The One-Inch Way to Make Your Home Look More Welcoming

May 11, 2017

When certain parts of life run too long—meetings, for example, or neckties, or wedding toasts—there's a good case for trying for an abridged version next time. But when you're talking curtains, bed skirts, slipcovers, or any fabric that flirts with the ground in your home, adding a few extra inches is all that stands between you and a much more relaxed (and yet smartly styled) feel.

And with so much of home design tending towards minimalism, a little bit of pooling fabric might just be the touch that makes things feel cozy and homey rather than austere (plus, it's extra forgiving of sloping old floors).

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Here are a few tips for pulling off the look.

1. Use a quality fabric.

Whether you go with something silkier (like organza), more structured (like velvet), or airy (like linen), the pooling effect will show off its structure—so cheap fabric will read that way.

2. Don't do it everywhere.

This look can give off a messy feel if you overdo it, so don't pool more than one fabric or furnishing in a room. Metal or wood pieces on furniture legs will keep the overall appearance cleaner.

Linen maintains its structure as it gathers.

3. Aim for an added 1 to 3 extra inches.

Going even more overboard (adding six whole inches, let's say) will look extra—maybe overly—romantic, and at that length you might be fluffing and futzing with them, to get them to way the way you like, more than admiring them.

4. Skip other frills.

Adding trim along the bottom, pleating, or ruffles will take this look from casual to fruffy very quick; a simple panel, doubling over or puffing up, is more elegant than any bells and whistles could be.

Quilts and blankets can spill over the sides of a bed, too.

5. Customize.

In the literal sense, it's going to be easier to get this effect if you have an upholsterer create a custom panel length—though alternatively, you could let out a standard curtain length's hem a few inches to make it work.

6. Don't limit pooling to curtains.

Think beyond curtains and bed skirts: Slip covers, tablecloths, and shower curtains (the washable, don't-mind-getting-wet variety) could all be barely pooled, too.

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This post was originally published in June 2016.

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Sarah C. July 1, 2018
This was done in New Orleans to show off your excess income, and is still done in older homes.
William D. May 17, 2017
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bookjunky May 14, 2017
This might work if you live in a high rise apartment with no pets or dust. For everyone else, who would want to deal with trying to clean around this?
Whiteantlers May 13, 2017
No thanks. I don't need dust catchers.
mrslarkin May 11, 2017
I'd trip over everything and die.
fitzie May 11, 2017
And what about my animals? Had them once and they looked great until I found the dog sleeping on them. Shortened them immediately.
Lauren June 4, 2016
Living in the desert, the photos of bedding touching the floor gives me the shivers. That's just inviting scorpions into your bed.
Rosy September 25, 2016
Yes! I'm from Phoenix and that's exactly what I think too. I love the look, but those scorpions are so sneaky.
bookjunky June 2, 2016
Yes, this look goes great with the daily shedding from my two 100 pound furry friends.
702551 June 1, 2016
Yes, if you go for this, make sure you have a housekeeper and budget some extra money in your dry cleaning bill for periodic refreshes
M June 1, 2016
I like the look, but like many popular styles (open shelving!), a nightmare to clean.
fearlessem June 1, 2016
Yes! I have velvet curtains that pool at the bottom, and they are like a cozy home for wayward dust bunnies.