains should extend at least to the bottom of the sill and cover the window frame on either side.
For living rooms and formal spaces, draperies that extend from well above the window to the floor is a preferred style. Exactly where you place the rod is a personal decision.
Another vital consideration when selecting curtains is fullness. Unlike shades and blinds that must simply cover the glass, curtain width should be two to three times the window width. Again, the dimension depends partially on the style of the curtains. Desirable fullness is built-in to the stated dimension of pinch-pleated drapes, but for other types of curtains, you must calculate the fullness you want.
Grommeted panels, gathered rod-pocket curtains and curtains that hang from movable rings or hooks should be purchased at least two times wider than the actual window dimension. More fullness generally equates to a more luxurious appearance.
Although curtains and drapes are available in a range of standard sizes, you may want to consider custom options, including swags and jabots, valances or cornices, and layered treatments for specific windows. It’s not necessary to be limited by standard curtain measurements.
As a full-service curtain shop, we can help with all your curtain needs, including rods, specialty treatments and “almost custom” curtains. Why not call us at 1-866-886-3632 to discuss your ideas? We’ll be waiting for your call from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
Of course, there’s no limit of seasonal items that you can utilize for your patio door curtains and window. From stickers to specialty lights and even the curtains themselves, there’s no shortage of ways to spruce things up for the holidays! It’s one more way to get into the seasonal spirit, and your guests will love it!