How High Should You Hang Your Curtains and Drapery?

Curtains and other types of drapery are an important feature of your interior space. Without window treatments, a room will look incomplete. When curtains are well installed, they can transform a lack-lustre wall into an elegant feature that becomes an integral part of the décor and art featured in the room.

Curtains come in various forms, styles, fullness, and lengths, and include pinch- pleated drapes, cased-heading curtains, box pleated, eyelet, tailored pleat, tab-top, and goblet curtains.

Currently, the popular trend in curtains and similar window treatments is floor-length ceiling height curtain panels. They are hung with iron rods or other decorative curtain rods with different styles of finials.

Because they are the final feature that completes a room's design, it is important to know the best ways to hang them, and how high to install them so that they become an enhancement to other interior décor elements.

The Best Height to Hang Curtains

For a professional and stylish look, the height that is most appealing is the full wall height, meaning a drop from the ceiling. That complete vertical adds a great dimension to the interior design and gives walls the illusion of extra height.

For those who prefer not to install their curtains at the ceiling height, it is important to position the rod a minimum of 6” from the top of the window and a maximum of 12” above it.

If you have high ceilings, you must go higher so your window treatments don’t appear squat. So, the higher your ceiling, the higher your curtains must be installed.

If you are using a valance or swags, install them so that their top ends are about 12” to 15” from the ceiling if you have high ceilings. if your ceiling height is low, install your curtains with a gap of a maximum of 12” from the ceiling.

To summarize it all, the most important rule for beautiful and professional-looking window treatments is to hang your curtains and drapery high.


  • One trick you can employ to make your curtains appear taller and make them more eye-catching is to combine two window treatments. This adds to the design of both the wall and the interior space.
  • To achieve this, hang the curtain rod at least 12” inches above the window and hang bamboo shades or roman blinds directly under the pole. When the curtains are drawn open, and the blinds are pulled one-third way down the window, it will conceal the blank wall between the rod and the window frame. 
  • Remember to leave an allowance of about 1” from the curtain hem to the floor, to allow for cleaning. 
  • Extend the curtain rods beyond the width of the window by a minimum of 4” on each side. This measurement must be taken without the finials, to give the illusion that the window is wide. 
  • Steam iron the curtains to remove any wrinkles because if you think that the wrinkles will “fall out” in time; they will not.

Further reading:

What is a Roman Shade?
Soft Window Treatments - Basics of Window Dressing
Home Decorating Fabrics by the Yard Online
How to Clean Honeycomb Window Blinds