Drapery Rod 101

Published July 20, 2012

We all love to decorate our homes. Finding the right couch¬† for the living room, the right area rug and coffee table all take proper planning and time. The same applies for the drapes we hang on our windows. Drapery is a little like artwork, it adds texture and colour to the wall as well as blocks light and offers privacy to the room. Being one of the more expensive items on the decorating list, it’s important to know the guidelines when¬† choosing the type of drapery and hanging your drapery rods.

Of course there are many styles of drapery. The most traditional is the pinch pleat and it is quickly gaining popularity again with both designers and homeowners. Often referred to as a more formal style of drape, the pinch pleat is becoming popular again because of its re-design. Fabrics are being matched and paired on the drape offering a more eclectic style and appearance. There is also the grommet drape (which you often see at Banana Republic and Linen and Things) or another version called the Tab-Top curtain (essentially the same but instead of grommets loops of fabric surround the rod). These drapes offer a modern and tailored appearance for today’s more clean-lined homes. Thirdly there is the top-tacked pinch pleat, which really is a simpler version of the traditional pinch pleat. Of course there are many more styles to choose from. The best way is to consult with your Interior Decorator or a Drapery Design Expert.

The first place to start when considering the height and placement of your drapery rod is to have a close look at your window. If there are 10-12 inches or more between the top of the window moulding and the ceiling (or crown moulding), then you should hang the rod somewhere in the middle. However, if there are less than 10-12 inches between the window moulding and ceiling, it is best to hand the rod directly below the moulding to give the illusion of more height in your room.

For smaller rooms with low ceilings, it is best to hang the rod as high as possible again to give the illusion of height in the room. (For very small rooms, I recommend the use of shades or blinds instead of large drapes) In this way, the small window is not covered up and hidden by overbearing drapery.

There are other options to investigate when considering window coverings. Shades and blinds are fantastic alternatives to drapery when placed correctly. Sometimes it’s nice to highlight the beautiful mouldings we have so painstakingly chosen and painted. A complimentary shade is a great way to play this up and add colour to the window. The best place to start is with magazines. Begin by pulling out various photographs of drapes and shades and hold them up to the window to get an idea of what appeals to you the most. An interior decorator/designer is invaluable here when cost can tend to be quite high for window coverings.