Thursday, 18 April 2013

Does Hanging Curtains at Ceiling Level Make a Room Look Bigger?

Decorators often recommend hanging curtains as close to the ceiling as possible, even if windows are a foot or two below the ceiling. The conventional wisdom attached to this advice is that the long lengths of curtain fabric lengthen the look of the walls and fool the eye into believing that the windows are larger than they are. Does this Spark an idea?

Why it Works

Hanging curtains close to the ceiling draws the eye up, which makes walls appear elongated and the ceiling higher, giving the illusion of more space. Curtains hung just above the window, on the other hand, visually divide the wall, which gives it choppy look that can feel crowded.

The Crown Molding Issue

If your walls have crown molding, hang your curtains just below the bottom of the molding. Crown molding adds rich character and architectural interest. Unless your ceilings are very low, it's not a good idea to cover up such a wonderful architectural element. If your ceilings are low, it may be well worth the added visual height to cover a portion of your crown molding. Instead of drilling into the molding to hang the rod, hang a ceiling-mount rod from the ceiling just next to the molding.

Curtain and Wall Color

Match your curtain and wall color to add even more visual space to your room. Just as low-hanging curtains visually divide a wall, so do curtains that contrast to wall color. A monochromatic color scheme gives the illusion that your walls extend on and on.

Curtain Volume

While full, billowing curtains are luxurious and eye-catching, they are better suited to larger rooms simply because their volume takes up space. For smaller rooms, stay with simple panels made of lightweight fabrics. Even when pushed away from the window and gathered together, these curtains will keep a low profile and not take up valuable living space.

More Room-Enlarging Tips for Windows and Curtains

When possible, open your curtains to let as much natural light in as possible, as natural light immediately opens up a room, giving it a spacious feel. Keep your windows clean to let in the most light possible. A view to the outdoors adds visual space as well, so keep those curtains open whenever possible. Another trick is to hang mirrors on walls opposite your windows. Not only will they reflect the windows' natural light into your room, they give the illusion of more space by offering views of the outdoors from many different angles.