Are your Windows Wearing Capris?

master bedroomhigh and wide

bedroom beforelow drapes

Let’s talk about drape hanging shall we? I like my drapes hung high and wide. High so my windows look taller, wide so the drapes cover the wall, not the natural window light.


Once every few years I’m standing in the drapes aisle at Target and I just go ahead and buy one of their off the rack, 84″ pair of cute drapes because I have nekkid windows and Target has SUCH a cute line of everything. Target also sells longer drapes, but my local stores never carry them, you have to order them online and that would require patience.

So I bring home my 84″ adorable drapes, hang them and then I remember why I can’t deal with them. Because even when the curtain rod is hung as low as possible in our house with the lowest standard ceilings possible, it still looks like my windows are wearing capri pants. And there’s still a 2-4 inch gap between the bottom of the curtain and the floor.

There’s nothing wrong with capri pants but if you’ve ever worn them, you might notice that they actually make your legs look shorter. Which is fine if that’s the look you are after.

Same with your windows.

imperfect drapes

It’s not about getting the perfect drapes, I got over that a long time ago and there are a million things someone could point out that are crazy about these off the rack Ikea drapes.

But I want my windows to feel as tall as possible. So I opt for longer drapes. If I know I’m lazy anyway and have to choose between too long and too short, I’m opting for too long on my windows every time. Might they get a little dusty at the bottoms? Sometimes, but one quick shake and that’s gone. Besides, you only notice dust close up, but you notice a three-inch gap from the floor anywhere in the room.

Years ago when we moved often, I hesitated to ever hem up our drapes because the next house might have higher ceilings. So I got really used to seeing my drapes sit on the floor a bit and it’s never bothered me. Ikea drapes come with hem tape (just takes an iron and scissors) and you can make them shorter if you want so they just skim the floor, but I’ve never bothered. I’m the same with my jeans, if they hit the ground a tiny bit they don’t bother me but if they are 3 inches short (and aren’t supposed to be) it just annoys me to no end.

With the rod raised up and the drapes touching the floor, my windows look nice and tall.

are your windows wearing capris?

It’s okay to wear capris, as long as you WANT to wear capris and you like the way they make you or your windows appear. I’m actually wearing a cute pair of capri jeans rolled up today. But capris aren’t our only option.

drapes from sheetsdrapes from two flat sheets at our last house, just skimming the floor at our last house

sheets on windowsdrapes (twin bed sheets) just touching the floor in our last house

foyerIkea drapes barely skimming the floor in the foyer of our last house.

sheet drapes

It’s fine to wear capris on your windows or yourself, just use them purposefully and not accidentally.


  1. I know capris look pretty bad on ME, but I think for windows I actually prefer the crisper look of your shorter Target curtains. So I’m glad you said it is a matter of personal taste. I do like my curtains hanging a few inches above, and outside of, the window frames so I’m in total agreement there.

  2. Question: does that exposed area of the wall above the window bother you? I’m guessing that the answer is “no,” but I’m wondering. . . inquiring minds want to know!

    Your windows always look good with their various mistreatments. But I’m thinking you must have considerably less dust on the floor at your house than I have! Or maybe it’s the dog hair? Yes, it’s probably the dog hair. Of course, if I didn’t allow these dogs to have the total run of my house that problem might be attenuated just a wee bit.

    • if I stare at that part yes, it starts to bother me. but short capri drapes bother me 10 times more. my ultimate goal once I can afford it is to do this:

      • My question: “Is your midriff showing?” I love your site and all you say, and I, like you, want my draperies high and low–no capris. However, I learned something that made a huge difference in the finished look of my room. Hang your woven shades underneath the draperies at the SAME HEIGHT as your draperies! Yes, your draperies will have to project out more. Yes, you’ll need longer woven shades. But the finished look is so much better, once you do it, I predict you’ll never go back.

  3. I so agree! I don’t like seeing the baseboard where drapes stop at the top. Love my dropclloth curtains that I can just turn over the top and get the correct length!

  4. I prefer my drapes high and wide too! I like it when they slightly puddle on the floor. But the reality is, many of the windows in our home is still naked (gah)! But I’m sort of liking the minimalistic nakedness of our home, at least for now :)

  5. “Just use them purposefully” — I love that! I’m a big fan of curtains that actually go a bit beyond just gracing the floor (when it’s heavy material). I really love the green pops in that last photo.

  6. I completely agree and I love the visual comparisons you gave. Your bedroom looks absolutely stunning with the high and wide curtains. Your room looks twice as tall and so glam! I love it.

