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Curtain panel size (width x length) appropriate for my size window?

What is the typical rule when buying curtains for appropriate coverage of a window size?  My window measures 72" wide and just the window height is 58" (from top of window to bottom of window) but its 82" from top of window to the floor.  This is my living room window, so am I suppose to go all the way to the floor? Please help, I'm no Martha Stewart. I know that it's whatever someone's preference is, but I don't know and want suggestions please.  Some of the curtain sizes to pick from are:  40" x 63", 40" x 84", 50" x 84", 50" x 95", 50" x 108", etc.  II just want to hang a couple of panels and want to get the correct size. Nothing fancy or elaborate, just normal/ typical.  Thanks to who might be able to get me going on this.

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Posted 2013-04-29T03:48:54+0000  by shellydewinne shellydewinne

Hey there shellydewinne,


Thanks for joining our community!~


You're completely right in that it's dictated entirely by preference, but that doesn't mean that there aren't common standards that decorators will go by. Let's go over what are the three most popular styles... = )


  • Floor Length



This is probably the most commonly done style. For this your curtains will go all the way down to the floor, stopping 1/2" short, allowing them to "float" above the ground. This is very popular due to the fact that keeping it off the floor keeps it from collecting dust and dirt, unlike the next styles mentioned.


  • Trouser Break



The 2nd most popular style is called Trouser, Trouser Break, or just Breaking. This style goes all the way down to the floor and either stops right at the floor level, or in most design instances, will actually drape about 2-3" onto the floor. This either folds along the fabrics natural hem (if there is one) or creates a soft pleat along the floor. 


  • Puddle



The final style is less popular these days due to it's more "traditional" look, but if that's what fits your decor then you can have no better option. This style flows down to the floor and requires anywhere from 8-15" of extra fabric that "puddles" on the floor like the name suggest. I would only recommend this however for non-functioning drapes, as moving them back and forth will wear the fabric and collect more dust/dirt.


If none of those really jump out at you, or you have a very small window, you can opt for Short-Cut Drapes. 
This style either goes directly to the bottom of the sill or around 4" past it. Going past it would be optimal as having the hemming show through when the light hits it is not always the most desirable look.


Aside from that, you can raise your bar a bit above the window to add length to the window, but try not go over 12" if possible. The same rule applies for the width and extending past the window trim on the sides. It just tends to look funny if it goes any longer.


If you have any other questions on the styles or need some more help in picking them out, let me know!~ = )


Images courtesy of

Posted 2013-04-29T19:35:30+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

In regards to width, if you wish to have them cover the window and still look decent when closed, the typical suggestion is to double the size of the window to account for pleating. So if you have a 72" wide window, you will want around 140" of fabric to keep the pleats looking like the images posted by the previous reply. I feel that this is a but of over kill, especially if you plan on opening them. I would suggest trying out the 50" x 84". Your pleats will not be deep when in the closed position, but it will give you the best coverage and look when open and closed.

Posted 2013-05-03T03:14:22+0000  by AMPInteriors
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