So, last Saturday, I was having a little “rerack”  after a very first busy week back after vacation.  You know those weeks, right?  You are still in slo-mo for the first few days back. Then pow, you kick into overdrive realizing all the things piled up from vacation, and also piled up from those first days back; those first days when all you could really think about was the sand between your toes.

Well, I was just closing my eyes drifting back into beach mode, when an urgent text came across my iPhone.

One of my former employees, Madison, and her husband, had just bought a new house.  She casually asked me if hanging her new drapes 2 inches off the ground was about the right length.   Stop! I screamed(actually texted in ALL CAPS)  No, no, no, no, no.

I told her to stop her helpful hubby, Robert, until I could get dressed and make a house call.

Now, I am in the business of making custom window treatments, but I realize that it is not in everyone’s budget.  And there are some great ready mades out there!  I picked up some white sheers for my daughter’s apartment bedroom and she loved them.

Madison and Robert had picked out this awesome Tommy Hilfiger wide striped in Khaki and white, from TJ Maxx.  Robert was just about to hang the pewter rod when Window Treatment 911 (i.e.. me) walked through the door.

I explained first that there were several lengths you could hang your drapes, but 2 inches off the floor wasn’t one of them.

Here were the options:

1.  1/4″ off floor

2.  Trouser Break — just touching the floor and breaking slightly

3.  Puddling — several extra inches puddle on the ground

After talking, they choose the first.

On to the second dilemma.  Always make sure you know how long your drapes are.  Typically, ready mades are made for an 8 foot ceiling.  Many newer homes have 9 foot ceilings.  So, basically, they were going to have to hang them right at the top of the window.  Personally, it looks so much better if you can hang them 8-12 inches higher than the window.  It will have a dramatic effect in making your room elongated and not chopped off.

This is how Robert was first measuring for where to place the rods.

I told him to go up about 8 inches.

Much better.

But, on to problem #2.  Now that we were excited about hang in them at 92 inches, we discovered that they were indeed only 84 inches.

They would have looked like this. Not good.

Now, many ready mades are beginning to have longer lengths. So before you go shopping, measure the length you might want to hang your drapes. Always remember, the higher the better……

So, yes we had a problem, because they already bought the drapes. And I, in good conscience, could not let them hang them lower. Suddenly, my vacation brain, kicked into idea mode. I probably had some scraps of white fabric that we could match up and make the drapes longer without too much trouble.

So, I told them I would take the drapes with me and see if I had some white scraps that would match theirs, so we could lengthen them.

They also wondered how far outside the window frame to place the rods. There is no rule of thumb, but 5 inches or so, works. There are some considerations, however. For instance, they had a light switch about 4 inches outside the frame. I told them, either cover it up completely, or not at all. In this instance, they choose to cover it.

By placing the rods about 6 inches beyond the molding, the light switch will be fully covered.

Enough for one day, I took the drapes with me. I’m sure Robert was grateful for a break.

Luckily I was able to find some white fabric that matched perfectly. So, we took the last stripe off and put a new white strip on, 8 inches longer. Because this was a stripe, it was fairly simple.

When I returned the rods were up and drapery panels ready to be hung.

Grommets made for easy hanging, and I placed a drapery pin at the end. Robert was then able to put an eye hook in the wall, and by putting the pin in the eye hook it held back the panel against the wall for a return..

Robert easily got them hung, and then relaxed with a beer, as I fluffed.  He told me he measures  projects in number of beers to complete.  The recent Ikea nursery dresser was six beers:)  We clocked in at two.  Glad we could help!

Lookin good!  Love the wide stripe.  It totally finished off the space.  It created balance on either side of the fireplace, while softening the area around the large screen television.

Mission accomplished and a happy couple.

If you are thinking of purchasing ready-made drapery panels for your next projects, here are some great places to look.  Most offer more lengths than 84/86 inches:  Ikea , World Market, and Target.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, or are interested in something more custom, check out our Etsy Shop

hog and kisses,