Special Nonexistent Furniture

Curtain Style Guide

Curtains are decorative window treatments that filter light throughout the day and can provide privacy for your home. When selecting a specific curtain style, the determining factors are your home decor and which room you choose to hang the curtains. There is a distinct difference between curtains and drapes based on their formality and fabric.

  • Drapes are formal, a heavier fabric, and more elaborate.  
  • Curtains are informal, made with lightweight materials, and often unlined and sheer.
  • For drapes, the fabric is typically pleated at the top while curtains are gathered. 

With this in mind, we explain the five most common curtain styles and three most common lengths that will instantly transform your space from every day to extraordinary.

Top 5 Curtain Styles

Double Panel Curtains

1. Double Panel

Double panel curtains refer to two curtain panels hanging on either side of the window. This is the most common style. Lightweight fabrics are preferred for double panels.

Curtain Panels with Valence

2. Panels with Valance

Often used to cover curtain hardware, a valence adds a subtle decorative element to the top  of window treatments. Valances are commonly paired to match the same styled curtain. 

Stacked Curtains

3. Stacked Curtains

A layered floor-to-ceiling panel, stacked curtains give the option to include both heavy and light curtains.  Pairing a decorative curtain panel with a sheer or blackout panel allows you to control the amount of light you want to let in or keep out.

Single Panel Curtains

4. Single Panel 

You can use one curtain panel as the entire window treatment.  For a romantic look, sweep the curtain back to one side of the window or opt to leave it hanging for a casual feel. 

Cafe Curtains

5. Cafe Curtains

Cafe curtains, hung at the window's midpoint, lend a touch of visual interest to your space. They also provide a nice mix of privacy and light into your home.   


3 Types of Curtain Lengths

1.    Brushing the floor: Just touching the ground, this is the best option for heavier fabrics like velvets and lined cotton. It will create a structural yet elegant look. 

2.    Breaking the floor: The hem of the curtain carries an inch or two over the floor. Consider this length if you're looking for a more relaxed style and softer look. 

3.    Pooling at the floor: Also known as "puddle length," this romantic style allows the curtain to drape over the floor at two inches or more. 

If your window isn't long enough for a full length curtain, consider hanging blinds or shades as an alternative. It can be tough to pull off the short curtain look!