The Striking, Minimalist Allure of One-Side Window Curtains

Curtains pulled to one side, also known as side drapes, are a stylish alternative to traditional window treatments. Hanging curtains on just one side maintains privacy while allowing bountiful natural light to stream in. The look is chic, contemporary and full of minimalist allure. Read on to discover everything you need to know about crafting this breezy, beautiful style in your own home.

Style and Design Elements

Choosing Fabrics

Since side drapes are all about maintaining an airy, spacious ambiance, lightweight and breezy fabrics are best. Solid colors, subtle stripes, or small-scale florals all lend themselves beautifully to the casual gathered effect of pulling curtains to one side. Avoid anything too dark or noisy. Delicate, light-filtering materials like linen, soft cottons, and lightly textured sheers are perfect for achieving that effortless drape. Consider your home’s overall aesthetic – splashes of color can enliven neutrals or opt for tonal shades to complement bold accent walls. Just be sure your drapes can billow gently at the hint of a breeze. The movement contributes to the light and spacious mood.

Curtain Length and Shape

Floor-length curtains make the most dramatic statement for wide windows or high ceilings. The excess fabric pooling elegantly on the floor enhances the breezy effect. However, for safety, consider stopping just above baseboards if small children or pets frequent the room. For smaller windows, sill or apron length curtains still allow light through the uncovered lower pane. Whatever the length, allow for extra so the side drapes can artfully ripple and stack. Hang panels wider than the window itself to help the fabric gather. You can opt for sleek inverted box pleats but the casual rumpled look has more relaxed flair.

Rod Placement

One of the beauties of single side curtains is seeing the rod used decoratively. Extend the rod a foot or two beyond the window frame and mount it on the wall above. Ceiling mounted rods are another option for drawing the eye up and highlighting high ceilings. Use multiple rods on extra wide windows for a layered look. Place them slightly apart to add dimensional intrigue. Just be sure to securely anchor into studs for safety and stability. Heavy drapes add weight so robust metal rods are best.

curtains pulled to one side

Windows and Rooms That Shine with Side Drapes

Living Rooms

The crowning jewel of open concept living? A set of breezy side drapes softening an airy living space. The exposed windows heighten the sense of space while the gentle textures add cozy softness. Sunlight freely brightens the room but curtains filter any harsh glare. And the gathered panels draw the eye upwards, perfect for modern homes with soaring ceilings. The look says casual sophistication with none of the closed-off gloom of traditional treatments covering every inch of glass.


Nothing welcomes lazy weekend mornings like side drapes kissed gently by the sunrise. Let the morning light gradually brighten your space while soft panels filter any harshness. The fabrics add a touch of texture without darkening the room. Your bedding pops brighter against the open backdrop. And the airy ambiance boosts relaxation for a better night’s sleep. Just be sure to extend panels wide enough to help insulate against cold drafts at night.


Bring the glow of natural light to kitchen prep zones while maintaining a sense of privacy from neighbors. The breezy effect makes small kitchens appear more spacious. Just be sure to coordinate with window placement. For example, opt for side drapes on windows above sinks or stovetops to allow light where you need it most. Balance uncovered windows beside dining nooks or banquettes where the sunlight is welcome.

Home Offices

One-side curtain panels do double duty in home offices. First, they filter glare that can distract from computer screens. Second, they contribute to a tranquil environment ideal for concentration. The casual elegance softens an industrial or ultra-modern aesthetic. Or make a statement by selecting drapes in one of your brand’s signature colors. Just be sure to match the informal vibe by allowing enchanting breezes to billow through.

Hanging One-Side Curtains

Taking Precise Measurements

Achieving the artfully rumpled look relies on taking careful measurements. Note the exact height and width of each window being covered. Decide the optimal curtain length based on your room’s proportions. Measure how far you’d like the rod to extend beyond the frames. And if mounting from the ceiling, calculate the ideal height above the window. Having these measurements ensures properly fitted panels that stack and gather beautifully to one side. Feel free to ask for assistance at fabric stores.

Rod Installation

Mount sturdy bracket rods securely by screwing into wall studs or ceiling joists. Check that they’re perfectly straight and level. Extend the width to your desired measurements. For ceiling mounts, consider safer tension rods that slip into place without screws or nails. Always test for stability and double check for any hazards, especially in homes with pets or young children. Proper installation prevents accidents from curtains pulled down.

Fabric Calculations

Fabric estimates require a few simple calculations. Start by multiplying your total window height by the width. This gives the minimum square footage needed. But allow for 6 or more inches of extra width to achieve optimal side gathering. Multiply again using the greater width. Finally, divide by the standard fabric width of 54 inches to determine the number of panels required. Plan for extra panels on wider windows so you can layer for a luxe look.

Safety Tips

Breezy, beautiful side drapes elevate any space when hung properly and safely. Consider the following precautions:

  • Use lighter weight curtain rods mounted securely into studs
  • Prevent trip hazards by keeping floor length drapes from puddling
  • Ensure ceiling mounts are stable and use tension rods when possible
  • Keep fabrics well above the reach of pets or young children

Take time to carefully inspect for any risks of curtains being tugged down or posing strangulation hazards. Err on the side of caution to prevent tragic accidents, especially in homes with kids and pets.

Achieving the Minimalist Look

Compliment your breezy new side drapes with decor that enhances the minimalist aesthetic. Clear clutter and aim for fewer, more meaningful accents. Think sculptural lighting, artful ceramics, and sleek or natural wood tones. Crisp white walls or neutral shades make the perfect palette. Save punches of color for occasional throw pillows, vases, or objets d’art. The goal is to let those billowing drapes stand out as the room’s focal point. Their striking yet simple style sets the tone. Keep things light and uncluttered to let their casual elegance shine.

One-side window curtains, also called side drapes, unlock the beauty of bright and airy interiors. Their artful elegance transforms any space from dull to quietly dramatic. Follow the tips above to nail the minimalist style from fabric selection to proper hanging. Then sit back and admire the curtains’ breathtaking dance in the breeze. Those striking panels reveal windows anew. So go ahead – draw back one side and let the light in!

Sometimes, uneven walls or ceilings can cause side drapes to appear off center. Adjust rod positions to compensate. Distribute curtain weight evenly to prevent tilting. In windy areas, firmly secure heavy rods and fabrics. And replace sagging curtains over time to maintain that perfectly breezy look. With smart solutions, minor issues won’t detract from the luminous style and allure of your one-side window curtains.

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