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How many curtains should I hang?

Curtains can greatly enhance the look and feel of a room. When considering how many curtains to hang, there are several factors to take into account to achieve the right aesthetic, functionality and fit for your space. This comprehensive guide examines curtain number, placement and style recommendations for various window configurations.

How many curtains should I hang?

How Many Curtains for Different Window Setups

When determining curtain quantity, first assess your window setup. The number of windows, whether they are separate or joined, window height and width all impact the number of curtains needed.

Single Window

For a standard single window, hang:

  • 1 panel per side, so 2 panels total. This traditional approach frames the window nicely.
  • Or opt for a single wide panel, centered on the window. This gives a smooth, seamless look.

So for most single windows, plan for 2-3 curtain panels total.

Double Windows

For double windows side-by-side:

  • Hang 2 panels per window, so 4 panels total. This properly frames each window.
  • You could hang a single wide panel across both windows. But this tends to look better with wide panes like French doors.

So for most standard double window sets, plan for 4 curtain panels.

Triple Window Sets and Beyond

For triple windows together, like over a bay window:

  • Hang 2-3 panels per window section. So 6-9 curtain panels total.
  • Hanging only 1 giant wide panel across all 3 windows is not usually recommended. It tends not to complement or accent the windows well.

Here is a summary table for quick reference:

Window Type Curtain Panels Recommended
Single Window 2-3 panels
Double Windows 4 panels
Triple Windows 6-9 panels

Floor to Ceiling Windows

For soaring floor to ceiling windows:

  • Hang 2-3 panels per standard window height section.
  • So for a 10 foot floor to ceiling pane, plan for 4-6 panels going from top to bottom.

The tall height means you often need extra panels to properly cover and frame the entire area. Plan curtains based on standard window height as a guide.

Sliding Doors

For sliding glass doors:

  • Hang a panel on each side, just like a standard window.
  • Or fully cover with 2 wide panels running the full door width.

So standard sliding doors require 2-4 curtain panels usually.

For large sliding door walls or multiple sliding doors together, treat each slider as a separate window section when calculating.

Curved and Specialty Windows

For round, arched, or specialty window shapes:

  • Custom curtain boxes or rods may be needed to hug the curves correctly.
  • Sheer panels that cascade straight down without perfect framing can work well.

Consider working with a specialty designer for optimal fittings and visuals with specialty windows. Custom solutions may be required.

Now that we’ve covered panel quantity suggestions based on different window configurations, let’s examine ideal curtain length and hanging height.

Proper Curtain Length and Height

When possible, choose curtain lengths that:

  • Puddle slightly: Curtains should kiss the floor, with extra 2-4 inches of length pooling at bottom softly. This graceful draping is attractive for gathers.
  • Just skim floor: For non-puddling curtain look, hem length to just brush floor. This tidy style can suit some decors well.
  • Clear floor: For safety and ease around doors or high-traffic areas, keep hems above floor level, even shortened to below window sill height if preferred visually. This flexibility caters to lifestyle and reduces trip risks.

In terms of curtain rod mounting height for optimal visual balance:

  • 6-12 inches above window frame usually looks best. This leaves attractive space to highlight architectural details while allowing sufficient light filtering.
  • For floor length curtains, 12-18 inches over window frame helps leave floor clearance.
  • Extending rod width 3-5 inches beyond window width provides nice framing proportions.

Below is a diagram summarizing ideal curtain height and length aesthetics:

With preferred dimension guides covered, let’s move on to attractive curtain style and placement options.

Curtain Style and Placement Recommendations

When considering curtain styles and configurations:

  • Layer textures and patterns artfully – hang sheers behind opaque curtains for an elegant dimensional look with custom lighting filters.
  • Try floor length for drama – cascading to the floor adds majesty and sophistication.
  • Mix widths creatively – pairing wide and narrow panels can yield charming asymmetrical effects.
  • Frame the architecture thoughtfully – hang rod wider than window openings to spotlight pretty trim and molding details.
  • Soften corners strategically – panels gently pulled aside creates soft pooled volume while still allowing light.
  • Convey mood via fullness – billowy balloon curtains set an airy scene, while sleek flat panels better suit serious spaces.

Some attractive specific curtain placement variations to consider:

  • Hang side panels beyond window edges to visually expand room width.
  • Position rod above moldings instead of directly on window for pleasant proportions.
  • Offset panels artfully to mantle or wall to stage window view within a frame.
  • Arrange pairs at varying heights for dimensional cascades.
  • Group multiple panels on separate multiple short rods across wide spaces for depth.

Get creative with the look you want and customize to your needs. With some careful planning using the measurement, height, length and style guidance outlined earlier, you can achieve beautiful curtain configurations to bring together your vision.

Key Takeaways

  • For standard windows, hang 2-3 panels per window or window section.
  • Floor to ceiling heights often need 4-6 panels for full coverage.
  • Ideal height is usually 6-18 inches above window frame.
  • Curtain length choices include puddling, floor skimming or clearing options.
  • Layered textures, varying widths and asymmetric looks add visual interest.


