The Bottom Line: How to Choose the Right Drapery Length

Drapery lengths, drapery styles, curtains, drapery inspiration, curtains, textiles, drapery fabrics

Don’t you love the way a great haircut flaunts your best features? Drapery lengths work a similar magic in your home. The right style of drapery will accentuates the standout features of any room, whether architectural, a fantastic window view, or décor.

Here’s a primer on the three standard drapery lengths, and where to use them in your home.


Drapery length: Hemmed up


In this crisp and tidy style, the bottom of the curtain hits either the bottom of the windowsill or a few inches below. Whenever you open or close the curtain, it always falls into place naturally – it’s unfussy and requires no primping.

Best for:

Kitchens (consider café curtains!), baths and any other rooms where longer-length drapery would be impractical or even dangerous.


Drapery length: Floor-brushing


As indicated by the name, this drapery length hits the floor or ends just an inch or so shy of it. This versatile look is clean and contemporary, and because there’s no puddling, curtains will settle the same way each time you open and close the drapes. Their longer length creates a nice vertical line from ceiling to floor, creating an illusion of room height.

Best for:

Living spaces and bedrooms where you want a stylish look without any hassle.


Drapery length: Puddled


Depending on fabric choice, this dramatic length can appear luxe or boho. With drapery long enough to puddle on the floor (think six inches past the floor to rod height), the effect is trés eye-catching. This look requires more maintenance than others because there’s some primping and arranging so the drapes puddle “just so” when opened or drawn, but that’s a small price for their grand effect!

Best for:

Formal spaces, whether living areas or bedrooms. Avoid it in high-traffic pathways (tripping hazard). Puddling accentuates already-high ceilings, and does wonders to visually even out uneven floors in a century home…or manor!