DottyStripes Blog

Saturday Spotlight – Curtains: one large panel or two smaller? Before you decide…


Today I wanted to share one of those thoughts that may not be at the fore of your mind when deciding on your ideally fitting curtains.

This came about as I was speaking to a customer of ours who was considering her options…

One of the constraints, she said, was lack of space around the window area for two symmetrical panels. She was therefore thinking of having one large panel instead.

To make it easier to visualise this I have created this drawing below:

Blog pic2

Before you jump with joy and get excited about the extra saving you can make by going for one panel instead of two, let me just say this:

The obvious point about having one large panel is that is requires more space on the side of the window than a single one of a regular width. To be precise, it requires an extra 9” (23cm) compared to a regular one (the regular width being 54”, 137cm). So, if you have a window with perhaps a piece of furniture right next to it on one side but nothing on the other then that would work.

The less obvious point relates to a curtain rail. To accommodate that extra width without the curtain blocking the light during the day, it has to be at least12″ (30cm) longer than the window frame. But of course, you don’t want to buy a really long pole that will “stick out” on both sides of the windows so you need to mount it asymmetrically. From my experience this job usually gets done before the curtains are bought so that means two things:

– re-fixing the pole again!!

– compromising that the curtain will be visible in the window more than it should. Not so bad when you have sheer curtains, but with blackouts you would miss out on the natural light.

And whilst on the subject of saving space – if you really need a “slim” curtain solution then the right curtain header can help you achieve it. The number one option will always be an eyelet header.

Here is the summary of how the main headers compare with one another:

Header type

Measurements when flat

Window coverage when drawn

Space required when pulled back

Eyelets 54” (137cm) 41” (104cm) 6″-8″ (15cm)
Tab tops 54” (137cm) 51” (130cm) 12″ (30cm)
Curtain tape 54” (137cm) 51” (130cm) 10″ (25cm)

This may be a bit technical but, as they say, the devil is in the detail and it a well-thought solution will not only look so much better but it will be also be more practical. And that I think matters in a kid’s room.

(Cover image credit: The Elegant Abode)