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How to Choose the Perfect Narrow Curtains for Tall and Skinny Windows

05 Apr 2024 0 Comments
 Curtains for Tall and Skinny Windows

Hi there! It's James from Do you have tall, skinny windows in your home? They can be tricky to dress with the right window treatment. But don't worry - we'll help you find the perfect curtains for narrow windows.

The key goals for your tall window curtains are:

  • Controlling the light that enters the room with room darkening or blackout curtains
  • Providing privacy with curtain panels or blinds
  • Making your room look nice with stylish drapes and home decor

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Main Section Key Takeaway
Measuring Narrow Windows Carefully measure the width, height, and depth of your narrow windows. This ensures you get the right size curtains for a perfect fit.
Curtain Heading Styles Consider grommet tops for a modern look, rod pockets for affordability, pinch pleats for elegance, or ripplefold for sliding doors. Choose a style that complements your decor.
Fabric and Color Use lightweight fabrics like linen or cotton. Bold colors/patterns make windows appear wider, while neutrals blend in. Match curtains to walls for taller look.
Curtain Sizes Get curtain panels 1.5-3x the window width for a full look. Hang rods 4-6" above frame and extend 3-6" on sides to make windows look taller/wider.
Light Control Options Layer with sheer curtains for some privacy, blackout curtains for full darkness, or light-filtering curtains for a soft glow during the day.
Custom vs Ready-Made Custom curtains ensure perfect fit but are pricier. Ready-made are cheaper but may need alterations. Customize store-bought with trims, clips, or layering.
Alternative Treatments Consider roman shades, roller shades, vertical blinds, or shutters as alternatives to curtains for narrow windows.
Mixing Window Treatments Coordinate curtain colors/patterns with walls, furniture, and accessories. Mix textures and styles thoughtfully for a layered look.


Measuring Your Tall Narrow Windows

Before buying narrow window curtains, measure your windows carefully. This will ensure your custom window coverings fit perfectly.

Here's how to measure:

  1. Use a steel measuring tape.
  2. Measure the width of the window frame at the top, middle, and bottom.
  3. Write down the smallest measurement for your curtains for narrow windows.
  4. Decide where you want your curtain rod to hang from and the curtain panels to fall to.
  5. Measure from the top of the frame to where you want the drapes to end.
  6. Add extra inches for the curtain rod placement and breaks at the bottom.

Curtain Size Guide for Tall Skinny Windows

Width Length
28" to 50" per curtain panel 63", 84", 95", 108", 120"
  • For a full look, aim for curtains 1.5-2.5x the window width
  • Mount the curtain rod 4-6" above the frame for a standard look
  • For a dramatic effect, mount the rod just below the ceiling

At Doclewe, all curtains are made to measure to fit your unique windows. 

Drape Heading Styles for Narrow Windows

The heading style impacts how your tall window curtains look and function.

Here are 4 options that work well for narrow windows:

Grommet Tops

  • Metal rings in the curtain panel slide on the curtain rod

  • Grommet tops are easy to open and close

  • Give a modern, simple look to your window treatment


  • Sleek, contemporary appearance

  • Durable metal grommets

  • Smooth gliding on the rod


  • Can be noisy when opening/closing

  • Limited compatibility with certain rods

  • Grommets can pull out of fabric over time

Rod Pockets

  • A pocket at the top of the curtain slides onto the curtain rod

  • Creates a casual, gathered look

  • Good for small windows or narrow door spaces


  • Easy to hang without additional hardware

  • Affordable and widely available

  • Suits many decor styles


  • Difficult to open and close smoothly

  • Limits natural light when opened

  • Fabric can wear down over rod over time

Pinch Pleats

  • Evenly spaced pleats sewn into the curtain header

  • Pleats are pinched together and fan out

  • Give an elegant, tailored look to tall skinny windows

  • Make narrow windows appear even taller


  • Sophisticated, formal appearance

  • Adds fullness and structure

  • Elongates the look of tall windows


  • More expensive due to fabric requirements

  • Can appear too formal for some spaces

  • Pleats may require more maintenance


  • Use a special track and tape system

  • Create even, modern-looking ripples in the curtain panels

  • Stack neatly to the side of the window when open

  • Great for patio doors or limited side space


  • Sleek, uniform wave pattern

  • Compact stacking when opened

  • Ideal for sliding doors and large windows


  • Requires a specific track system

  • Can be costly to install

  • Waves can lose shape over time

Interior designers recommend choosing a heading style that complements your room's overall aesthetic.

