Drapery 101

Drapery is one of the last finishing touches in a room that adds softness, warmth, texture and creates a sound dampening effect.  It’s also one that has many people scratching their heads on where to begin.  Here at House Warmings, we offer both custom and ready made drapery depending on your needs.  Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure you get the perfect drapes you'll enjoy for years.

Photo @ollyandem.  Draperies by House Warmings 

Step 1- Measure

The diagram below shows all the required measurements we need to help you determine how wide and long your panels should be.  We also suggest taking photos of the windows including the walls on either side and the area above the windows.  Once you have gathered this information bring it with you when you come to the store to meet with one of our Designers.  A key consideration in determining the width of your drapery is whether you want them to close for privacy or whether you just want to soften the windows with panels that stay open.  


Step 2- Fabric

Either your head will be spinning, or you’ll be inspired by all the beautiful fabrics we have available for our draperies, everything from polyester to linen to plush velvet. Our ready made drapes come in a selection of beautiful fabrics, and if your budget allows for custom draperies, then the world is truly your oyster.  Drapes are lined with either a poly/cotton lining or a black out lining, depending on the type of fabric and your needs.  You can also request a UV lining, to protect your fabric from fading if you have southern exposure.  Next is selecting the style of header.  Both our ready made and custom drapes can be done with any type of header, from a grommet to various types of pleats, to a tab top drape.  Keep in mind that when you choose a pleated header, you lose the drapery fullness at the top so you will require extra fabric width to ensure your drapes will close.


Step 3- Drapery Hardware

The final step is to select your hardware.  Metal or wood rods come in a selection of colours and finishes from brushed chrome, to brass, black and oil rubbed bronze.  Finials are the end caps that can be added to the rods to make them more decorative.  A channel rod is another great option for hanging drapes.  The drapes hang from small plastic rollers that sit inside the base of the rod, allowing them to move easily and it removes any rings or tabs over the rod.  There is also a ceiling mounted rod that is a great option if you don’t have a lot of space above the window frame. 

 Channel Rods              Photos @jffabrics

Here’s a few tips and design tricks we’ve learned over the years:

  1. Hang your drapes as high as possible above the window, about 2-3 inches below the crown moulding.  This will make the room and the window appear taller.
  2. Extend the rod about 6 inches from the window casement on either side.  It allows more room for the drapes to stack back from the window, and give the window a wider, more balanced feel.
  3. Always line your drapes! It gives the fabric more body, which in turn makes them hang better, and look more expensive!
  4. Styles change with drapery lengths but we always prefer drapes that just kiss the floor. Clean and simple!

Photo @jessicamendesdesign