Decorating Dilemma: Where To Hang the Drapery Panels?

bedroom draperyRedecorating a room in your home adds a new energy to the space, and it seems to come alive with each new piece of furniture that you add.  Some women are lucky enough to buy everything at once, and others need to add things over time.  But no matter how long it takes to complete your project, one of the last things to bring into the room is window treatments.  

You know that drapery panels are exactly what you want on your windows because you’ve been turning down pages in the home decorating magazines for months!  And you’ve even made yourself a nice Idea Book on Houzz.  But your new dilemma is deciding how long they should be?

With so many retailers selling ready-made drapery panels on line, window treatments are easier to buy.  But it also adds to your confusion when you need to choose one of the standard lengths that they offer.  Even if you decide to go the “custom” route, you need to know how long they need to be.

Let’s take a look at a few options for hanging drapery panels that might make your decision a little easier.

The Floating Window (before)

Davis before

When a window has a lot of space above it and below, the simple answer is to use drapery panels that are installed several inches above the window.  The idea is to draw your eye up and create the illusion of window height.

The Floating Window (after)

Davis drapery 2

Do you notice how the window treatments soften the space and make the windows seem taller?  They’re stationary, meaning they’ll never be opened or closed.  To let in as much light as possible, the panels are hung along the outside edge of the window trim.

The Arched Window

panels on arched window

In a bedroom we all want to keep the early morning sun from waking us too early.  So drapery panels that open and close are the perfect treatment for this arched window.  But notice how the designer hung them so that the arch is still part of the design.  Because the ceiling is high, the rod was hung higher than the window trim to draw your eye up and make the window seem higher.  I love the combination of high ceiling, trim, and arched window that have created a beautiful focal point for the room.

The Short Panel

draperies to sill

When a window has a bench, counter top, or ledge below it, the drapery panel should stop at the window sill.

panels in front of bench


Here the designer has hung floor length drapery panels in front of the bay to create a cozy hide-away.  Again, notice that the rod is hung higher than the trim so that the window seems taller.

Long Panels Hung Above the Window Trim

panels hung above trim

Once you have the drapery rod hung with rings, measuring from the bottom of the rings to the floor will tell you how long each panel should be.  I always like to see them just grazing the floor or carpeting for a nice crisp look.

panels above trim with dec fabric

In each of these rooms the window treatments have been hung several inches above the window trim, and just below the crown molding.  What I like about the second drapery panels, is the blue fabric that’s been added at the top.  Notice how this blue detail is hanging right at the top of the window trim to make you look up.

Now that you’ve seen some good examples of where to hang the window treatments, I hope it’s made your choices a little easier.