How long do living room curtains need to be?

Living room curtains are the most common window treatments used after bedroom curtains.

The length of your curtain can depend on many factors, including how tall your ceilings are, whether or not you want to draw attention to any pictures or artwork in the room, and if there is furniture resting directly below the windows. 

If you have high ceilings in your living room, floor-length curtains will make them seem even taller while still leaving enough space for light to come through in the mornings. If you have lower ceilings, mid-length curtains may be more appropriate.

How long do living room curtains need to be?, Zazzy Home

However, this choice is completely up to you when choosing what type of look you want for your home! For example, floor-length can sometimes cause an overpowering look if the room is not large enough, and mid-length can feel a bit plain and boring.

Floor-length curtains draw the eyes to the window and give an elegant look to your home. If you have very high ceilings or oversized windows, this look will make them stand out more without feeling crowded. It also gives the same light effect as sheers. However, these are very formal types of drapes that are expensive, whereas if they are custom made, it may be difficult to rehang at another time due to difficulty finding new curtain rod brackets or finials for older styles.

These types of curtains allow the same light to come through as sheers, giving you all of the benefits of mid-length curtains with just a touch more formality added in for good measure. So these types of drapes will work perfectly well in any room where you want to add something beautiful but still need easy access, like under coffee tables or other low furniture pieces that might not be able to accommodate long drapes. It also looks very nice next to sofas or couches where the seat cushions may be blocking a bit of light if floor-length drapes were used instead.

Some floor-length curtains may need shorter valances around the window frame, which is only necessary on old-style floor-length curtains with no pleats in them to help pull them away from the floor. Nice, formal-looking curtains give a room an elegant look but can sometimes feel overwhelming if they are not in a large enough space.

Mid-length curtains: Not so formal and easier to rehang later on down the road when you need to change up your interior design style. Also much cheaper than custom-made floor length drapes. Looks more relaxed and even casual. This is a great choice for anyone trying to achieve a more modern feeling ambiance without going overboard with bright colors or being too cluttered in their living room.

Decorative pillows add a nice touch but were not cut directly from the curtain fabric, which would have been much cheaper.

Curtains that stop directly below the window sill can be a nice way to dress up your windows and give them a finished look. It also provides light like sheers, although these curtains will not provide as much privacy as room darkening type drapes.

These types of curtains are especially nice if you want to show off some beautiful flowers or plants right by your windowsill without compromising too much on light entering the living room interior. However, it does make for a less-private feel inside since people standing outside can see directly inside if there is no other furniture blocking their view from that height.

They are also used for runway fashion shows because they provide enough privacy to keep the models from being seen by people outside but still allowallow enough light inside to see them once they make their entrance onto the catwalk.

Living room curtains should not be too long if you have furniture resting directly underneath your window sill since electrical outlets and other plugs sometimes come right out of the wall there. Clothes dryers usually hang down quite low as well. If your drapes are hanging too far below your windowsill, then it might be necessary to use smaller size valances or tassels instead of full-length ones in order to accommodate this issue without blocking too much light. It is generally best to avoid having large swaths of fabric directly touching the floor since this is a common cause of mold and mildew problems.

A good rule of thumb for deciding how long your living room curtains need to be would be to measure from the top of where you usually rest your curtain rods (and also take into account any other window frame decorations to consider) down to where you want them to end up on the floor. The only thing that should affect this number is how much light you want coming in through your windows or if you want more privacy than just sheer fabrics alone can provide.


Claire is a blogger, writer, and designer with a passion for making the most out of any space. She's worked in interior design and maintenance for over a decade, and has learned how to make the most of even the smallest room. Claire shares her expertise, where she offers tips and tricks for creating beautiful, functional spaces on any budget. When she's not blogging or designing, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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