Saturday, December 12, 2009

Draperies FACT and FICTION

Today I wish to dispel some rumors on draperies. There are many misconceptions, even among supposed experts. Test yourself below and see how much you really know:

FACT OR FICTION: When using panels for draperies, they only need to go to the window sill.
Fiction. Never ever end the panels of draperies at the bottom of the window unless it is for shutters, roman/balloon shades, or blinds. The rule of thumb: when measuring for draperies the bottom of the panels should touch the floor, touch the top of the baseboard, or billow on the floor.

FACT OR FICTION: Window coverings can make a room seem bigger.
Fact. In fact, a great and oft used way of making your ceilings appear taller is to extend your drapery panels from the top of the crown molding to the bottom of the floor. To hide drapery rods, use a valance or cornice board that matches the stain of the crown molding, or simply upholster to match the panels.

FACT OR FICTION: For window coverings, blinds are the only cheap alternative to draperies.
Fiction. Draperies don’t have to be more expensive. An economical way to have custom looking draperies for a fraction of the cost is to buy pre-manufactured panels along with a few yards of patterned or complimentary colored fabric. Then have a seamstress attach the new fabric to the bottom of the existing panels to give it a custom look!

So how did you do? As you can see, draperies can be a cost effective way to add a lot to a room. There is some risk to overspend and undercut your results if not done right, so here are a few points to follow as you embark to liven up your windows:

1) If your window gets a lot of sunlight, use fabric that has a significant amount of UV protection such as Polyester, Linen, Cotton, Chilewich, and Rayon. While nice, fabrics such as Acetate, Olefin, Nylon, Wool, and Silk have very poor sunlight resistance and the colors will fade rapidly unless protected.

2) If installing draperies in a house with children, make sure to protect the pull cords. Many manufacturers make hidden cords for this reason.

3) Use lining on the exterior side of the fabric to be consistent with your windows. You don’t want a random assortment of colors coming from every window of your house! Depending on your goal of luminosity, there are many different linings to be considered. For example, you should use blackout for bedrooms and media rooms, and sheer lining for kitchens and living rooms. Fabric lining can block anywhere from 5% to 100% so adjust your lining choice by the function of the room.

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