Drape dilemma... Too short!

Kristen B
July 9, 2014
So I didn't do my research on what the appropriate drape length should be for my living room with 10ft ceilings (never had to deal with such height) and ordered the usual 84in. Well you see what I ended up with and every time I look at them I get frustrated. I love the drapes just not the impression I shrunk them or can't even decorate a window accurately. Do I leave them alone? Put a piece of furniture under window like a bench or trunk so drapes touch that? Or try to lengthen them somehow?? Advice is greatly appreciated!

Comments (49)

  • MarleneM
    Kristen,if you cannot return them, I think I would try to lengthen them with fabric in the soft beige colour in the print. It would have to be a very good match in colour and fabric weight though to look and hang properly.
  • amyfamyf
    You could order one extra set and use the extra fabric for lengthening.
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  • Mrs Mot
    I agree its a beautiful pattern, but too short. I would suggest putting them on rings and adding additional fabric on the bottom maybe from another panel.
  • hatetoshop
    Great suggestions above. Here are some examples to get you started:
    My Houzz: DIY Love Reforms a Dated Cape Ann Home · More Info

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    Private Woodside Residence · More Info

    Grommet Panels · More Info
  • woodjay
    Been there done that. I would suggest you add a deeper colour 'stripe' on the bottom of the wall colour.

    If you are not a sewer then attach the extra fabric with an iron-on membrane or with velcro
  • PRO
    Watershed Designs
    All great suggestions.....and here are some more:
    - add strip to top and bottom in a mid-tone that picks up the wall colour, or a dark tone to compliment the carpet
    - change the header to rings or grommets when you add on the top, and I love the idea of what the "Grommet Panels" above did.......add the solid to the middle
    - raise the rod above the window height, almost to the ceiling if you add rings
  • Kristen B
    So I did end to putting the drapes on rings and that added about an inch. Thinking I need bigger rings. The rod is further up now (both of these are old pics. I'll try and post a newer one). So question now is add same fabric at bottom or a band of solid fabric?
  • sondramartina
    If these were not too expensive I would just get the new ones .
  • hatetoshop
    If you do add a band, add a solid fabric -- probably easiest to find something in the white or cream in the background. Don't get larger rings, or the curtains will hang too far below the trim. And if you're into it, you could raise the rods a bit more before adding the band. Good luck!
  • adivra
    For others with windows needing more than 84 or 96 inches, and who don't want to spend a lot, IKEA has curtains that are really long and also come with hemmimg tape.
  • Allison
    I would do something similar to the Jen Migonis that hatetoshop posted, putting a solid color in and then tying it all together with more of the original fabric. Or depending on the style you are going for I've seen people put burlap on the bottom and sew burlap trim around the edges of the curtains but I think the strip of solid color and then repeating the fabric on the curtain at the bottom would be best.
  • Allison
    or depending on the rest of the room you could do a cool bench seating in the area in an L shape by the two windows.
  • Kristen B
    Updated pic - thoughts?
  • abbyjean
    The curtains are sooooo pretty in this room! But they are too short. I feel like if you tried to put a band on them, it will always look like you tried to lengthen them. Another room? Sell or return? Try Ikea, as mentioned, and start over. Sorry!
  • Kristen B
    Custom drapes from mother-in-law so can't return and can't get rid of unless I sell these and re-order the exact same thing just longer
  • abbyjean
    Oh, dear! From MIL! They have to stay, don't they.

    OK......I never say this, but this is worth a try. Can you find something to use as a tie back and see if tying them back makes a different look? That would bring the inside edge of the drape to the window sill, which might make it look like it was planned for them to just hit that area of the window.
  • MarleneM
    Were they custom made locally? If so I would ask them if anything can be done Many fabrics have coordinating prints. A vertical stripe on bottom would look pretty.
  • Anne
    What does your Mother in law suggest? She custom made them ( or had them made) but didn't measure the window? Hope you remember this lesson! Agree with other posters, add a band on the top or bottom or both /sides too. If you get the right fabric it will look like it was planned. Take them back to the person who made them and get a coordinating fabric added.
  • Kristen B
    MIL thinks she's an interior decorator and had curtains ordered the moment I said I liked the fabric and she charged me for them! That's a whole other drama but you see my dilemma - I have to use what I have somehow. I'm debating asking her if she will tell me who made them (she has a country store so has access to some vendors). I just know if I ask her, it's going to prompt 100 questions :(
  • abbyjean
    YOU get a big hug!!! She will notice and wonder about the change, too. Does she like them like they are?
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    Change to two smaller rods, add length to two panels, and just treat the left and the right sides of the windows.

