Curious Curtains

Two of the three bay windows in question.
As someone with three bay windows in my apartment, I consider myself an expert on curtains. Okay, not really, but I def have experience with the matter. I mean, when I moved in with my now-fiance, we may have inherited his navy blackout curtains from Target. The kicker? They were from the kids section and way too short. They weren't completely terrible, I mean, they were blackout which was great, but cute they were not. So the search for the perfect curtains began...

I had wanted to upgrade them for awhile but I just couldn't decide on which direction to go with them. I mean did I want a pattern, did I need blackout, what color should I go with? These were all the things I needed to figure out before I could pull the trigger. Since I figured I'm not the only one who has struggled to find the perfect curtains, I thought I'd share my process (oh and Allison asked for help :))

For me the trickiness of curtains boils down to both logistics (knowing which length and width to buy) and style (knowing which fabric and style to get). In terms of logistics, lets review the basics.
Image via
As you can see in the diagram above, the length of your curtains should be dictated by the length of your wall, not by the length of the window. Standard practice is to go from one to three inches above the top edge of the window frame to just skimming the floor. This length will most likely be 96 inches. For a more formal look though, you could allow the fabric to "puddle" at your floor (6 to 8 inches of fabric). This is technically reserved for "drapes" but I'm not totally sure of the difference. Sort of like the difference between tights vs. pantyhose or a blazer vs. a sport coat. Splitting hairs if you ask me (my mother is mortified right now). Another trick worth nothing here is that, if you would like to make your ceiling look higher, you can hang the curtains closer or the molding to draw the eye upwards. For that, the curtains will still need to touch the floor so the length will likely be 108 or 120 inches.

In terms of the width of your curtains, its ideal for the fabric's width to be 2-3x the width of the window. Often times this means that you need two panels per window. However, curtains are expensive so if you just buy a wider curtain, you may be able to get away with one panel per window (if the window is smaller). Thats what I did in my living room and while again, my mother is mortified, I think it looks juuuuuuust fine.
The color palette in our bedroom.
Okay so now that we've gotten the logistics down, its time for the fun stuff- the style! Curtains are a great place for you to inject color, pattern or texture into a room. In many cases, they can be the unifying element that brings the whole design together. You just have to consider the other elements in the room before knowing which way to go.
White walls can be so... zzzzzz.
For example, in our bedroom, I know that I knew I wanted our curtains to be a pop of color since we cannot paint the walls. Since we already had a pattern in our euro shams and runners, I decided a solid color would be best. I wanted something with texture though so I looked at types of velvet or linen. I finally decided on a textured/brushed (not crushed, gross) silvery porcelain blue-green velvet set of curtains. They add a wonderful lux feel to the room and tie the design together nicely.
The curtains. I swear they aren't this dark IRL :)
So hopefully that helped demystify the curtain selection process for Allison everyone. Let me know if you have any questions! Xo J


  1. Loving the new blog look! I have had such a hard time with the logistics of curtain hanging! This is super helpful. The texture of the curtains you chose is fab!


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