Drapery 101

Let me be the first to say that drapery and window treatments are akin to rocket science – THERE IS JUST SO MUCH TO LEARN! When I first got my feet wet with window treatments I was so overwhelmed with the information. But now I know that it’s a beautiful thing! So this very, very brief post is simply a primer for the person that knows absolutely nothing about drapery. I call this post Drapery 101. 

While there is a lot that goes into this element of interior design, there are a few pillars that I think is relevant for most drapery situations. 


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#1: Don’t be Steve Urkel  

We’ve all come across that person that has a pant hem that a tad bit too high; in my world these people are usually grandads. When you hang your drapes, imagine them as pants for your window. You want them to kiss the floor, not look like high-waters. You can even go so far as to add a little break. A break is when drapes buckle or pool a little at the bottom. Breaks tend to add a bit of dramatic flair to the space. If you are opting for a more modern look, allow your drapes to come down to about a ½ inch off of the floor. Measuring for window treatments is a beast all on its own, but the general rule of thumb is to measure from the floor up to where you’ll hang the rod and then round up. If need be, you can always have the bottom of the drapes hemmed. 

Also, extend your rods about 6” on either side of the window frame. This will allow for you to fully open your drapes without blocking any of the beautiful, natural sunlight! 


#2: Dress it up with some heels

Drapes are all about the drama and enhancing your space of course. One well-known trick for making the room appear taller is to mount your rods a few inches above your window sill. Yep, above it. It’s almost as if you’re putting on heels – the higher the drapes are the taller the object appears. Of course there is a limit for how far above the window frame you should go. It would look rather strange if you had a huge gap in between the window frame and your drapes, so aim for about four to six inches above the frame. 


“If there is one rule to remember it’s that your fabric should never stop at the edge of the window frame.”


#3: Put a Ring on it (Yes, I am well aware that I’m very cheesy) 

I know I’ve stated this a few times already, but there are a lot of factors that go into drapes, and one of those is how you intend to hang the drapes on the rod. I generally lean towards adding rings to the drapes. It looks more put together and polished. If you have a hard time finding rings that match the rod hardware, one quick and dirty thing you can do is to spray paint them the same color. Don’t underestimate the power of spray paint, and this tiny project can be done in an afternoon. Easy peasy. 

#4: Heavy means it’s expensive, right?? 

While that statement may not be true for all things, adding some weight to your drapes certainly gives the appearance that your window treatments are more expensive than they actually are. Line all of your drapes. Let me say it again, line all of your drape!  Lining your drapes add more depth and weight to the drapes, and again, it’s alllll about the drama. The flimsier your drapes are, the cheaper they look. I generally opt for a cotton lining, but you can also choose to go with a blackout lining to shield away the sun.  

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Custom drapes are ideal, but when you have other expenses, like kiddos, custom drapes may have to wait. My favorite stock drapes are from Pottery Barn. I look forward to diving deeper into the science of drapery! Thoughts on a drapery series?? 

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