How to Deal With Curtains and Baseboard Heaters

It’s a challenge! Can you hang curtains over baseboard heaters?

Cat on French upholstered bed with chandelier.

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There is a real challenge in decorating world and that is how to deal with hanging curtains when you have electric baseboard heaters in the way.

I mean, I know you shouldn’t leave curtains hanging over baseboard heaters but we rarely use our heaters. How bad can be it?

I first noticed some stains on the bottom of my curtains when I decided to add blackout fabric to these store-bought curtains and laid them out on the floor. You can see the staining on the bottom of the curtains.

I thought I spilled some water off my night stand and it trickled down to my curtains and stained them. I then went about adding blackout fabric to the curtains and never thought about it again.

You can see how much the curtains puddled on the ground in the photo below.

Sheer curtains in bedroom with white linen duvet cover.

This is photo (below) where you can see slight staining near the bottom.

Curtains laid out on floor.

Fast forward a few months and the staining was so bad I then realized it wasn’t a water stain, they were actually getting burned by the heater!

Burned curtains.

So scary! This is the excess that I cut off the curtains as I hemmed them.

Curtains with burn marks.

I did hem those curtains and used them in my bedroom for a number of years. But just recently I switched up my curtains for these ones.

Can you really hang curtains over baseboard heaters?

The answer to that question is YES as long as they are above the heaters.

These are the new curtains I just purchased and I made sure that the length of the panel hovered above the heaters.

They hover above the baseboard heater a couple of inches. The length of these curtains are 84 inches and the width is 50 inches.

Bedroom with curtains, dresser, night stand and bed.

I know curtains look best when they are floor length but when you have electric baseboard heaters under your window, you can’t have them touching. I think just above the heater looks fine.

That’s how I have them in my son’s room too.

I swear my cat just finds any place she can to get in my photos.

Cat sitting on wall shelf in a bedroom.

What if I don’t pull the curtains across?

Recently I had some custom curtains made for a client and we came across the same situation. Except as a guest room, she didn’t need full blackout curtains drawn in the room and was happy with the new roller blinds she just had installed. So we had custom curtains made just to hang on either the side of the window and not fully closed.

This isn’t the greatest photo as it was quickly snapped when the installer had finished but it gives you an idea of how they always look, never closed, always just hanging open.

I think they look so pretty!

White curtains and black curtain rod in small bedroom. with baseboard heater.

Here is a close-up of the curtains I recently purchased.

Willow tab curtain in beige 84″ panel

Close up of curtains from Willow.
Cat sitting on nightstand in bedroom beside upholstered bed.

What do you think? Do you think this is a good alternative to hanging curtains when you have electric baseboard heaters? Let me know in the comments below!

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How to deal with curtains and baseboard heaters.

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    1. Hi Iiane,
      Yes that’s a great alternative for a sunny location! My home is dark here in rainy North Vancouver so I need something that opens up completely during the day!
      Great idea for my readers though!
      Hugs, Jamie

      1. However the shutters do not block out enough light. Which is important if you are using black out curtains.

  1. Jamie, I think shades or shutters instead of long curtains are a great alternative. Perhaps homemade blinds? I know too many men design homes!!! Electrical sockets, thermostats heating and cooling vents. cold air returns. Yikes!!!!! Makes our jobs a lot harder. Good thing we are creative. Have a wonderful Spring.

    1. haha, I get it Vicky, it’s so true! Blackout shades would have been great but my roller shades are not black out and I like it really dark when I sleep. And I like the windows completely opened during the day as it’s rather dark here in North Vancouver but this is a great idea for my readers. Thank you!
      Hugs, Jamie

  2. Your color-scheme is the prettiest, most harmonious of all possible color-schemes! And I do like your new draperies, but I would kill for the old ones…had you made them yourself? So airy and feminine! Here I had almost worked up the nerve to buy new dust ruffles for our beds… and now I’m going to be dreaming about your toasted curtains instead…
    Best, Linda W.

    1. Awww, thank you Linda! I did love the curtains for a number of years too but lately have been wanting something a little more cleaner. Maybe I’ll switch back again in awhile.
      Hugs, Jamie

  3. I completely love your style! Could you please give me a source for the linen bedding folded at the foot of your bed? I’ve been looking for something just like it! Thank you!

    1. Thanks Deborah. That is two throw blankets sewn together from H&M Home. I don’t think they sell it anymore but because it is naturally ‘wrinkly’ it was easy to sew together as you can’t see the seam down the middle. Hope that helps!
      Hugs, Jamie

  4. A better solution, IMO, would be to install a roman shade, roller shade of a pretty fabric, or lined bamboo shades beneath the drapery panels and to not close the drapes. The short panels just look “off” to me. You can always wear soft eyeshades if you like it dark when you sleep.

    1. Thanks Martha! I do have a roller blind on each window but they are not black out so I’ll have to think if I want to get them replaced.
      Hugs, Jamie

  5. I don’t like the look of curtains ending above the baseboard heater. Reminds me of too short trousers “waiting for a flood”.

    1. I agree Christine. I’m at the same predicament now. I recently moved to WI and have blinds on my windows and decided to add thermal curtains too. After buying 84″ ones, I noticed every darn window has a vent under it that’s located on the baseboards and when heat came on, it was bellowing behind it going up towards the windows. I hate these vents but can’t change them and I hate the look of them “flood” look and don’t done what to do. 🤦‍♀️

  6. I so agree. High water pants is what I liken those too-short curtains to, as you point out in other words.

  7. I just hung curtains in our condo’s bedrooms with baseboard heaters directly under each window. These window do have blinds but they aren’t perfect privacy when it’s dark outside (city environment) and light inside. I went with 63″ standard curtains and they “kiss” the window sill (and are 2″ above the hot baseboard heater). You absolutely can’t put design sensibility over fire hazards… I choose safety EVERY TIME. There is a fire risk to curtains brushing baseboard heaters, don’t do it. Design issues don’t break you heart, losing someone to a preventable accident will.

  8. I want to hang sheers in my bedroom that also has baseboard heaters. My house is older (built in 1960) with a 13 inch space above window frame. How far up can I hang the rod to give a more elongated look? Thanks.

    1. Hi Diane,
      I would hang them in the middle of that space above the window frame. So if the space is 13 inches, I would hang them 6 inches above the window frame.
      Hope that helps!
      Hugs, Jamie

  9. how far away from the heater is your bedside table? have you had issues with the wood being exposed to heat?

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