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How High (and Wide) Should You Hang Curtains…?

How High (and Wide) Should You Hang Curtains…?

So our new rental has a lot of curtain rods hanging everywhere. Like, A LOT.



I mean, with all these empty rods, what can a girl do but hang curtains???

I will tell you, though, that if you look at the photo above you’ll see TWO PROBLEMS with the placement of the curtain hardware – the rods are hung too low and they are too narrow.  To this decorator’s eye, it’s cringe-worthy!


Don’t make the same mistakes!  It’s actually super easy to hang your curtains in the right way.  There are just two easy rules of thumb. Ready?

#1) Hang your rod HIGH HIGH HIGH.  The higher your curtain rod, the taller your windows look.  

So, where to put it exactly?  Well, I’d say in 99.99% of all cases, you want to put that rod RIGHT below the ceiling. Like, RIGHT BELOW.  Not halfway down the wall.


This is a good example (although I feel like these guys could’ve gone even further up…!)  Via


I know it feels weird!  I know it feels so strange to hang the rod all the way up there!  I’m telling you, do it anyway!  Once those curtains are hung I can promise you’ll be like “oh that looks amazing”.

Look, if you have a cathedral ceiling then okay, don’t put the rod up all the way to the ceiling.  If that’s the case, I recommend hanging the rod about two feet above the window.   But for the rest of us?  Just think:  “The higher the rod, the closer to God.”   🙂


#2) Extend your curtain rod so that it’s at LEAST 7-10″ past the edge of the window.

See in the photo below, how the rod keeps going, well past where the window stops?  THAT creates the illusion of space and makes your window look bigger than it is.



In our new rental house, I actually extended the rods 13″ past the window.  I really do try to go as wide as possible.


You’ll also see in the photo above the rods are NOT as high as they should be. Because it’s a rental I wasn’t able to remove the rods and hang them higher … they SHOULD be all the way up there, touching the ceiling! …

But I was at least able to get them wider.  That alone makes a huge difference.

Just to illustrate the impact “higher and wider” has on a window, take a look at this graphic:



 How amazing is that?  Need I say more?

I’ll share with you next time how I DIY’d my way to better curtain rods…for under $20!

  • Sarah's Book Shelves

    October 21, 2016 at 9:10 PM Reply

    Love this tip…exactly the kind of stuff that I would never think of on my own, but that is simple once someone like you teaches me 🙂

    Hope everything is going great in California!

  • curtains dubai

    October 31, 2017 at 4:11 AM Reply

    very informative even for professionals like us thanks for sharing

  • Linda Sohm

    August 20, 2018 at 8:54 PM Reply

    Loved the decorating tips. What if I have 10 foot ceilings and a 14 1/2” long Cornice box – how far down should it (and the drapes) be from the ceiling?

    Thank you!

    • Lorri Dyner

      January 23, 2019 at 3:05 PM Reply

      One rule of thumb for super high ceilings is to have the rod hang halfway between where your ceiling and wall meets, and the tippy top of the window. I actually just did this for a client (their ceilings were like 14 feet high!) and it worked great. When in doubt, move that rod UP!

  • Erez

    December 26, 2018 at 2:30 PM Reply

    Thanks for the tips! If I’m using sheer panels only, does the same logic apply to keep the curtains/rod tall and wide? Does the effect of making the room seem taller and windows bigger still apply if the curtains don’t hide the outline and true size of the windows?

    • Lorri Dyner

      January 23, 2019 at 3:03 PM Reply

      Hi Erez, Yes the same rule applies. It’ll make the windows and the room feel bigger…I promise!

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