  7. I too think it should be a matter of taste, not a design rule. We have beautiful transom windows and my hubby refuses to cove up that wonderful extra light with the drapes. I do however prefer they either skim or puddle on the floor. No high waisters here.

  8. I’m one who likes the clean cut look of NO curtains or drapes. I’ve tried them, and they just make my brain feel cluttered. I do have wide wood blinds, but almost never close them as my windows are mostly on the sides and back of house where it is fenced in. Yes, an unfortunate window peeper could be lurking in my yard, but Woe Be To Him who relishes in peering at a 70 year old female body!

    I am a quiltmaker and have lots of art on my walls in bright colors and creating much eye candy, so I guess that’s my ‘deco.’

  9. I love this post! We are getting ready to move into a new house, and I’ve been wondering about the drape question myself. (ESPECIALLY since I do not have talent in regards to house decorating–your book is helping me to no end!) I love the look of the Target drapes – it makes me want to go over, and get some panels for our new master bedroom! :) Also, quick question: that green throw pillow in the last picture on the cream colored chair is GORGEOUS!!! Can I ask where you found that? Thanks as always, Myquillyn, for your inspiration. I will be reading even more than usual, as we move and settle into our new home! Blessings to you! (I met you at the day at the barn in NC last fall–it was such an honor! :)

  10. Thanks for this post. Hard as I try I don’t have an eye for things like this. I’ve hung mine high and they still just look ok. I never thought about wider! And since I don’t have an eye for it I never woulda figured it out on my own!

  11. Do you ever close your curtains/drapes? If so, does it frustrate you to do it when you have to pull or tug? I have very wide living room windows that face the road. I had them bare for a long time, but the lack of privacy bugged me. Right now I have designer, dark, heavy, pleated drapes (that I’m super tired of) that are easy to string pull… but I love the bare look–or long for some simple white sheers.

  12. dawn in sac says

    Okay too funny….I LOVE ANKLE kength pants and my husband has given me flack for always wearing my pants too short (I’m 5’9 and have spent my life wearing too short pants so I no longer think about it)….but NEVER have I considered the correlation between my love of short pants with my love of short drapes. I always thought it was becuase I did not want my cats to play inside the pleats when they laid on the floor and yank them off the rod. …NOW, I understand the REAL reason….. it is becuase I love Capri and ankle pants!!!

    Dawn in Sac

  13. My windows are naked. I never get around to doing any window treatments. Occasionally I have tried the sheet idea but I’ve never liked it. When people drive by at night they can see right into our living room and dining room. I love it when people do that because then I get to have a peek inside , so maybe someone like me enjoys seeing inside my house :)
    I would love to try a matelasse bedspread for window treatments but they are so expensive!

  14. I opted for NO drapes years ago. White plantation shutters that require little to zero maintenance won me over. Maybe an occasional wipe down (only if you look closely would you even see dust). You choose how much or little light you want….. open wide all day, close at night so as not to expose yourself! Not on the cheap, for sure, but I’ve found that some things are worth the splurge. And they always go with everything!

  15. I’m really glad you posted this because I’m having a drapes dilemma right now. Do I go to Ikea for some neutral, thin drapes? Do I go to a custom outfit to have them made? Or do I buy a sewing machine and try to make some panels on my own? I have a decorating budget so the more I save, the more I can do. I’m leaning toward DIY but I have zero skills.

    I’m tempted but not interested in the 84″ for our windows, we need 108″ so that’s a big enough difference.

  16. I totally agree with you about drape lengths…… only issue is that my cats like to play in the puddles! :D

    My problem comes with the drapery hardware – I get totally bumfoozled with all the different kinds and how they work and what kinds of drapes they are supposed to work with. Could you do a quick rundown on those one day??!!

  17. I love this title Nester. You’ve taught me much about window treatments, :)

  18. my girlfriends and i always joke that capris make women look like they’ve given up. please, no capris ladies. don’t do it. same goes for drapes. this is brilliant. :)

  19. I’m a member of the high and wide club, too! I just can’t do 84″ curtains, no matter how cute they are. We have standard ceilings and small-ish windows, so if I DON’T take the curtains up crazy high, then it feels like we live in a tiny house that was built for a troll. And we’re not super into trolls, so long curtains it is!

  20. I like both ways myself, the capris looked pretty cute. You’ve probably been asked this a million times but what is the shade of the gray paint and brand???

