HGTV's Emily Henderson On The 'Most Common Curtain Mistake' And How To Fix It

In interior design, the size of a piece is often the most crucial aspect to consider. This is because if something is too small, it will make the whole room appear like something is off. For instance, when choosing an area rug, it needs to be large enough for all the front legs of the furniture to rest on top of it. This principle is also true when it comes to curtains. "The most common curtain mistake is just painful to look at — the 'too short' curtain," Emily Henderson writes on her blog. This is when the curtains leave too much room between the end of the drapery and the top of the ground.

If you've discovered that your curtains are too short and you're looking for a solution, Henderson provides three ways that she recommends hanging them. The first is choosing drapery that reaches about an inch above the top of the floor, which she calls "a slight float." You could also decide to have your curtains just barely touch the ground, or what Henderson calls "the kiss." If you like a romantic or dramatic feel, she says to "puddle" your curtains, or gather them in a pool of fabric on the floor. 

Henderson's tips for hanging curtains

Once you've decided upon one of these lengths, it's important to review how to correctly hang drapery before you purchase your curtains. In another Style by Emily Henderson blog post, her rules for suspending a curtain rod are outlined. "Don't hang your curtain rod right above your window," the blog reads. "Ideally, your curtain rod should be hung ⅔ the distance between your window and the ceiling." This means that you'll most likely need longer curtain panels than you initially thought since they'll be hung high on your wall. 

Additionally, "If space allows, the curtain rod should extend 10-12 inches past the window on each side." This will cause the drapes to cover the wall instead of the window while open, which will let more natural light in. This will also affect the size of your panels, as you'll need wider drapes so that they can fully close when pulled shut. If your window is on a narrow wall, you could extend the curtain rod from one wall to the other, as Emily Henderson does in one episode of HGTV's "Secrets From a Stylist."