The Curtain Exchange

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Half-Inch Breaks Versus Puddled Curtains: What’s your Design Style?

While there are many window treatment options at The Curtain Exchange of New Orleans, one, in particular, is beginning to trend. Utilizing a half-inch break – or hanging curtains with no more than half an inch of fabric on the floor – has some advantages over a longer style, such as puddling fabric. Curtains that puddle leave several inches of fabric resting on the floor, for the desired puddle effect.

The advantage to using an inch break is less (or no) curtain with which to contend during sweeping, mopping, vacuuming or steaming floors, as some report that the curtains catch dust and have to be cleaned more often than curtains that do not rest on the ground. Of course, all curtains will eventually need to be cleaned, so the issue is really how often you are willing to have them cleaned.

Puddling curtains remains a popular option, though, for those looking for a dramatic flair for their windows. Puddled curtains can vary in length of fabric draped on the floor, but the average puddle is about four inches of material on the floor.  For something in between a puddle and no puddle at all, try a break of one or two inches, with the fabric just folding onto the floor.

Puddling is a traditional window treatment option once used to symbolize wealth by using excessive materials and to prevent cold drafts that were wont to permeate the spaces around a window due to ineffective insulation. Puddled curtains create a bold, opulent look that would be appropriate in more traditionally styled rooms.

When deciding on the length of your curtains, the important thing is to go with your overall vision of a room and to stay true to it. Just remember to always take into account the fabric cleaning requirements, and choose a style that you will be able to maintain. 

Remodeling and Home Design


3936 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
United States
Store: (504) 897-2444
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Customer Reviews:

“An urgent rush for window treatments need not be the mother of convention.”

House and Garden, June 2005

“While an antique bed is the focus of the room, it is covered in sumptuous fabrics that pick up the iridescence of the wall treatment and [Curtain Exchange] silk curtains.”

New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, Decorators’ Show House X, Spring 2002

“A treasure trove of curtains in New Orleans.”

Window Fashions, February 2001