    You could always add woven roman shades to finish off the look.
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  • Angel 18432
    Ask MIL if she can get you a yard or two (whatever is needed) of fabric. Sew a strip of plain fabric, then a strip of drapery fabric on the bottom (as in picture #1 above) Shouldn't be a very big job for someone that knows how to sew. Good Luck
  • tiamay
    You poor thing.
    Maybe you should try and wash them and accidentally put a red sock in the washer....oops!
  • Brandi Nash Hicks
    Try letting the hem out on the top and the bottom...use the clips and you are almost to the floor
  • Maureen
    You could make them into roman shades and use excess material, if any, for a pillow or two on the couch.
  • kerrryl
    Do you have another window where you could hang them? Then you could order longer ones for this room.....?
  • tennisanyone
    I would not keep them if MIL charged me for them especially if they were too short. It's like wearing your pants too short , they look wrong and people will stare :). I would make PILLOWS out of them and get new drapes.
  • jabbott2012
    Did you say she charged you for them? If so, they're not a gift but an item you purchased and can do what you want with it. Has she seen how short they are? She should be willing to help with a solution.... even if she charges you for that too :)
  • armygirl1987
    Bless her heart. I would try letting the hem out the top and bottom. Try to see if you can get enough material to lengthen them. I f all else fails use it as dog bed.
  • regina5697
    Cut them even shorter and add another coordinating fabric on top or bottom. (If they are a different length than standard, your mind won't keep telling you they're too short). Then use the fabric you trimmed for coordinating pillows.
  • Design2 girl
    Yep, use the fabric to make make pillows and order new drapes. You are going to expend way more time, effort, and energy in making these better, but they still won't be right. Lesson learned and I would just tell MIL the exact truth. Chances are, she will understand and it will conjure up a memory of a decorating mistake she has made in the past as well. We have all been there.
  • sondramartina
    I agree with Rhonda.
    They will never be right no matter what you decide to do with them.
  • barbfla
    If you enjoy doing crafts, then take the advice of the others on this site and add fabric onto the bottom. That is a current fashion item, I really like the picture that Hatetoshop posted by Jen Migolis. It is the teal curtains with white (yours should be cream) and then another small band on the bottom.
  • Design2 girl
    The banding looks better with solids and fabulous trim, in my opinion.
  • regina5697
    Rhonda, I agree banding looks better with solids and trim.
  • Kristen B
    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate everyone's help. To be clear my MIL charged me her cost not retail but they were $600 total. Let's just say my MIL is more "monster-in-law" for those that have seen that movie so there won't be understanding or help coming from her but I know what I got when I married into this family ;) I do agree that we paid for them so I'm going to do what I want and am not worried about how she'll feel about. I just can't ask for her one person commented above "lesson learned" and not going to her for decor advice or help. It will blow up to be more of an issue than fix. So....New ones (found them in a catalog exact same fabric) at the right length are going to be about $900. I try and sell the "too-short" ones on eBay (do people even buy drapes on eBay?) and buy new correct length ones or just find a nice solid to put a band on each panel like first pic above that was suggested?
  • losthorizonlisa
    Good solution. And...I've purchased drapes off eBay before...your cast offs are others treasure! Be sure to show us the final picture.
  • Mrs Mot
    I have a similar delimna kinda. I went thru 3-day blinds and the decorator talked me into something that when delivered I really do not like. I have found panels that I am replacing. So I found a group on Facebook That sells items in my area where I live. Its like the classified ads with rules and photos of the items. I will try and sell the drapes I don't like as 3-day blinds will not exchange or return them. You might want to see if there is a group like that in your area. Just an idea.
  • nechamaj
    Hope you MIL decorator doesn't read Houzz ;)
  • nechamaj
    I meant " Hope your MIL decorator doesn't read Houzz ;)"
  • mom2hsm
    Could you order new drapes in the appropriate length and use the ones you have to make a few accent pillows? They wouldn't totally go to waste and you get what you want. If your MIL realizes she made a mistake, maybe she will stop trying to decorate for you. By just telling her they are too short for your liking, it may help you stop what could be a very painful situation to deal with if she continues to shop for you!! SIDENOTE: I have been married for 22 years, and after 10 years of receiving scented lotions for Christmas and not wanting to hurt any feelings, I finally told my MIL "thank you, but I have found I really have a hard time wearing scented lotions! My nose is very sensitive!" She stopped buying lotion and I don't have to lie anymore!! win-win!!
  • Angel 18432
    $900 for new drapes seems like an awful lot of money and you are going to have gobs of material to make pillows! Here's a question I don't think you have answered? Do you like them? if no, then replace with basic colored ones that would go with more things if you want to change your décor.
  • Libbmom
    I think someone mentioned this...make roman shades with these drapes that fit into the window frame...I would then get a solid color drape that goes with the brown in this fabric to hang along with these....use any left over fabric for pillows, etc. I thing $900 sounds like a lot of money too...
  • sarainitaly
    Using a double magnet curtain tie, draw them up in the middle, and hold in place. See the video too, for info (at the 1:55 mark)
  • badooya
    I would lengthen them with a solid color like green or something then it will look good. Block color are in.
  • badooya
    Here's an example of block colors
  • sarainitaly
    Or I would cut them through the middle and add a strip of solid, and sew the bottom back on.
  • Kristen B
    nechamaj - she's terrible with technology and internet other than "google" so I should be good. Wouldn't have posted if I thought she'd read.

    Again, I have learned my lesson and made it clear to my MIL that I'd prefer to make my own decorating decisions and will not use her for future purchases or advice. My husband backs me so that's very helpful in getting my point across. Unfortunately she caught me right when we moved in when life was beyond chaotic and I didn't have a moment to get my thoughts together to decide what and how I really wanted things (decor) so she saw an opportunity and took it. I was so overwhelmed I didn't even know where to begin. My bad. Again lesson learned.

    Yes I love the material/pattern as our home is very open with similar shades of blue/turquoise throughout and 10 ft ceilings and so this pattern really brought this living room together since it's very open with windows on only one side and lots of bare wall space. The white built-in entertainment center has helped fill empty wall space and really "complete" the room.

    I'm really loving the solid band extension then adding a piece of original pattern trim. So thinks that's what I'll do. Replacing them all just for length at that cost seems silly.

    Everyone's ideas have been awesome and I'm feeling better about this situation every time I read more comments so thanks again so much!!! I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again as I'm a visual person when it comes to ideas and decorating is definitely not my skill but I do know what I like when I see it :)
  • Mrs Mot
    Would you post a photo here of the finished project? Would love to see it!

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