Curtain length

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  • 1 Post By RedCatWaves

I am in the middle of making some curtains for a room that will eventually have to serve a lot of purposes: living room, office, and guest room. (I live in a one-bedroom apartment.) I haven't sewed the bottom hem yet and I have enough fabric to make almost floor-length curtains. They would probably be a couple inches from the floor when all is said and done.

However, I have baseboard heat and I assume it's a bad/dangerous idea to cover the heaters. So I was planning to make the curtains shorter. For some reason I decided to google "curtain length" and discovered that short curtains are practically a sin in the design world! I don't know much about interior design--I knew floor-length curtains were preferred but I didn't know shorter curtains were so wrong and evil!

And I realize now that the curtains in my bedroom are the worst possible length from a design perspective. They end halfway between the heater and the apron. And I hemmed them to that length!!

What would you do? Sill-length? Apron-length? Just above the heater? As long as possible (which still wouldn't be floor length)?
In search of a lost signature...
I like curtains that end at the bottom of the window trim (what you're probably calling "apron"). Screw the designers. There's a lot of things I don't like about "designed" rooms. Form should follow function, and it sounds like you need your curtains to be shorter than floor length. I don't personally like curtains that are confused about whether they are long or short, so I would hem them to apron length.
KurlyKae likes this.
What she said. I don't really like floor-length curtains in my own house because they interfere with cleaning and gather more dust. Anyway, designers just come up with ideas, but you decide what you like or don't like. To me, curtains longer than the window mean luxury and grandeur, like in a ballroom or drawing room. It can be a lovely look, but doesn't fit the simple style of my house.
FYI - I have hot water baseboard heat and have curtain panels that come down over them in several rooms. Have never had a problem. Think years ago though I wondered the same as you if it was safe or not. Someone told me there was no problem going over the heater with the panels. I just put new panels up in a bedroom I redecorated. I actually needed 86" length, which I don't think they make. The 84" are a little above floor length but look OK. I think I would go as long as possible if it were my decision.
3b/c
Thanks so much for the feedback, everyone! (RCW: I knew I could count on you to weigh in!)

I'm going to think about it a little, since I guess there's no going back once I cut them. I am currently leaning towards cutting them apron length because, like Poochie said, the room doesn't really call for elegant curtains. The fabric I chose is light and cute/crafty-looking.

Munchkin: I'm glad you think the 84" look OK. I wasn't sure if it would look like I was going for floor length but not succeeding.
In search of a lost signature...
Just make sure you start at the ceiling! Rooms look MUCH bigger with ceiling to floor curtains.
"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

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