Determining the ideal number of curtains to properly dress your windows depends on assessing your window type and configuration. Standard windows tend to look best framed with 2-3 panels per window section. Specialty windows may require custom solutions. Use the general guidelines and style suggestions provided to identify how to aesthetically showcase your architecture and create the atmosphere you wish to achieve. With some thoughtful planning and experimenting, you can create beautiful window treatments to elevate your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Should curtains cover the whole window?
    Not necessarily. It is often visually pleasing to mount the curtain rod a few inches wider than the actual window to nicely frame the architectural details. But you can also hang panels wider to extend beyond the window edges too.
  2. Do you need an even number of curtain panels?
    No, odd numbers of panels can work very well too. Hanging 3 panels across a wide expanse can yield attractive asymmetry. Mixing wide and narrow panels also avoids uniformity.
  3. Should living room and bedroom window treatments match?
    Matching treatments can help connect open concept rooms with shared sightlines. But it’s also fine to vary styles to cater differing functions. Sheers in common areas aid natural light, while blackouts make sense in bedrooms.
  4. What curtains go with grey walls?
    So many options complement grey beautifully. Try solid colors like yellow, green or pink for bright pops. Earth tones like browns and taupes create calm. Crisp white looks fresh and vibrant. Patterns and metallics also pair nicely.
  5. Where should you hang curtain rods on a bay window?
    Use a continuous rod crossing the entire bay width. Mount high enough above frames to allow sufficient light flow between the bottom and middle window sections. Extending rod width beyond the side windows helps spotlight the architecture.
  6. Should curtains match throughout the house?
    Not at all. Feel free to vary colors and styles per room to align with functional needs and design personalities of each space. But you can link zones with complementary palettes. Just avoid radically clashing treatments in adjoining sightline areas.
  7. What size curtains for patio doors?
    For standard 6 ft and 8 ft sliding patio doors, panels equaling door height look best, hanging from just below the eaves and puddling at floor level elegantly. Wider 12 ft lengths often suit better than individual panels per slider.
  8. How do you hang curtains on a bowed window?
    Look for specialty bowed rod kits made to precisely fit the curve. Or install short individual rods across each window section, mounting to the top for a feeling of continuity across the bow. Both provide needed flexibility to drape smoothly around the shape.
  9. What curtains are best for bedroom windows?
    Opaque blackout curtains that fully block light are ideal for sleeping. Rod pockets allow smooth sliding to uncover windows easily during the day. Warm tones like browns and tans promote restfulness.
  10. What size curtain rods for 8 foot ceilings?
    For 8 foot high ceilings, curtain rods ranging from 48-96 inches work well visually. Staying 12-18 inches above the window trim maintains good proportions. Extending rod ends 3-5 inches beyond window edges frames nicely.
  11. How long should living room curtains be?
    For living spaces allowing more floor clearance, longer 96-120 inch curtains add grandeur. Puddling with 2-4 extra inches gives attractive pooling. High mounting 18 inches over frames keeps curtains from impeding open walkways when drawn.
  12. Should kitchen curtains match appliances?
    Not necessarily. Curtain colors can complement cabinetry or flooring instead for cohesion. But stainless appliances do pair nicely with grey or yellow paneled windows splashed above the sink.
  13. Can you hang curtains on textured walls?
    Yes, use deeper screws and anchors rated for the wall weight and thickness. Be sure screws penetrate studs or use hollow drywall anchors able to hold the rod and curtains securely. Wall safe adhesives can also work.
  14. What colour curtains go with magnolia walls?
    Soft neutral color palettes beautifully complement the creamy warmth of magnolia paint. Linens, taupes, tans, light yellows and sage greens are soothing stylish options that integrate gracefully for tranquil spaces.
  15. Should curtains cover radiators?
    Curtain placement impacts heating effectiveness and efficiency. Avoid covering hot water radiators completely to allow heat emission flow into the room space. Position curtain edges about 12 inches away from sides instead.
  16. Do curtains need to match the walls?
    Curtain and wall colors don’t necessarily need to match. Often mismatching materials and hues adds visual dynamism and layered character to a space. But colors in the same tone families ensure everything ties together harmoniously.
  17. What length curtains for 9 foot ceilings?
    For 9 foot ceilings, strike an attractive balance with 120 inch long panels. This remains safely above standard 80 inch interior doorways to prevent contact when walking through while still giving you the option of puddling gracefully.
  18. Where should you hang curtains around a window seat?
    Use an extended rod mounted high enough not to obstruct seated views and activities. Placing the rod comfortably above the window seat architecture creates space for lounging beneath curtain edges that can then gracefully puddle onto bench tops.
  19. What size rod for sheer curtains?
    Rods sized close to the window width, extending just an inch or two beyond each edge, work beautifully for airy sheers. Added width accommodates subtle gathered puckers without heavy fullness. Slim diameter rods maintain the delicate feeling.
  20. How wide should panels be for sliding glass doors?
    Individual panels each covering half the slider space tend to look best, usually with widths around 72 inches for standard 6-foot door sizes. That leaves an inch or two extra glass exposure on the outer sides when closed. Buy wider 108-inch panels for 8- to 12-foot lengths.

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