Ideas & Inspiration

Choosing the Right Curtains: Length, Style and Fabric

Curtain Lengths: What Works in Your Space?
A dining area with curtains hanging from the window

Choosing curtain lengths isn’t just about what you like. Consider the particular room and windows in that space. To gauge the correct curtain length, you’ll first need to decide on the desired look and feel.

  • Floor-to-ceiling curtains. Long curtains that go from above your window frame all the way to the floor create a traditional, formal look that’s often ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. Choose curtain lengths that reach right to the floor or add an extra inch or two if you prefer a “pooled” curtain look.
  • Café curtains. Designed to stop at your window sill, these short curtains provide a less formal look. They’re typically used in kitchens and family spaces. Café curtains are also particularly helpful when your windows are above a countertop or other type of fixture and can’t extend to the floor.

A wide variety of ready-to-hang options come in standard curtain lengths that fit many rooms. Options typically include 63-inch curtains, 84-inch curtains, 96-inch curtains and 108-inch curtains. You’ll also be able to find a variety of curtain widths, including extra wide curtains, that can be used in panels to cover larger windows or French doors.

Curtain Styles for Your Home
Different curtains styles hanging side by side in an empty room

With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to find a variety of curtain styles that work in every room in your house. Here are a few options you can use depending on your home’s overall interior design scheme:

  • Solid-colored and neutral curtains. Easy to blend in with your existing decor, solid-colored and neutral curtains come in bold colors like red, yellow and orange, as well as dark tones like black and navy blue. Neutral curtains in white, off-white, cream, taupe and sand add a sophisticated touch that won’t steal the show from your favorite furnishings, rugs and accessories. 
  • Textured curtains. Add a little extra style to solid-colored and neutral curtains by looking for a textured option. One-color stripes, patterns and prints are subtle, but they can bring something special to your space.
  • Modern curtains. Stripes, geometric prints and even abstract prints give your space a contemporary look. Shop for monochromatic styles or choose vibrant, patterned curtains in assortment of colors that fit your vision.
  • Sheer curtains. Designed to let a bit of light pass through, sheer curtains are typically white or off-white, though there are some textured and patterned options available. Sheer curtains are typically hung with a double curtain rod and a heavier weight drapery for maximum light control, though they can be used alone in spaces where natural light is desirable all day long.
Fabric Choices for Your Room
Panel curtains hanging on a window

While there are lots of fabrics to choose from, some work better in certain rooms. Here are a few popular fabrics and the rooms in which they are typically hung:

  • Linen curtains. Fine linen is an ideal choice for master bedrooms, formal living rooms and dining rooms. Linen is quite delicate, so it’s best reserved for spaces that are less busy.
  • Velvet curtains. A wonderful choice for master bedrooms, living rooms and formal dining rooms, velvet adds a smooth texture to your room. Like linen, velvet can be easily damaged, so it shouldn’t be used in high-traffic areas or wet spaces.
  • Lace curtains. Offering an elegant, sophisticated style that’s somewhat traditional, lace curtains look best in formal living rooms, though they can also be used in bedrooms, home offices and other utility spaces. Lace curtains allow a lot of light to enter your room, so they’re best reserved for areas where you would prefer less light filtering.
  • Cotton curtains. One of the best options for kitchens, high-traffic areas and kid’s spaces, cotton curtains are often washable and easy to hang. Look for café curtain styles for windows above kitchen counters and kids’ rooms.
  • Polyester/mixed material curtains. Durable and cost-effective, polyester and mixed material curtains are an exceptional choice for high-traffic areas. They also function beautifully in the kitchen since many varieties can be quickly wiped down if they become dirty or come into contact with steam or food splatter.

Improve your home’s style and gain control over your lighting scheme with traditional, transitional and modern curtain styles. Whatever look you’re going for, you can find a wide range of lengths, materials, styles and widths to suit your specific tastes and room needs.