For example, grommet tops work well in modern spaces, while pinch pleats suit more traditional decor.

Fabric & Color Tips for Narrow Window Curtain

fabric and color selection

The fabric and color you choose makes a big impact on your interior design. Here are some tips:

  • Use lightweight fabrics like cotton, linen, or sheers
  • Avoid heavy, bulky materials that overpower the narrow windows
  • Bold colors or large patterns draw attention and make windows look wider
  • Neutral tones or small patterns create balance and blend in
  • Match the curtain color to the wall to make tall windows appear taller

A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that using blackout curtains can improve sleep quality by up to 25%.

For bedrooms with tall, narrow windows, consider using room darkening curtains in a heavyweight fabric to block out light and noise.

Curtain Sizes & Hanging Tips for Tall Skinny Windows

Choosing the right curtain size and hanging your window coverings well makes a big difference.

  • For a full look, get curtain panels 1.5 to 3 times the window width
  • Floor-length curtains go from the top to the floor
  • Apron-length drapes hang 1-3 inches below the sill
  • Floating curtains hang 2-6 inches below the sill
  • Sill-length short curtains end right at the sill

To make your tall narrow windows look taller and wider:

  • Hang the curtain rod 4-6 inches above the frame
  • Extend the rod 3-6 inches on each side of the window
  • Use a sturdy rod that won't sag with long curtain panels
  • Consider using double rods for a layered look

With these tips, you can find the perfect curtains for tall skinny windows in your home. Measure carefully, pick the right heading style, fabric, color and size. Hang them high and wide to enhance the beauty of your unique windows.

Light Control & Layering Options For Tall Windows

light control and layered window treatment for tall windows

You need to think about light control and layering options. This will help you create a space that works well and looks good.

Here are some popular choices for managing light and privacy:

Sheer Curtains

Sheer curtains are a great option for tall skinny windows in living spaces. They give you a balance of light and privacy.

Allow light: Sheer curtains let natural light come through. This makes the room bright and airy. They are perfect for spaces where you want to feel open and connected to the outdoors.

Provide some privacy: Sheer curtains don't give you complete privacy. But they do provide a subtle barrier between your room and the outside world. They can make it harder to see into your room without completely blocking the view. This makes them a good choice for windows that face the street.

Ideal for living spaces: Sheer curtains work well in living rooms, dining rooms, and other shared areas. They help maintain a light, welcoming feel.

Blackout Curtains & Room Darkening Curtains

Blackout curtains are made to block out all light. This makes them an excellent choice for bedrooms or media rooms.

Block light: Blackout curtains have a thick, opaque lining that stops light from coming through. This makes them ideal for creating a dark, sleep-friendly environment at any time of day.

Provide full privacy: Blackout curtains are thick and not see-through. They offer complete privacy from the outside world. This is especially important in bedrooms or other spaces where you want total privacy.

Good for bedrooms: Blackout curtains are a popular choice for bedrooms. They help create a dark, peaceful atmosphere that's good for sleep. They can also be helpful in nurseries or children's rooms, where midday naps are important.

Light-Filtering Curtains

Light-filtering curtains are a middle ground between sheer and blackout options. They allow some light to pass through while still providing some privacy. They are a good choice for rooms where you want a softer, more diffused light.

Layering Options

For flexible light control and style, think about layering sheer and opaque curtains on your tall skinny windows.

This allows you to adjust the amount of light and privacy throughout the day by opening or closing the different layers.

For example, you can keep the sheer curtains closed for a soft, filtered light during the day. Then you can close the opaque curtains at night for complete privacy.

Lining Options

To make your curtains better at insulating, consider lining them with blackout or thermal materials. This can help reduce drafts and keep the temperature in your room more comfortable all year. Blackout lining also provides an extra layer of light control. Thermal lining can help reduce noise from outside.

By carefully choosing your light control and layering options, you can create a customized window treatment that meets your specific needs for privacy, light management, and style. Feel free to mix and match different types of curtains to create a look that's both functional and beautiful.

