A common mistake people make when sizing their windows for curtains is to assume that the width of the window shows the width of the curtains needed. This happens both with ready-made curtains and when doing a rough estimation for custom curtains.
But curtains should never hang flat when drawn. Doing this turns your curtains into an extension of the other walls in the room instead of adding interest and depth. What you want is undulating folds all along your drawn curtains. And this is achieved by having curtains that are considerably wider than the window they are meant to cover.
Curtain Width Sizes
The joy of custom-made curtains comes not only from the fact that they are made to perfectly fit your space. It also comes from not having to worry about measurements and sizes yourself. However, if you want to get an idea of how wide your custom curtains might be, you start by measuring the space they’re meant to fill.
If there is already a rod or track in place, you will measure this from one end to the other, ignoring any finials. If there are two tracks to allow the one curtain to overlap the other when drawn, you need to measure each track and then combine the measurements. If no track or rod is currently installed–or you want them replaced–measure the window or doors from side to side, adding 200mm to each side.
Once you have the width measurements, you apply a multiplier to them to get an idea of how wide your curtains might be. Depending on the fullness you want when the curtains are drawn, you would multiply the width by two, two and a half, or three. The actual width of your finished curtains will be decided by whether you opt for a pinch pleat, pencil pleat, or an S-fold finish.
Curtain Drop Sizes
Naturally, it isn’t only width you need to consider, but also the length. This is influenced by whether you want the curtains to end above or below the windowsill, reach all the way to the floor–or even pool a little at the bottom. You also need to consider whether the rod or track is mounted inside or outside the window or door frame. If you’re happy with where the track is, measure from the track down to the windowsill or the floor. Generally, you would subtract 10mm from this measurement for sill or floor length curtains. Add 150mm if you want the curtains to hang below the sill.
If you want your curtains to pool you would need to add anywhere from 25mm to 152mm to the length, depending on whether you want a breaking or puddled look.
Sheer Curtain Sizes
Sizing sheer curtains usually follows the same guidelines as outlined above, except that for width you would be more likely to use three as your multiplier for a fuller look that also diffuses more light.
All the above should be viewed as loose guidelines only, as there are other factors that could also influence the ideal size of your curtains, including your choice of fabric. With Adorn you can get perfectly sized and styled curtains thanks to our free measure and quote service, which includes a complimentary design consultation.