Read these 7 Drapery Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Window Treatment tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you like to sew, or even if you don't, tab top drapes can be fairly simple to make yourself. Since they are done in panels, they usually require less fabric and they don't include any complicated steps like pleating or gathering. Measure the width of your window from the outside of the frames. Multiply that amount by one and a half to two times to give you enough extra fabric to allow them to hang nicely. You don't want them to be too bunched up or to appear as if they are being pulled tightly across the window. Finally, measure the length of the window adding extra to allow for a hem. When hanging the curtains, choose a drapery rod that is decorative and will coordinate well with the style in the room. The tab top does not cover the rod completely so it is important that you pick out something that will look good when it is exposed.
The drapery fabric you select for your window coverings can help to control the amount of light coming into your room. A lighter-weight fabric allows more sunlight in for a brighter space. If your goal is to make the room darker, you can choose a heavier fabric and darker color. The curtain lining you select can also influence this since a thicker, heavier liner will be able to darken a room. The lining you select to back the drapery fabric can also be used to control moisture on the drapes keeping them looking good for a longer period of time.
Your window coverings should be cleaned regularly to avoid discoloration, dust buildup and mold. To help keep your drapery fresh you can shake them out daily to remove any dust. It is also a good idea to vacuum them monthly. Only do this if there are no loose pieces on the drapes. Also use the brush attachment on your vacuum for cleaning.
On a regular basis, you may also be able to clean them in a washing machine. Check the drapery cleaning instructions for the drapes to be sure that they are washable. Keep in mind that older drapes or those that have a lot of sun exposure may have weak fabric threads that could further deteriorate in the wash. If you don't feel comfortable washing them yourself, it may be better to have them professionally dry cleaned.
Expensive drapes made from silk or other high-end fabrics can make a statement in your home. Placed in a bedroom, they can be used to create an intimate and relaxing space where you can escape your busy life. These fabrics are usually very delicate and should be treated with care. Follow the directions on the label. To ensure they last a long time, it is recommended that you avoid putting them in a washing machine. Instead have these cleaned by a professional dry cleaner.
Drapery can be used to add warmth and character to your room. You can design the room around a theme and have custom-made drapery to complement the style. Measure the window and carefully consider the size of the room before you make your final selection. If you have a large window in a small room, you may want to avoid a bold print that overwhelms the room. On the other hand, drapery in a large room can become lost and understated if you choose something too small or plain. Select something that suits your taste and can still coordinate well in the room.
When shopping for drapes, take a look at companies that have been around for awhile and are sold at a number of different stores. This is an advantage to you for two reasons. First, the company has already established a reputation that you can easily check into. Second, you may be able to find a variety of styles and patterns available at different stores. Selecting Waverly drapes for your window treatment may be more expensive than many discount brands, but if you ask around you will find that they have an established reputation.
To accent your drapery, you can use decorative drapery hardware. This can make your window stand out even more and provide an attractive design piece to your room. Drapery hardware can be found in a variety of styles and materials. You can find wooden poles or beautiful wrought iron rods. These do vary in cost so a nice alternative is to find less expensive rods made of a faux material that looks fairly close to the original. A different option, if you are hanging regular pleated curtains and don't care about the design of the hardware holding them up, is a typical traverse rod that uses a string to pull open the drapes.