4 common curtain mistakes you can easily avoid

Paula Cox
Written by Paula Cox
Russells Consultant
Explore more advice and tips
Related posts
Join our style club

Sign up and create a home you love with expert décor tips, seasonal solutions, the latest trend inspiration, exclusive offers and more

We’ve seen good curtains. We’ve seen GREAT curtains. We’ve also seen some shockers. Not just a style accessory, curtains serve a purpose and some of these common yet avoidable mistakes can ruin them for both. Keep reading so you’re prepared to make the best decisions when choosing curtains.

1. Hanging them at the wrong height

It’s never a good look to just plonk your curtains right on the window frame. All but a few homes will have some amount of wall space above the frame where they can hang. Hanging curtains too low visually shortens the height of the window and the room as a whole. A common height to hang a curtain rod (in houses with ceiling height of 2.4m) is about 10-15cm above the window frame. If youR ceilings are higher, go higher, about half way between the window frame and ceiling or architrave. Or you could go full floor to ceiling for a really grand look.

St Clair Indigo by James Dunlop

2. Too short a length

Curtains look and function best when they come to the floor at least. 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. Here’s how we once described it in a blog about how and where to hang curtains. Think of a man in a perfectly tailored suit…now imagine how that suave look could be ruined if the pants were too short.” Short curtains don’t just look wrong, they lose a lot of functionality (in terms of heat retention) by allowing air to seep underneath. Here are your choices:

  • Floating - about a finger width of space from the floor.
  • Breaking - a very slight fold or bend just above the hem.
  • Pooling – the fabric goes beyond pools on the floor.

Chatham Grass by James Dunlop

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. Ensure your curtain pole/rod/track extends beyond the sides of the window frame so the curtains are partially covering the wall; as a general guide, aim for 8-15cm either side.

4. Lacking fullness

Curtains pulled taut look dreadful – probably the worst of all the looks. They need ruffles/waves to give them fullness. This requires about twice or even three times as much fabric as the width of the curtain rod.

How to avoid all this and end up with fabulous curtains perfect for your space?

Get in touch with a Russells style consultant or course! Custom made curtains won’t fall foul of any of these mistakes like ready-made will. Our style consultants come to you with fabric choices galore, plus all the advice you need to make the right choice. They’ll take expert measurements, taking into account all the things we’ve just mentioned, and can even give you tips on track and rod options, and heading styles too.

Can’t wait to get started choosing your curtains? Click here to book your free in-home consultation.

Learn what to consider in picking the right curtains for your home

Join our Style Club

Sign up and create a home you love with expert decor tips, seasonal solutions, the latest trend inspiration, exclusive offers and more.