Hang 'Em High

It may seem counter-intuitive, but hanging draperies higher than window frames is a commonly used trick to make spaces seem larger. Why? They subconsciously draw the eye upwards, and give a suggestion ofloftiness.

How high is a matter of debate. Some say the rods should be placed as high as possible, while others insist they should hang mid-way between the top of the window frame and the ceiling. It really depends on the height of the wall – lower heights call for higher draperies, soaring ceilings don’t.

The pictures below perfectly illustrate this smart-yet-subtle strategy.

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Above is the luxury living version – new construction, very substantial windows and walls high enough to warrant a drop ceiling. The treatment is twofold, a layer of sheer for daytime with a moresubstantial fabric to block light at night. And while the eye is primarily drawn to the window and the view, it then tracks up, where the draperies disappear behind the drop. It’s a wonderful play on geometric shapes that reads architectural and soft at the same time.

We are seeing this strategy employed in many new buildings. Here are two more interiors featuring this type of treatment:

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Below is a bathroom in an older home, that was renovated, keeping charming details including a painted brick wall and ceiling cornice. The generous copper tub is nestled into a cozy arched nook. Privacy is not an issue here, so one could argue that curtains aren’t necessary at all. But the addition of these diaphanous panels, which were not custom made, does add a softness. And hanging them on a
stock rod, just beneath the ceiling moulding, draws the eye upwards.

This was a smart strategy in a small-ish space, especially combined with the lighting fixture and the arched wall.

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In the Upper West Side apartment below, we created custom euro-pleated draperies and hung them just above the existing moulding. We ostensibly could have gone higher, but the existing moulding created a natural linear plane for placement. We also used a more obvious rod here, as it seemed more appropriate for the space, which is in a historical building, and also served to draw the eye upwards.

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Intrigued? We can help you nabigate every step from choosing fabrics, measuring your windows,
sourcing drapery hardware and installation. We’ll also advise on motorization,
which many clients use for draperies used daily that are hung at unreachable