Curtain Decorating Tips To Mimic a High Ceiling

Low ceilings can be an interior design challenge. Many older homes were built with low ceilings, ostensibly because the lower the ceiling, the easier it was to keep a room warm. Today, with modern heating systems and effective insulation, low ceilings are seen much less often in new construction. If your home is older, or you simply feel your room isn't as balanced as you’d like, you might be wondering how to make the ceilings appear taller.

Making ceilings look higher without having to go through any major renovation is possible, and with a few interior design tricks, you can create a space that feels the opposite of cramped and small. From the furniture you choose to how you hang your curtains, there are solutions for rooms with low ceilings to help you create a living area that is spacious and proportional.

At Drapery Rods Direct, we deal exclusively with curtain rods and other drapery hardware, so we know how to hang draperies in a way that enhances a room and produces the effect you want. Here are our tips for making a ceiling look higher with curtains.

decorating tips to create a high ceiling

Hang Your Curtain Rods High

If you are attempting to make a cramped space appear larger, there are ways to hang your curtains that will create the illusion of a higher ceiling. The best way to hang your window treatments to mimic a high ceiling is to take advantage of the space between the top of the window and the ceiling. This covers the dead space and creates the illusion that the windows and room are taller than they actually are.

There are a few ways to achieve this look, and you need to keep the type of hardware you use in mind. If you are using a traditional wall-mounted or decorative curtain rod, placing the rod two to four inches below the ceiling, or just below the crown molding, will ensure that the hardware does not hit it. Large finials, in particular, should be accounted for when hanging a curtain rod high on a wall.

f you are using curtains with pleats, they should be pinned to just “kiss” the bottom of the curtain rings. Another option is to use curtain hardware that has been designed to hang from the ceiling.

Keep in mind when hanging your curtains that the standard distance between the bottom of the curtain rod and the top of the window frame is between four and six inches. Hanging a curtain rod to create more height in a room can require more distance than that, but anything over 12 inches can look more awkward than stylish.

Curtain rod width also plays a role in making a room feel larger. A curtain rod that is eight to 12 inches wider than your window will give the illusion that the window is larger than it actually is.

Consider Curtain Width and Length

Curtain length is crucial when trying to make a ceiling appear higher. If you are placing your curtain rod high, you need to make sure that the draperies “kiss” the floor or even puddle slightly to get the full effect. Hanging draperies so that they puddle is best for stationary curtains, whereas hanging curtains so they hit no more than a half-inch above the floor is best for curtains that will be opened and closed frequently.

When a curtain rod is wider than the window, you must account for this when you choose the width of your curtains. The combined width of your panels should be at least one and one-half times the width of the rod for grommet panels or flat panels on rings. This creates fullness when the curtains are open or closed.

Functioning pinch-pleated draperies should be made to match the width of the drapery rod, pleated down from fabric that is two to three times the width of the rod. Of course, if your draperies are stationary and purely decorative, they do not have to cover the entire rod at any time and can be made whatever width you want.

Select the Drapery Fabric Pattern

The idea behind hanging curtains high so that they reach from floor to ceiling is to make the eye move up and down the wall. This strategy of creating vertical height can be likewise applied to the pattern of your curtain fabric.

Curtains with vertical stripes are an obvious choice for creating the illusion of higher ceilings, as are curtains with bold vertical edging. Curtains with large patterns, horizontal stripes, and floral prints can widen the window instead of heightening it. If privacy is less of a concern, consider hanging sheer or semi-sheer curtains that let more light into the room for an even loftier effect.

Add Valances and Swags

If your style is more traditional or formal, valances or swags and cascades can be used to enhance your aesthetic as well as add to the illusion of tall windows. Swags and valances can be used to help hide the wall space between the rod and the top of the window, reinforcing the look of high ceilings. Choosing the length of the valance or swags and cascades should be undertaken with care, as making them too long or too short will ruin the proportion of the window.

Layer Curtains and Shades

A combination of curtains and shades can be both decorative and utilitarian. Hang your curtains high, then place the shades just under the curtain rod. This helps create the appearance of taller windows and is a high-end look.

Cover Walls With Curtains

In addition to extending draperies from floor to ceiling, placing curtains to cover walls between windows makes the windows appear larger. Since the curtains obscure the space between the windows, the eye is unsure where the windows stop and the walls start. This is particularly effective with corner curtain rods or bay windows.

Find Stylish Curtain Rods at Drapery Rods Direct

Strategically hanging your curtains higher and wider is a simple and effective way to make ceilings look higher and the room look larger. Combined with the right pattern, texture, and other additions like valances and shades, your window treatments will trick the eye into thinking your windows are more generous than they are. If you’re looking for decorative drapery rods or traverse rods, look no further than Drapery Rods Direct. You can shop our curtain rods online, or contact us at 800-251-5009

Our friendly support staff is here to help in any way they can. We can walk you through the process of shopping for curtain rods and answer any other questions you have about enhancing your space with drapery rods.

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