Achieving balance and warmth with draperies

A space is truly not considered complete until the windows are dressed. One of our favorite stages in the design process is selecting window treatments. Because they’re often one of the last things to go up in a space, window treatments provide the finishing touch that instantly brings a room together.

Of the four most common window treatments – draperies, plantation shutters, roman shades and wooden blinds – we personally favor draperies. There’s a special warmth and softness in a room accented with beautiful draperies; a warmth that no other furniture piece or accessory can create. Draperies add dimension and softly pull together textures. But as easily as they can finesse a space with charm, they can equally throw off the balance. Knowing their impact on your space, it’s essential to never skimp on your selection. When choosing the perfect panels, whether custom or pre-made, consider these things:

  • Drapes should serve as an accent to the room, not a bold statement. When selecting a fabric, stick with something neutral. If you desire a pattern, keep with a gentle motif or a vertical stripe (this will draw the eye up rather than across, making the window appear larger).
  • Opt for a lined panel. Lining helps draperies lay beautifully and look more luxurious. When choosing a lined panel, we find that ivory backing is softer and more relaxing than stark white backing.
  • Choose a classic rod and simple finial. Rods are available in a number of varieties, but the classic, made-to-fit rod and ball final are our go-tos. We most often try to match the rod material to either the trim or hardware.
  • Select drapery rings when possible. Drapery rings are our favored hanging hardware because they provide a clean, crisp look – especially paired with pinch pleats, our go-to.

Measuring and installation can be tricky and even a small error can be costly so we encourage clients to invest in custom drapes when possible, but with these tips, you can create beauty and balance in your space with pre-made draperies:

  • We like for the rod, barring the finial, to extend about 6 inches past the trim on each side of the window
  • Typically, we hang the rod 6-8 inches above the top of the trim. In some cases, it may look more symmetrical to split the difference between the window and ceiling or crown molding.
  • The curtains should not drag the floor. Keeping them about ½ inch off the floor creates a balanced, tailored look.

Spring is a beautiful time to add life to your home. Through March 31, we’re offering 20% off all custom window treatments. If you have been considering committing to custom, our team is happy to show you samples and advice for handling your space. If budget dictates pre-made alternatives, we have a beautiful selection available for order in a number of lengths, and we would love to offer tips for achieving balance.


More Posts from Barefoot Cottage.

Fresh for spring


Holiday Gift Guides


Seven Tips for a Picture-Perfect Christmas Tree