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Where should I position the curtain rod in my living room?

The question

Should the curtain rod in my living room be installed at the top of the wall, to make the ceiling look higher, or just above the window?

The answer

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I am addicted to soaring ceilings, so I like to hook my curtains as high as possible.

In a room with cornice moulding, the rod should be mounted just below the cornice line on the flat wall instead of on the shaped profile of the moulding itself. Another option is to hang the drapes from the ceiling, as long as they're wide enough to sit flush against the wall at both ends of the rod to block out the light.

Ultimately, curtain hanging is an exercise in creating drama through scale; to that end, there are many companies that sell drapes wide and long enough to do the job. My favourite drapes are made in France by a company called Madura. (If you have your own UPS account, the company will ship to Canada. You can also visit its new flagship in New York when it opens later this year.)

The material choices are endless. For more luxurious drapes, have them interlined with flannel; doing so gives the appearance of great depth and also keeps the chill at bay.

For even more fullness, choose a rod that is wider than the windows and buy drapes long enough to pool on the floor. The look, however, is more ample than sleek – think bellbottoms versus stovepipes – and, naturally, more appealing in some rooms (and to some beholders) than others.

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is an architect and interior designer. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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