CAN I LEAVE A GAP BETWEEN THE CURTAINS AND THE FLOOR?
When deciding how to install curtains, you want to be careful about what type of look it'll give to the overall space. Of course, 1/4" is a very small gap, and there's a fine line between curtains touching the floor and a gap that makes your floor-length curtains look like you've ordered them too short – the peddle pushers of the window treatment world.
ARE PUDDLING CURTAINS OUT OF STYLE?
Longer, puddling curtains are more the domain of traditional, period homes looking for a flourish. 'If clients ask, we do the 'puddle' but it's not our normal choice,' says Lisa. If you do decide for your living room curtains to touch the floor, they really should only just touch the floor – this makes them the perfect length for blocking out light, drafts and offering that luxurious look, without being too impractical. More significant puddles aren't particularly on trend right now but matched with a contemporary textile, a slight puddle still looks fresh. 'In the design world, we refer to the moment the drapery touches the floor as the 'break' and the material that's beyond that sitting on the floor as the 'puddle',' says Becky. 'We never recommend going beyond 1/2" for the puddle and in some cases just skimming the floor is enough.'
DOES YOUR CHOICE OF TEXTILE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Along with knowing how to hang curtains, when you're dealing with such fine margins of measurements, it pays to know how different fabrics react as well. 'Linen, for example will always move and shrink, growing with the seasons,' says Lisa. When using natural fibers like cotton, silk or wool, they're also prone to stretch once hung which may change your gap over time, especially with heavier materials. In this instance, a broken puddle on the floor will help relieve some of the weight on your curtains, too.
WHERE SHOULD CURTAINS HIT THE GROUND?
When installing the curtain, you want the fabric to just lightly touch the floor or hover 1/2 inch above. This way, they look more stylish, give the room height and make the space seem more luxurious.
CAN YOU HANG CURTAINS TOO HIGH?
Ideally, the best height to hang curtains is just below the crown (the area where the walls and ceiling meet) – while still maintaining a relationship with the window. Of course, in the case of a double or triple-height room, don't take the drapery to the crown.