Decorative Curtains and Drapes
by Giorgina Devereaux
Decorative curtains and drapes add elegance and sophistication to any window and are an affordable and easy way of transforming a room from drab to fabulous.
In addition to the beauty curtains and drapes offer, they add substantial insulation value, especially when lined or used in conjunction with blinds or shades.
Decorative curtains and drapes
are perfect for the living room, family room, formal dining room, bedroom,
kitchen, office, and may be used to separate a master bedroom retreat or private
What is the Difference between a Curtain and a Drape?
Now you may be
asking yourself, what is the difference between a curtain and a drape?
The major difference between curtains and drapes is that curtains generally are not lined and drapes are lined. With curtains, the fabric on the front and back is the same fabric. This light, airy, and translucent effect of unlined fabric is actually popular. With drapes, there is decorative fabric on the front, with a fabric lining on the back.
While decorative curtains and
drapes function to block light, sound, heat, and cold, and are very decorative,
traditionally, curtains functioned to filter outdoor light as well as block
light when drawn. Also, curtains are considered informal and are generally
Traditionally, windows were treated with three types of decorative curtains:
In formal rooms that had high
ceilings, curtains were topped with a cornice or a valance in order to conceal
the hardware. This type of style later carried into our current time period for
Generally, if the curtains or drapes are longer, then it is considered more formal. On the other hand, shorter lengths imply a casual, relaxed, and informal look. It all depends on what your personal preference is and what function you would like the curtains or drapes to serve.
For a romantic setting, extra long decorative curtains or drapes should be used and should puddle the floor. In the kitchen, curtains that touch the sill or fall to the bottom of the window trim are ideal. A den or family room looks sophisticated with drapes or curtains that reach the floor. If the curtains fall short of the floor and end at the top of the floor moldings, it will look awkward. Also, if the curtains are hung too high, simply lower them.
Keep in mind that when selecting a
fabric for curtains or drapes that you consider where these window treatments
will be located since some rooms receive a lot of direct sun. Fabrics, such as
silk, may be damaged with excessive sun exposure, and therefore are not suitable
for certain rooms.
Other fabrics, such as cotton and rayon are perfect for curtains and drapes, but tend to wrinkle easily. While brocade fabric looks lovely in a formal setting because of its room darkening characteristics, it is not ideal for the kitchen, which should typically feature curtains that are light and airy.
Decorative curtains and drapes are available in the following styles:
Here are some ideas on how to give the window of different shapes and sizes a balanced look using curtains, drapes, and hardware:
Decorative Curtains and Drapes are available in the following panel styles:
Casual Pleat Panels
treatments will provide an exciting and fresh look to your windows.
type of window treatment features pleats that are sewn in a casual and
Casual pleat panels are available in custom widths up to 181” and lengths up to 144”.
Cuffed Top Panels
Cuffed top panels
feature rod pocket styling, with triple cuffs spaced ½” apart, starting 4” below
the panel top.
Flounce Top Panels
A flounce top panel
consists of a 12” tall flounce panel and a 6” panel valance.
Grommet panels offer a contemporary style. It has 1 ½” diameter grommets available in black, chrome, or brushed nickel, which are sure to complement your fabric choice.
These panels are available in custom widths up to 181” and lengths up to 144”.
Hidden Tab Panels
Hidden tab panels have a modern look and are tailored with 2” x 3” tabs spaced at 5” intervals. Other details include 3” double turned heading and a 4” double turned hem that is weighted. This gives your panels extra body and ensures that the window treatments will hang straight.
This beautiful window treatment is ideal for French doors and smaller windows. Hourglass panels are available in two widths and you can opt for fabric tiebacks. These panels are available in custom sizes with a height up to 108” and 24” or 48” widths.
Parisian Pleat Panels
This classic pinch pleat is perfect for formal rooms. You may select a ring top for use with decorative hardware or drapery pins for use with traversing drapery hardware.
Parisian pleat panels are available in custom widths up to 181” and lengths up to 144”.
Pinch Pleat Panels
Pinch pleat panels
are a variation of the classic French pleated window treatments. It features
3-finger pleats that are pinched approximately 1 ½” from the heading to create a
These window treatments are available in custom widths up to 181” and lengths up to 144”.
Ring top panels hang through the use of rings. You may select from various ring styles and finishes for that lovely finishing touch. These window treatments are available in custom widths up to 175” and lengths up to 144”.
Rod Pocket Panels
Rod pocket panels offer clean, simple lines, and have a shirred rod pocket style that is fabulous both as a stand alone window treatment and as a sheer undertreatment.
For rods that are up to 1 3/8” diameter choose a 2 ¾” pocket and for rods that are up to 2”, choose a 4” pocket. Rod pocket panels are available in custom widths up to 175” and lengths up to 144”.
Shirred Top Panels
To clarify, a shirred curtain has fabric that is tightly gathered together in the desired fullness. Doing so creates very small pleats and provides a lovely flow. This type of style is perfect for lighter weight fabrics, such as sheers or silks.
This window treatment consists of 1” self fabric shirring that is wrapped around the tab top panel giving it an exceptional look. It accommodates rods up to 2” in diameter and is available in custom sizes up to 184” wide and 144” high.
Smocked Pleat Panels
Smocked pleat panels feature shirring at the top, which creates a look of relaxed sophistication. It also features 4” double turned weighted hems that give the panels more volume and allow them to hang straight.
With soft top panels, the angled loop pairs (the loops are 4” deep) are set 8” to 10” apart. This gives it a unique criss-cross pattern while the other details, such as a 4” double turned weighted hems give the panels extra body.
Tab Top Panels
Tab top panels
provide a fabulous contemporary look. The fabric tabs measure 1 ¾” by 3”, and
fit hardware rods up to 1 3/8” diameter. You may also choose 5” tabs that will
work in conjunction with rods up to 2” diameter.
These panels look lovely when combined with wood blinds or shades. They are available in customs widths up to 175” and lengths up to 144”.
Tailored Pleat Panels
These hand stitched pleats are spaced approximately 4” apart, which gives it a sophisticated appearance because of the clean lines. The quality details include a 4” double turned weighted hems that give the impression that the panels have extra body.
Accents for Decorative Curtains and Drapes
Tiebacks: This drapery hardware allows you to draw back any panel window
tiebacks will position your panels with elegance.
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