A Complete Guide to Curtains for the Coastal Home


Let’s talk about curtains. They’re one of those things that a room doesn’t *quite* feel complete without. So where do you start? Here’s a complete guide to window curtains for your coastal home!

curtains in dining room

Curtains – The Perfect Finishing Touch

Window curtains are a great way to create a light and airy look for a coastal home. Properly dressed windows can help to make a room feel complete, no matter the size of the room. A great tip to consider when decorating with curtains is to layer fabrics like linen over the windows to soften the space and make it feel cozier. When chosen properly and hung the correct way, curtains can help give a room balance and texture.

If you are needing a special size or you have your eye on a specific fabric pattern, you can always opt to choose custom-made window curtains. Otherwise, there are many retail options available both online and in-store. Throughout this complete guide, we will be discussing some of my favorite options in addition to choosing the right hardware and lastly, how to hang them properly.

Choosing the Right Curtains

The CASS go-to material for window curtains is definitely a linen fabric. Linen creates a light and airy environment to perfectly achieve a coastal look. Because the fabric is not uniform, it adds more texture naturally.

If you are looking for a more formal look, pleated curtains are a great option. A refined look is easy to accomplish with pleats. Some of my favorite rooms to use pinch pleats in are bathrooms, formal living rooms, or dining rooms. Lined curtains are great to pair with pleated curtains because the weight will help the pleats hold up from ceiling to floor.

As always with any coastal decor, light colors tend to work best. A mixture of light tans, blues, and whites will do the trick in completing that look. Here are a few of my favorite options:

Sizing and Hanging Curtains

A few tips to consider when sizing and hanging your curtains…


Hang them high! Curtains hung higher create height in a room, which is optimal no matter how high your ceilings are. Ideally, hang your curtains around 8-10” above the window frame. They can be higher, though, even if this means they are closer to the ceiling. Just make sure to leave 2-3” from the ceiling or crown molding.


Your window curtains should graze the floor. A slight “puddle” of 1-2” will create a more relaxed look. Measure to the height of recommended hanging to ensure you order the size you need. Do not use high waters! You never want curtains that do not touch the floor.

Use Curtain Rods

When using a curtain rod with your window curtains, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, the curtain rods should extend past the window frame. This allows the most amount of light into a room and maximizes the view. You will need to hang curtains so that they can be pulled completely away from the window to take advantage of that lighting and view.

When measuring, your rod should extend 6-12″ from the window frame. I promise that this will make your windows feel wider and grander. That is where you can embody that “homey-ness” in your room.

Fullness of the Curtains

If you are wanting to accomplish a more formal look, double the fullness of your curtains. To keep that full look when curtains are closed, fuller curtain panels will work best. The rule of thumb is 2 – 2.5x the amount of curtain fabric to window size. This may only be needed in rooms where curtains will be closed some of the time, such as in a bedroom or bathroom. If you do this in your living or dining room, it will make the space feel too heavy. In those spaces, curtains should be more decorative. Since you do not typically open or close curtains in these spaces, you can achieve a more relaxed look with less fabric.

curtains in bedroom

Curtain Rods, Rings, and Hardware

Curtain hardware can definitely help to pull a room together. Your hardware should complement the style of the room – it’s important to keep cohesiveness in mind when choosing your selections.

Use materials that you have in the space already. Black is a great option if you have doors with black knobs and hinges. Black can provide an anchor to the space, especially when paired with the right curtain color.

Gold is another great option, especially if you are wanting a lighter and more modern look. Keep in mind that gold hardware should complement the other gold pieces in your space, rather than distract from iat. For example, if you have an antique gold mirror, gold curtain hardware will complement it best if it is antique gold. Your rings and rod should be the same gold color as well.

Lucite is also another great option. I love lucite when going for a more modern look. The same rule applies here. If you have lamps, mirrors, or picture frames with this material, you can pull off lucite curtain rods. Keep it cohesive!

Here are a few of my favorite curtain hardware options:

Tricky Hanging Situations

Want to achieve the perfect curtain look but have a some spots that don’t have the perfect setup in your home? Here’s how to tackle them!

curtains in dining room


If your windows are near the corner of a room, have no fear! You can still have beautiful window curtains in this type of arrangement. One way to do this is by creating an illusion of one seamless rod. Then, blend the curtains with your panels. Another option is to purchase a connector.

Different Window Heights

You see this often when there are sliding glass or french doors in a room. The rule of thumb here is to always hang the curtain rods at the same height in that room. Even with differing window heights, aim for the highest and then match the other rods to this one.

Curtains really do add a designer touch to a space. With so many options, you can succeed to get a look that is effortless and chic. They do so much for a space, and when done right, they really elevate the look. With these tips, you can be well on your way to styling all the windows in your home!

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  1. Hi Linda! I love the Pottery Barn linen drapes! This is what I recommend. I do not currently have any curtains for sale.

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