Should Drapes Puddle? The How and Why

Drapes have been around forever as a window treatment option that offers both form and function. One style is extra-long drapes that puddle, which creates a dramatic effect for living or dining rooms.

How to choose the correct drapery lengths

While it may seem obvious, the first thing you want your drapes or curtains to do is cover your window. That means they shouldn't be hung at the top of the window, making the ceiling look low, but they also shouldn't be too high, leaving a gap between the hem of the drapes and the hanging your curtains or drapes, you have several curtain lengths to consider, depending on the style of drapes you choose. Here are a few options:

Windowsill curtains

These curtains end right at the windowsill. They are often used on kitchen windows in the form of cafe curtains.

Apron curtains

Apron curtains fall approximately four inches below the windowsill. They work best in a breakfast nook area or if there's a radiator located under the window.

Floor-length drapes

Floor-length drapes should fall even with the floor. They are perfect for tall windows and accentuate the ceiling height. Floor-length curtains are best when installed a 1/2-inch off the floor for easy cleaning and maintaining the flooring in that space.

Puddled drapes

Extra-long drapes puddle onto the floor. They create a classic and dramatic effect perfect for formal spaces. Here’s how it works.

What are puddled drapes?

When your drapery length extends beyond floor length, the fabric puddles dramatically onto the floor. This lends a sense of grandeur to your living space or dining space. 

Puddled drapes require extra care because the excess fabric can collect dust or pet dander. Because they extend on the floor, they’re not ideal in high-traffic areas or homes with pets or small children. Take extra care when opening and closing them to avoid snagging or stepping on the excess fabric.

Are puddled window treatments outdated?

As with any fashion, puddled curtains have gone in and out of style over the years. However, they remain a classic. You can find puddled curtains on floor-length windows in formal dining rooms, libraries, and living rooms.

How to style puddled drapery

How you style your puddled curtains is entirely up to you, but here are a few familiar places to start.

Break puddle

With this option, about an inch of fabric past floor length causes the curtain to break delicately against the floor. This type of break works best with cotton or linens. It is the easiest type of puddle to style.

Medium puddle

Two to five inches of fabric beyond floor length will cause a medium puddle. To style, it, either bundle the pleats together or fan it out on the floor.

True puddle 

Designing your drapes six to sixteen inches beyond the floor length will create a dramatic puddle of drapery material. Material is an important consideration when selecting to “puddle” your drapes as several fabrics are too thick to flow into soft puddling on the floor. Soft sheer fabrics are excellent for puddling, and classic traditional fabrics like satin and silks.

When you're hanging drapes, should they pool on the floor or not?

Whether you want your drapes to pool or puddle or not is up to whether you want a dramatic, opulent look and the function of the space. If you have small children and or pets, puddling may not be a wise option, but if it is a formal dining room used for entertaining, you may want the glamour of puddling you're ready to discover custom-length drapes that add glamour and elegance as they graceful puddle could do for your home decor, reach out to Budget Blinds to schedule your free consultation. Our local design experts will come to your home to discuss your needs and preferences and find the perfect window treatments that meet your style and budget.

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