Are Your Living Room’s Pants Too Tight?

“A pretty room with poorly hung curtains is like a beautiful, pulled-together lady wearing way ‘too-small pants’. It cheapens everything else, stands out in a jarring way and just makes everyone feel uncomfortable.”

This quote from Emily Henderson is one of my FAVORITE quotes about interior design. (It’s a hilarious visual, and it also reminds me of this Jimmy Fallon sketch. “Everybody’s talkin bout my tight pants!) Emily’s website, Style By Emily Henderson, is full of helpful and enjoyable resources for home styling. (She literally wrote the book on it.) One of my favorite series from Emily is about the most common design mistakes she sees on a regular basis, and how to avoid them. “Hanging Curtains All Wrong” is probably the mistake I see the most often, and until this week I was a major offender! I didn’t plan to hang the curtains all wrong, because I read her post a long time ago and knew about “proper curtain etiquette”.

The thing is, when you don’t have a small fortune to spend on “proper” window treatments, you just do what you can.

Last year, Ben and I bought the cheapest white Ikea curtains to go on the living room corner of the front porch.


Then a few months ago, I decided to see what it would look like to bring them inside, and I loved how cozy and bright it felt. I knew that the curtains were technically “too short”, and the mismatched curtain rods were “too low” according to the interior design pros.


We still didn’t have any curtains in the dining room, but we wanted some kind of window covering because anyone on our sidewalk had a front row seat to our dinners. I thought that buying curtains for the dining room would be a good opportunity to replace all of the curtain rods and find some “proper” curtains for the living room. Emily was right. The living room’s pants were too tight.

Here’s what the living room looked like before (with “too-tight pants”), and after (with “appropriately sized pants”).


(snapped with my iPhone right before hanging new curtains)






(also snapped on my iPhone after we spent MUCH longer than expected on this project)

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I was SO surprised at how much of a difference long curtains made! Raising the rod from overlapping the wood trim to about 2/3 of the way to the ceiling makes the entire room feel taller and a bit more sophisticated.

The dining room feels great, too! They’re technically too short for proper curtain etiquette, but it doesn’t bother me in here.




I would recommend Emily’s extensive post for all of the details about choosing the right curtains for your space, and how to hang them properly. I’ve found that Ikea is the cheapest place to purchase curtains, but if you would like to support my blog through affiliate links here are a few great options from Target and Amazon! (Just make sure to measure your windows to determine what length you will need.)

Are your living room’s pants too tight? I know mine were! This simple switch added a lot of sophistication to our living room. Properly hanging curtains might help elevate your space as well!

Here are a few of my current favorite’s from Target, as well as a decorating hack that could save you some money! If you purchase any Target product using one of the affiliate links below, I will receive a small percent commission. I read reviews on all of these products to make sure I’m not advertising something I wouldn’t buy myself! Thanks for reading!

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Floral Curtains from Target

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Embroidered Curtains from Target

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White Curtains from Target (I’m IN LOVE with everything about this room! The sage panelling, the white curtains, black rod, eucalyptus, and hint of yellow? Beautiful!)

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Also, if you want curtains but you don’t have a lot of money to spend, I’ve found that shower curtains can be a cheaper option! They are usually 72″ and are often available in fun prints. I bought shower curtains to use as window treatments on our upstairs porch. Here are a few of my favorite shower curtains currently available at Target.

Dark Floral Shower Curtain

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Pastel Floral Shower Curtain

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Striped Shower Curtain

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Mudcloth Inspired Shower Curtain

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Of course you could also use the shower curtains as curtains for your shower! But if you need 72″ curtains that are extra wide and budget friendly, buying shower curtains can be a cheaper option than traditional curtain panels!

In case you missed them, here’s a roundup of last week’s posts!

The Number One Question You Should Be Asking Before Decorating Your Home

How to Have a Disappointing Valentine’s Day

Free Valentine’s Day Print! (That would look great all year round!)

Styling a Cozy Living Room

You can also follow @hollandavenue on Instagram for daily snapshots of life and more home styling tips!

One thought on “Are Your Living Room’s Pants Too Tight?

  1. Ready-made curtains are good value, though the fabric designs are often a bit dull and mass-market. My advice with ready-mades is to go for a classic plain – an off-white linen or cotton, or a simple stripe, then add clever trimmings, tiebacks or holdbacks to lift the look.

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