What Height for a Drapery Rod?


Hang drapes in your home to create privacy and to add decorative personality to a room. Drapes and drapery rods can be found at home improvement retailers and specialty shops. Mount the drapery rod yourself and hang your drapes to best complement the room or window size.

Standard Window Height

  • Windows that are room proportionate and just need a little privacy or detail can feature a drapery rod mounted at the standard height. Standard height, according to Neiman Marcus, is 4 inches above the window trim. The rod should extend slightly, or about 2 inches, from the edge of the trim on either side of the window for the curtains to be pressed to either side without taking away from the size of the window. Heavy drapes should be placed on a heavy-duty rod, while lightweight fabrics can hang on a lighter rod.

Short Window

  • Add height to short windows to elongate the window and make the room seem taller by hanging the drapery rod just below the ceiling molding. Rooms with short windows and no molding can feature a rod just below the ceiling; however, allow enough room for the rod to be put up and taken down without hitting the ceiling. Long drapes that reach to the floor will not only make the window appear longer but will also add elegance to the room.

Narrow Window

  • Give the illusion of a wider window by extending the rod beyond the window frame. Hang the drapery rod at the standard height of 4 inches above the window trim; however, extend the rod farther to the sides of the window. For example, a 22-inch window frame may have the rod extend on either side an additional 4 inches. Once the rod is secure, place the drapes on the rod and move them to the outer edges of the rod so the drapes barely grace the edge of the window. This will give the illusion of a larger window.

Drape with Valance

  • Hanging a valance over a drape is not tricky; in fact, the valance can hide any mistakes that you may make with the drapery rod. Hang the drapery rod the standard 4 inches above the window trim. Purchase a valance rod that extends outward past the width of the drapery rod, both in width and length. Hang the valance 1 inch above the drapery rod so the valance hangs over the rod.

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