How many curtains do you really need?

Updated: May 31

Designing and selecting window curtains may be the one thing you are doing to update a room and it is a great way to breathe new life into a space. Like changing an outfit, changing your curtains can transform the mood of your space. If a total room makeover is on the agenda, the window curtain choices can come at the beginning or the end of the design timeline. For both types of projects, take the time to do it right. Measuring and purchasing the right size and quantity of curtain panels is so important.

The two questions you need to know to purchase the correct number of curtain panels for your windows.

  1. What is the size of the window? Measure width from the outside of the frame (A to B). This will be the base number that we will work from.

  2. How much distance is there on either side of the window? This will help determine where to mount the rod. If space allows, plan on mounting the curtain hardware 3-5" from the outside of the frame. Adding width to the window will give it the appearance that it is larger and when the curtains are open, they will hang in front of the wall and not the window. Measure from C to D to determine the width.


The height or length of the curtains doesn’t affect the number of window panels that are needed, but it is an important measurement. Mount the rod a minimum of 3” above the window frame. Measure from the top of the rod down for the length that you need.

Most panels are 52” wide. If the window is the standard width of 24” to 36” wide, then you will need two panels. The curtain panels will have a fabric fullness when they are drawn closed.



Two 52” wide panels will look nice on windows as wide as 72”. Once the window gets wider than 72” it is important to purchase curtain panels that are wider than 52”. For custom widths, we like to suggest a width and a half (75”), or double width (102”) panels.


For standard window placement, a panel on each side creates a balanced feel. If the wall space on one or both sides of the window is limited, a single panel hung to one side may look better.



At the drape, we want to make all of these decisions easier. We offer free swatches, a how to measure guide, and best of all, FREE 30-minute consultations with our design staff. With the proper planning, your windows will be dressed in curtain panels that are the perfect fit.