Curtains and draperies can enhance the visual appeal of any space. For many, buying new curtains and draperies is a fun and exciting endeavor. But, you need to look at various aspects. From choosing a specific design and style to measuring the accurate length and width, every step is important.  

However, the most crucial step is to determine the correct size of curtains and draperies that are required for a room and go well with upholstered furniture, rugs, etc.. This will make your shopping process much easier. But, how can you measure curtains and draperies without any assistance from a professional?

To help you with the measurement process, we have compiled a step-by-step guide to ensure you get a perfect fit. Read on. 

Things You Need to Measure Curtains and Drapes

Before learning about the measurement process for curtains and drapes, you must collect the right tools to make everything easy and simple. The right tools and accessories ensure all measurements are done correctly.  

Here are the essential items that you will need: 

  • Steel measuring tape
  • Paper and pencil
  • A step stool or ladder 

Step-by-Step Guide to Measure Curtains and Draperies

  1. Figure Out Mounting Technique

First things first, you need to decide on the mounting style for a window. 

Do you want them inside or outside the window frame? Both mounting styles have distinct aesthetic appeal.  

Outside Mount

It is the most common style to mount hanging curtains. When the curtains are hung on the outside mount, the rod is secured onto a wall outside the window frame. 

This mount is preferred to give the illusion of a bigger window. 

It also offers full coverage by blocking the daylight completely. Moreover, it creates a luxurious visual appeal and blends well with upholstered furniture

Inside Mount

Inside mount involves a curtain rod within the window frame. 

Although it is a rare curtain mounting style, it appears more streamlined. 

This mount style won’t block the light completely.

Determine the Length of the Curtain Rod

Before measuring a window for its width, determine the length of a curtain rod you need. 

Usually, curtain rods go beyond the window frame at least three to six inches.

Since rods can be installed either below, above, or inside a trim mount, it’s crucial to determine where you want to install the rod. 

Below Trim Mount

This mounting style is preferred if your window top has a gorgeous molding.

It is best to display the molding work while maintaining privacy. In this case, you need a rod three to five inches beyond your window’s width on either side. 

Above Trim Mount

It is the most common placement of a curtain rod. It is usually around six to twelve inches above a window frame. 

But the required length will also depend on the space available between the window top & ceiling. The wider and higher you place the curtains, the larger a window will look.

Inside Trim Mount

For tailored, streamlined window treatments, you may suspend the drapes and curtains inside the window frame.

 In this case, the curtain rods are selected with protective end caps for a snug fit. 

  1. Determine the Curtain Length

 The next step involves the estimation of the curtain length. 

Here are the three ways you can hang curtains –

  • Above Sill: For this length, the curtains end around 1 cm above the window sill.  
  • Below Sill: The curtains’ and drapes’ length end around 15 cm below your window sill. 
  • Floor Length: Depending on your preferred style, you can end the curtain length 1 cm above your floor.  
  1. Measure the Width of the Curtain 

The curtain width is typically around one-and-half to three times the final measurement of your window’s width. 

However, the style of curtain you choose will impact the measurement. 

The fuller curtain width gives a rich vibe to windows while shorter width lends a more tailored appearance. 

Remember that the window panels are considered separate items. 

Confirm if you need to buy two matching curtains or whether they already come in a pair. 

If the curtains are available separately, just double the curtain panels measured width. 

Use a blanket or table cloth for comparing full sizes.

  1. Measure Curtain Length

The windows treatments are often measured by length. 

The length of a curtain is the distance from the rod pocket to the bottom of a panel. 

Traditional valances take up almost one-quarter of your window top. These are also measured width by the length.

The length of curtains typically depends on the hanging method and the look you want to achieve. So, place the measuring tape at the top of your window frame or the top inner corner of the window. And, measure down to the desired length. 

If you want to place curtains a little higher, measure the length from a few inches higher than the top of the window frame. This will provide your window an elongated appearance.

Final Words 

The right sized curtains and draperies can enhance the feel and look of a room. So, it’s important to measure the curtains correctly. Follow the directions given above to make sure you do it right. However, for a perfect fit, custom-made drapery is still the best choice. 

 Author Bio

Michelle is an interior designer at Westlake Village Upholstery and Drapery with over 20 years of experience in fabric and custom window treatments. She offers clients in Southern California a new experience in traditional and modern design.