Treat your window: drapes for every taste
Whether you need the perfect finishing touch for your new windows or want to breathe life into your old decor, drapes are a vital element of your home's style. However, you must not forget that while window drapes are decorative, they also provide privacy and insulation. Depending on your taste, budget and intentions, you have a lot of choices to wade through before you settle on the ideal drapes.
Popular colors, styles and brands
From the wide variety of colors offered by top manufacturers to custom-made draperies that can be dyed to your exact specifications, there are no limits on the colors you choose.
Window drapes come in many styles. The most common way to differentiate among them is by the design at the top of the drapery, which determines how it hangs from the rod:
- Pleats. Create a gentle yet dramatic fall from the rod
- Grommets. Small rings pushed through the curtain fabric that the rod slides into
- Rod pocket. Runs the width of the drapery panel, completely covering the rod
- Tab and tie tops. Loops or ties sewn into the top of the drapes by which they attach to the rod
- Ring top. Hangs the drapery from the rod similar to a traditional shower curtain
Popular brands cover the gamut of price ranges and can be found through online dealers, retail stores and warehouses. Brands such as Martha Stewart, American Living or Cindy Crawford Home can be found at major retailers for a reasonable price. Mid-range brands like Ralph Lauren and Laura Ashley are available at more exclusive department stores, such as Neiman Marcus. High-end designs and styles can be found through window fashion consultants or professional drapery installers.
Best materials for window drapes
Traditionally, window drapes were considered curtains that could be drawn to completely block the window. However, today's modern window treatments don't cling to convention. Drapes today are made of a wide variety of materials, including silk, cotton, wool, and more. They might be made of thick layers of fabric with an insulating panel sewn in, or they might be lighter, almost sheer.
The best material choice is the one that fits in with your needs. If you have a window that gets direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day, consider thick drapes made of cotton or brocade that can block out the sun, thus leaving your home cooler. If you prefer more light streaming through, consider a thin silk panel that offers privacy yet still allows the light to shine in.
What to expect for drapery costs
Just as the styles, colors, brands and other options for draperies are extensive, the prices for window drapes are often in a wide range. The cheapest curtains can cost about $7 per panel and up, with the most expensive reaching $1,500 or more. The fabric used contributes heavily to the overall cost; for instance, cotton panels will usually cost much less than silk.
Other price considerations include the style, designer name, construction quality, and size. A standard panel can range from 15 to 50 inches in width. The common length is 84 inches for standard panels in most rooms, while kitchen and bathroom drapes are usually 36 inches. Panels larger than this can drive up the overall price.
Where to find drapes
Though draperies can be found at most department stores, coordinating colors and designs throughout your home can be a challenge. A professional window fashion consultant or installer can help you determine which draperies will have the most dramatic effect while providing the best options for privacy and insulation. Use the form on this page to connect with drapery experts in your area.