  21. Nester! This post! It changed my whole day! I personally do not care for capris as well…and while we are at it…don’t mind if a little mid-drift shows! ;) Hanging those curtains as high as possible give us low ceiling wall folks a chance to sport some high heels! Being 5’2″ this whole comparing drapes to fashion is hilarious btw. So this afternoon I spent a good sweating with head crammed up against the ceiling as I rehung some curtains. We have a shorter set of curtains in our kitchen…it had more of a cafe curtain look even though it covered the whole windows. I remembered I had an extra Ikea curtain stored away…I broke up our 3 curtain glass sliding door window treatment down to 2 (which also gave it a fresh new look)…and replaced the kitchen curtains with some nice long luxurious drapery! We went from cute cafe to fine dining! What a difference those curtains look draping themselves all over my dirty kitchen floor! They say luxury and they don’t care if they get dirty! What a fun day to mix a few things up around this ol’ house! Thanks for this inspiring post!

  22. I don’t like capris – as pants OR drapes! Ikea is the only place that makes inexpensive curtains that are loooooong but you can always so this to make the length you need:

    • Why won’t ANYBODY besides Ikea sell inexpensive curtains longer than 84″??!! It makes me crazy.

      • pier one, world market, jc penney, even lowe’s has some decent ones- all carry at least 96″ in store :)

  23. Capris: “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

    (I am wearing them RIGHT NOW. And I’ve felt dorky about them all day! When did my capri switch flip? I don’t know!)

  24. I love the sheet idea for mistreatments but extra long twins are only 96″. I have to have at least 108″ which means I have to buy king sheets and cut them. I may have to get some hem tape to neaten them up a bit. :)

    • Hmm. Inquiring minds want to know: cotton sheets or poly cotton blend? The light filtering in looks fantastic, but which is it? Love it all girlie.

  25. i like the curtains and the green color on vase.

  26. Capris! I love it- what a great analogy!

  27. Great post! Over about the last yr I have embraced the “High and Wide” curtain craze. My windows do look so much bigger and it makes the room brighter!
    Shimmering Image

  28. I have an issue with a VERY tall arched window (84″ wide) and I really don’t know what to do with it!! shows you the dilemma. Any suggestions???

    • That’s beautiful. Could you use one of those curved shower curtains? You might have to rig your own hardware, but if the arc and the width were right, you might be able to manage it.

  29. Oh man. I have capri drapes only because i was happy to hang the darn things. I think if I actually hung them where they were supposed to be they would be correct. But I am getting new windows in a few weeks and they will be smaller so patching will be needed. Maybe I will have non-capri drapes then. Ha!

  30. Capris. Midriff. What about mommy jeans? Help!!! I can’t get my mind to stop thinking of pants-drapes comparisons!!! Seriously though. I can’t. For instance, valances are shorts or mini skirts and … yes, this is going to be quite a day. Thank you for the visual. I may never think of curtains and drapes the same again. Oh, even though I prefer my drapery high and wide, I do wear capris because sometimes full length pants are just too hot and shorts? Well, that option expired several children and visible veins ago. Mostly there are no curtains or drapes in our home though. Don’t worry; my windows may be nekked but I prefer wearing clothes on my body. Just putting your mind at ease. LOL.Thank you again for this post. It has been very helpful.

  31. I LOVE Target curtains and I LOVE high and wide drapes. What I found was that if you take out the hem of your Target curtain, you can gain about 2 inches –enough to raise the rod over the window 2 inches -which is how I have gotten the look that I LOVE!

  32. Hi! I love your blog. It’s so cute, and your one of the 5% of the population that can balance your interior art. I love love love it!!!!!!!!!

  33. I love long curtains that drape at floor level but I don’t care for too much “puddling”. I like the idea of hanging curtains high to make the ceilings look higher/windows look grander but that gap between window frame & curtain rod bothers me just as much as short curtains. I agree with the hang them wide opinion though, I hate to block the incoming natural light.

  34. I got such a great laugh over your post title … Are your windows wearing capris! Great post and topic! I had custom drapes made for my great room years ago and for all that money, I have never been happy with the way they sit. Love my plantation shutters in the rest of the house … so much easier!


  35. This is a great article- so relevant and so helpful. I recently renovated the window treatments in my living room, and I encountered the same low hanging windows / capri window treatments problem! I found a company that would make custom window treatments for a really good price royal oak custom blinds if i hadnt done that, i definitely would try this idea

  36. if you want so they just skim the floor, but I’ve never bothered. beauty of TweakBox is that you don’t require jailbreaking your iOS device in order to install TweakBox.

  37. Great Idea I love that your combination and ideas that you choose for windows

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