How to get curtains right and avoid common mistakes

Whether you’ve chosen curtains because you love the look or because you want them to do a job, here are the four most common mistakes people make and how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: wrong height

Don’t just hang them right there on the actual window frame. Most homes have some wall space above the frame where they should hang; about halfway between the top of the window frame and the ceiling, or 100-150mm above.

Hanging curtains too low visually shortens the height of the window and the room.

Hanging them really high looks great and gives the illusion of a larger room as it draws the eye upwards. Just make sure they come right down to the floor to achieve this effect.

Mistake 2: too short

Curtains look and function best when they hang down to the floor. The only time you’d ever opt for short curtains is if there is something in the way below the window that won’t allow floor length.

  • Floating: a simple and sensible option with no more than 10mm between curtain and floor so it doesn’t collect dust and is easy to open and close.
  • Skimming: just touching the floor so needs precise measuring and is better on hard surface floors as opposed to carpet.
  • Pooling: sees an amount of fabric (your choice) puddle on the floor at the base of the curtain to create either a very opulent or effortlessly casual look.

Mistake 3: not wide enough

Curtains should completely cover the window frame and then some. This is even more important in rooms where you want your curtains to block out light and control temperature. Ensure your curtain rod/track extends beyond the sides of the window frame so the curtains are partially covering the wall; as a general guide, aim for 80-150mm to the side (on both sides if installing a pair.)

Mistake 4: flat not full

Curtains pulled tight and flat look terrible; they are supposed to have a wave and fullness to them. This requires more fabric than the width of the window or rod/track. Our measuring guides instruct you to give us window measurements and we will make the right calculations for you.