Custom vs Ready-Made Narrow Curtains


custom made or ready made curtains

When shopping for curtains for your tall skinny windows, you'll need to choose between custom and ready-made options. Here are some things to think about:

Custom Curtains

Custom curtains are made to your exact measurements. They ensure a perfect fit for your challenging tall narrow windows.

You can choose the exact fabric, color, pattern, and heading style that you like and that goes well with your decor. Custom options are ideal if you have windows with unusual sizes or if you want a truly personalized look.

Ready-Made Curtains

Ready-made curtains are cheaper than custom options and are widely available in standard sizes. But they may not fit your tall skinny windows perfectly and may need alterations. If you have windows with standard sizes and are working with a limited budget, ready-made curtains can be a practical choice.

Customizing Store-Bought Curtains

If you choose ready-made curtains, there are several ways to customize them to better fit your tall skinny windows:

Hem the curtains to the perfect length using fusible hem tape or a sewing machine.

Add decorative trim, tassels, or fringe to the edges of the curtains for a personalized touch.

Use curtain clips or rings to attach the curtains to the rod, creating a custom heading style.

Layer ready-made curtains with custom valances or cornices for a tailored look.

By combining ready-made curtains with custom elements, you can achieve a personalized look without the full cost of custom curtains.

Alternative Window Treatments

Curtains are a popular choice for tall skinny windows. There are several alternative window treatments that can also work well:

Roman Shades

Roman shades are a sleek, modern alternative to curtains. They fold up neatly when raised and provide a clean, tailored look when lowered. Roman shades work well in contemporary or minimalist spaces and can be customized with a variety of fabrics and colors.

Roller Shades

Roller shades are another modern option for tall skinny windows. They offer a simple, streamlined look and are easy to use. Roller shades come in a range of materials, from sheer to blackout, and can be customized with different colors and patterns.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are a practical choice for tall skinny windows, especially in spaces like home offices or sliding glass doors. They offer excellent light control and privacy and can be easily adjusted to suit your needs. Vertical blinds come in a variety of materials, including fabric, vinyl, and wood.


Shutters provide a classic, timeless look for tall skinny windows. They offer excellent light control and privacy and can be customized to fit your window sizes perfectly. Shutters are available in a range of materials, including wood, vinyl, and composite.

Mixing & Matching Curtains with Other Decor Elements

You need to think about how curtains will coordinate with other decor elements in your room.

Here are some tips for mixing and matching curtains with your existing decor:

Color Coordination

Choose curtain colors that complement or contrast with your wall color, furniture, and accessories.

If your room has a neutral color scheme, think about adding a pop of color with your curtains.

If your room already has bold colors or patterns, choose curtains in a neutral shade to balance the look.

Pattern Play

Don't be afraid to mix patterns in your room, including your curtains. The key is to choose patterns that share a common color palette and vary in scale.

You could pair a large-scale floral curtain with a small-scale striped rug or a geometric-patterned throw pillow. By mixing patterns thoughtfully, you can create a dynamic, visually interesting space.

Texture Mixing

Adding different textures in your room can add depth and dimension to your decor.

When choosing curtains, think about how their texture will interact with other elements in the room.

For example, a smooth, silky curtain can provide a nice contrast to a rough, woven rug or a plush, velvet sofa.

By mixing textures, you can create a rich, layered look that feels inviting and comfortable.

Style Consistency

While mixing and matching different elements in your room, you need to maintain a consistent overall style.

If your room has a modern, minimalist look, choose curtains with clean lines and simple patterns.

If your room has a more traditional or bohemian vibe, choose curtains with more ornate details or bold, eclectic patterns.

Keep your room's overall style in mind. This will help ensure that your curtains and other decor elements work together harmoniously.

Shop Custom Curtains for Narrow Windows at Dolcewe

At, we offer custom size curtains made just for tall and narrow windows.

  • High-quality curtain panels in your exact size
  • Many styles, fabrics, colors and patterns to suit any home decor
  • Prices start at just $26.99 per single curtain panel
  • Enjoy free shipping on orders over $199
  • Extra 10% off when you sign up for our newsletter

Visit today to find the perfect narrow window curtains for your home!

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