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June 2010 Design Newsletter

Welcome to our June 2010 Newsletter from Wall Huggers

In this issue we will discuss;  How To Decorate Your Windows With Fabric

Curtains and draperies are chameleons. They work hard at blocking light and sound,
heat and cold. They're also extraordinarily decorative and add enormous personality
to a room.

What's the difference between curtains and draperies — and does it even matter? Traditionally, windows were treated to
three types of curtains: a sash curtain (to filter light), a draw curtain (to block out light), and an over-drapery (which was
purely decorative and is now just called a drapery). In very formal rooms (with sufficiently high ceilings), all of this was
topped with a cornice or valance (to hide the hardware). This traditional treatment carries on today in period or very formal
or dressy rooms.

The modern tendency is to think of curtains as sash curtains (often unlined and in a variety of lengths), and draperies
(never drapes) as those that draw, completely closing off the window.

Drapery Options

Don't waste time getting hung up on the terminology. Consider the tremendous number of window treatment options you
may choose from:

•        Hang just curtains of lace, cotton, nylon, silk, or some other sheer fabric.
•        Place a curtain over a blind.
•        Hang a curtain beneath a chintz, silk, velvet, linen, or other draw drapery.
•        Hang draw draperies over blinds or some other shade.
•        Hang draw draperies alone on a decorative pole.
•        Top curtains with short, purely decorative over-draperies known as swags and jabots.
•        Top a blind or shade with swags, which drape over just the top of the window and long or short jabots, which hang
on the sides of windows.
•        Top any or all of these window treatments with a cornice or valance.

You can see that the variations are practically endless, especially when you combine these elements with more
contemporary window blinds and shades that look like accordion-pleated curtains.


How long should curtains or draperies be? Generally, the longer the curtain or drapery, the more dignified, dressy, and
formal the look. Shorter lengths always imply a casual, relaxed, and informal mood. The decision is up to you. Take a look
at Figure 2 and then read the following guidelines to find the style that's right for you.

Dressy or casual, curtain lengths add to the mood of any room.

•        In formal or dressy rooms, curtains should just touch the floor.
•        A romantic room deserves elegant, extra-long curtains that pool or puddle on the floor.
•        Curtains to the sill, or to the bottom of the window trim (called the apron), look great and are practical in a kitchen.
Never hang curtains of any length near a stove!
•        Dens or family rooms gain dignity from draw draperies or curtains that reach to the floor.
•        Curtains that stop short of the floor, ending at the top of floor moldings, look awkward. If curtains are hung too
high, simply lower them (if possible) to solve the problem.

Not all windows are beautiful. Fortunately, draperies can help hide flaws. Here are some ways to make
windows more wonderful:

•        Window too short? Attaching rods just below the ceiling molding and hanging long, to-the-floor curtains make the
window look longer and more elegant.
•        Window awkwardly long? Add a deep cornice or valance above draperies with a bold horizontal pattern. Create
further distraction by adding a horizontal line in the form of a strongly contrasting louvered shutter.
•        Window too narrow? Extend curtain rods beyond the window and hang draperies so that they barely cover the
frame, leaving as much glass exposed as possible, all of which makes a narrow window seem wider.
•        Window too wide? A huge window wall can overpower a room. Break up the space by hanging several panels    
across the window. They can hang straight, or be tied back in pairs. If draperies must be drawn for privacy, let the
panels hang straight and rig drawstrings so that the panels close as though they are separate pairs of draperies.

Creating special effects:

If you want privacy but you don't want to cover up your windows, consider the following alternatives to traditional window
•        Install stained glass. Stained glass provides a sense of privacy, hides ugly views, and gives you something beautiful
to look at.
•        Consider etched or frosted glass. This provides a degree of privacy but lets in lots of light.
•        Think about using glass block. The Contemporary alternative to stained, etched, or frosted glass, glass block hides
unsightly views and filters light beautifully, while providing a bit of privacy.

Drapery Floor Length Options

Know where to hang drapes with these simple guidelines.

The height at which to hang a drapery rod depends on the style of window, window covering and the height of ceiling in
the room.

How high do you place the rod?

For standard drapes that hang on either side of a window creating a frame, the typical height at which to install the drapery
rod is halfway between the top of the window and the ceiling. This applies if there are more than 12 inches between the
window trim and ceiling. For a cathedral ceiling, try to leave approximately 4 to 6 inches above the window trim as a
guideline. If your ceiling is low, consider installing the rod as close to the ceiling or crown moulding as possible. In a small
room, hanging drapery panels as high as possible will give the illusion of extra height.

Drapery Heading Options

Width of drapes

“Fullness” refers to the width of the finished panel. For more traditional drapery, fullness of 2 to 3 times the width of the
rod will result in billowy, pleated drapery. Keep in mind that some fabrics hang differently than others. A sheer fabric might
require more fullness, while a heavier fabric like velvet or chenille will only require a width of 1-1/2 to 2 times that of the rod.

Half-height curtains

For café curtains, install a tension or café-style rod halfway up the window, making sure the rod is parallel to the fixed
horizontal mullion. This style of drapery should be installed inside the window frame for a finished look and should just
touch the bottom windowsill. For a more tailored look, purchase or make curtains with a width less than 1-1/2 to 2 times
that of the window.

Round-top windows

For round-top windows, hang the rod just below the rounded part, leaving the upper section of the window uncovered to
let in natural light. Or, hang the rod over top of the entire window to emphasize talls ceilings and "frame" the special
window with fabric.

Drapery rod length

Since you’ll most likely want to draw drapes open during the day, make sure that your drapery rod extends at least 3 or 4
inches on each side of the window’s inside frame. If your windows are close together or placed near corners, use a
shorter rod and capped ends instead of decorative finials.

A final note on your windows.  Make sure that you always consider the function of the window treatments you are using
on your window. For example, if it is in a bathroom and the window is next to the shower, keep the treatment inside the
window and not full length drapes that may get wet.  Also if you are not a formal person and you live in a relaxed looking
room, don't put formal full length silk drapes in the room.  Try to use something more relaxed looking that matches to the
rooms decor.

I hope that you have gained a lot of information concerning your next drapery treatment.  It is great to bring to you this
information and happy decorating!
Designer Chic Upholstered Wall Panels
Call Toll Free:
Made in Canada

Please feel free to pass this information along to your friends and family members to also help them with their interior décor projects.

We also invite you to browse our website.  We have a great selection of upholstered wall panels that can work in any decor.  

We welcome your comments and suggestions and hope that you enjoy this great summer season.


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