Add style and color to any room with the right window treatments. Draperies help define the theme of space and add a finishing touch to the overall decor. Select your drapery fabric first, and then pull colors and patterns from them for your rugs, pillows, furniture, lamps, art, and accents. Draperies also provide a simple and affordable way to finish or update a room.
Drapery Fabric Styles:
- Patterned: Choose patterned draperies if you want to make a statement with your window treatments. Patterned draperies allow you to decorate almost instantly, without having to paint or replace furniture. Traditional patterns include floral, medallions, and trellises. These offer a timeless, versatile look. Contemporary patterns such as stripes, chevrons, and geometric shapes bring your room into a more modern space. For whimsy, choose polka dots!
- Solid: Solid draperies give you many decorating options. Color-coordinated window treatments create a polished aesthetic. A teal and beige couch, for example, looks fantastic with beige window treatments. Solid draperies can also add a vibrant contrast to your decor.
- Sheer: Sheer draperies lend airiness to a room that is hard to achieve through other decorating techniques. Even in the winter, sheer draperies feel balmy and breezy. Sheer draperies are typically layered with opaque draperies or shades for privacy.
- Thermal or blackout: Thermal draperies are designed to protect against outside temperatures while blocking light. These draperies are available in a variety of styles and are layered with a heavy backing for thermal and blackout properties. If you want to save money on energy costs, or if the early morning light is disrupting your sleep, then thermal draperies are the perfect solution.
A valance is a type of window dressing that, unlike curtains and draperies, is not meant to cover the entire window, its intent is to frame the view. It sits atop your draperies, similar to an awning. Valances are used primarily for wall decorative effect but also to conceal the curtain rods, blind or shade hardware, at the top of a window. A valance adds visual interest and texture and can have a bit of function as well. If your room feels a little plain, try a valance with a pop of color or fun multi-hued stripes.
Types of Valances
There is no “best” type of valence; the most suitable valance really depends on your personal preference and style.
- Pleated: A symmetrical fold of cloth sewn in place to create fullness, spaced evenly across the top of a drapery.
- Swag or Cascade: This valance hangs across brackets and drapes over the top of a window, with tails hanging down each side.
- Shirred: Decorative gathering of the valence’s cloth, drawing up the material along parallel lines of stitching
- Cloud: A puffy valance made of lightweight fabric that is gathered or shirred to create a balloon effect
- Cornice Box: A cornice looks less like a drapery and more like a box or frame around the upper part of the window; this is achieved by upholstering an actual box or frame of wood, it can have a straight or shaped bottom.
- RTB/RTO: A valance that is essentially a short curtain; it slides onto a separate rod just like a curtain does; RTB means Rod, Top, Bottom and RTO means Rod, Top, Only
Choosing the right type of valence depends on personal preference and the style that goes best with the surrounding decor. Draped styles, give a more feminine and traditional vibe, while sleek and simple styles, such as the cornice or flat, are more masculine and modern looking.
Decorative Hardware for Draperies:
Drapery hardware has a basic purpose: to hang and operate window treatments. Some hardware, such as utilitarian white metal pocket rods and traverse rod hooks, works out of view. But decorative finials, holdbacks, and other hardware are meant to be seen and enjoyed. Enhance your room decor through a wealth of hardware styles, colors, and finishes.
- Drapery Rods/Track: You can find drapery rods in almost any style, finish, and color. Choose from thin, neutral rods that blend in or large, ornate rods that contribute to the look of the window treatments. Telescoping rods are convenient, but can impede the opening and closing of some draperies, while cut to measure track or rods have no seams. If you choose sheer draperies or ring-top drapes, choose drapery rods that you don’t mind showing off.
- Finials & End caps: Finials are the decorative ends of the drapery rod and come in many styles and finishes. They provide the exclamation point to a curtain rod through many styles and materials, such as forged-iron spears or crystal balls. End caps are more like a period; they cap the rod or pole cleanly and simply. You’ll find finishes for both types to match any wood or metal rod. Scrolls and leaves offer a traditional look, while oversized silver spheres are distinctly modern.
- Brackets: Brackets are used to support decorative rods out from the wall or down from the ceiling. Plain or ornate, they come in many colors, materials, and styles.
- Sconces: Sconces are decorative brackets with a hole in the center through which lightweight fabric may be looped and swooped across a window. Classical and romantic, sconces lend formality to any treatment.
- Drapery rings: Like window jewelry, visible or hidden rings attach draperies to the rod. Choose from many styles and finishes that partner with other hardware. Drapery rings make it easier for you to open and close your drapes. They are attractive and easily attached to window treatments. Drapery rings slide easily along the drapery rod without pulling a telescoping rod open.
- Holdbacks & Tiebacks: Tiebacks, also called drapery holdbacks, are fabric loops, cords, and chains that hold drapes open; they frame the view from your window. Metal hardware tiebacks are popular, too, in ornate designs like branches, feathers, and embellished flowers. These helpers mount to the wall on either side of a window, where they keep curtains from hanging over the glass. Holdbacks are usually a rigid material such as metal or wood, while tiebacks are flexible fabric or cording.
- Motorized: Motorized remote control draperies and window treatments offer the simplicity of push-button operation for your window treatments, a great addition for hard to reach locations or simple luxury. Almost any drapery type or style can be motorized and a selection of electric motorized blinds and shades are available to you custom made to order. Motorized draperies are controlled by a remote control and operated through radio frequency. Some systems have a plug in transformer and an external cord, while other motorized window shades and blinds use a wireless system. Cordless remote control window treatments offer one of the safest ways to operate your drapery, blinds, and shades. Be sure to check with our experts that the type of remote control system you need is available for the type of drapery, blind or shade you prefer. No matter which type of remote control drapery, blind or shade you order, you will be able to operate multiple window treatments with one remote. They can be hardwired into your homes electrical system, or battery powered, with the effectiveness of newest battery technology making this a popular choice.
With all of the choices available, shopping for draperies and drapery hardware can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you customize your curtain rods with accessories that provide both function and fashion.