Curtain Design Rules

How To Hang Curtains With 12 Foot Ceilings

Do you need to hang curtains on a 12-foot ceiling and wonder what’s the proper way of doing it? There are certain interior design rules in hanging curtains if you want them to look classy and elegant. We gathered all the helpful tips from curtain experts to help you hang curtains on high ceilings like a pro.

The proper curtain length for a 12-foot ceiling is 132 inches (11 feet). For free hanging curtains, there should be a one-foot distance from the ceiling to the top of the curtain. The fabric should drape down, either lightly touching the ground or with half an inch distance from the hem to the floor.

There are different curtain types you can install on high ceilings depending on the look you want to achieve. Read on to learn interior decorating tips and how to install curtains on high ceilings.

Elegant and comfortable designed living room with big corner sofa, wooden floor and big windows - How To Hang Curtains With 12 Foot Ceilings

What Is The Proper Way To Hang Curtains On High Ceilings?

A 12-foot ceiling is considered a high ceiling because the average ceiling height for most homes is only 9 to 10 feet high. You will often see tall ceilings on luxury homes or old victorian-style houses. You can also see them in a hotel lobby, events place, and other commercial buildings.

Beige modern design living room interior. Panoramic view from the window.

According to professional interior designers, if you want curtains to look tall and elegant, the rule of thumb is to make sure the fabric drapes down straight with the hem just slightly grazing the floor.

Interior decorations for rooms with high ceilings are traditionally formal-style with luxury furnishings. As you will notice, they often design the windows in high-ceiling rooms with floor-to-ceiling curtain length, making the room look big, majestic, and fancy.

To learn more about choosing elegant curtain styles, you can read different tips on “What Curtains Go With White Walls.”

Should I Get Curtains Or Drapes?

Curtains and drapes are popular choices for window coverings, but a lot of people tend to interchange these two terms. Here are the differences between the two:


  • Lightweight fabric made of cotton, linen, polyester, velvet, acrylic, lace, voilem, brocade, and rayon
  • Usually sold in pairs and comes in different lengths, widths, and designs
  • Headers are stitched in a different ways such as wave pleats, pinched, boxed, or hidden
  • For casual and formal interiors

Check out these 2 Panel Room Darkening Bedroom Curtains on Amazon.


  • Made of heavier fabric like velvet, silk, and damask
  • Has a lining to help block outside light and darken the room
  • Typically used in high ceilings, installed from ceiling to floor
  • For formal and traditional interiors

Check out this Faux Linen Drapes on Amazon.

Drapes and curtains are wonderful window covers and design options for any room. Curtains are more popular because it is more versatile, easy to install, replace, wash, and they come in various designs and colors.

But if you’re decorating a room with high ceilings and traditional interiors, using drapes will give any room a look of sophistication. Drapes however are more difficult to install because the fabric is heavier and the fabric may require dry cleaning.

Curtain Length For 12 Foot Ceilings

Elegant and comfortable designed living room with big corner sofa, wooden floor and big windows

The proper curtain length for a 12-foot ceiling is 132 inches. It can be difficult to find curtains of this length because most ready-made curtains come in a standard range of 84, 96, and 108 inches. However, you can buy curtains for tall ceilings in online shops or specialty stores.

Check out this 132 inches Blackout Curtain on Amazon.

Curtain Installation Tips

The simplest and most popular way to hang curtains is to install a curtain rod and slip the curtain head through it. Another way is to use curtains with fabric rings or metal grommets and slip the rings through the rod. Here you can look at different types of curtains and installations.

Curtains, Drapes, Rods, and Interior Decor

When installing curtain rods, the rule of thumb is to install them at least 4 to 6 inches above the window. You need an electric drill to screw the rods properly.

Ideally, there should be at least a one-foot distance from the ceiling to the top of the curtain, but this doesn’t always follow because it depends on the window and ceiling height.

The latest in curtain technology is motorized curtain tracks with remote control. These electric smart curtain systems are ideal for drapes so you don’t need to struggle with opening and closing the heavy fabric.

Check out this WiFi Smart Curtain Track System With Remote on Amazon.

How Far Should Curtains Be Off The Floor?

Romantic style gray living room with stylish furniture and big windows

According to interior design experts, curtains should hang straight with the bottom no more than half an inch off the floor or just slightly touching the floor. If you’re using drapes, the hem should touch the floor or slightly pool at the bottom for a more elegant and classic look.


Windows with 12-foot ceilings look best with floor-to-ceiling curtains to emphasize elegance. The rule of thumb when hanging curtains on high ceilings is to install the curtain rod 4 to 6 inches above the window and use curtains at least 132 inches in length.

The hem of the curtain should touch the floor, or slightly pool at the bottom. Follow these simple curtain installation rules and you can make any window look amazing.

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