So you got some windows..... So you know you need curtains....... But getting window treatments right is a crucial part of any design. Especially because they are NOT cheap. Lately, I've been spending a lot of time learning more about the in's & out's of window coverings. There truly are so many things you need to consider up front. Not to mention where you exactly hang them. That's a whole other ball of wax. Thus, figuring all this all out can be very daunting. So I sat down with the window treatment expert, my girl Laurie McParland of Picture Perfect Windows. We talked about everything you need to know to get it done properly.
#1. How Fancy do you want to go?
When clients sit down with me to talk about window treatments, I quickly try to figure out what route they need to go:
What Dana Can Do........
We make simple flat panels. Many of the manufactures I work with like Bebe Chic & Pine Creek make lovely curtains. They can come with either a rod pocket or with buckram to be used with ring hooks or clips. They will always have a relaxed casual look. These usually run around $250 & include fabric.
What Laurie Can Do.......
What can she not do? You name it Roman Shades, Cornices, Balloon Valances. She can do it all. Especially when you want specific styles panels, like Toptack, Pinch Pleat, Goblet or Inverted pleats. Her styles are more structured & consistent. They will always look perfect. These usually start around $300+ Fabric by the yard
#2. How will you use them?:
It's important to know what you need from your window treatment. Are they going to just be decorative or functional. Are you going to open & close them everyday. Or will they stay in place? How much light comes into the space? All curtains need to be lined! But do you really need a black-out lining? I say if sunlight is streaming in during nap-time, you need black out.
#3. Perfect Functioning
There are so many ways to hang a curtain. For 12 years I have been designing & selling drapes to clients. Most often we use a simple 3" rod pocket. Well, I have recently learned that is wrong!! Thanks Laurie. To clarify, rod pockets are great for stationary non-working drapes. But if you want to move smoothly back and forth on the rod, you need to put them on rings. Then you attach the curtains to the rings with hooks placed in the back of the panel. Or you can use ring clips that attach to the top of the panel. The clips are definitely more of a casual look. But they will both give you the functionality you are looking for.
#4. How to Hang?
When hanging curtains, there are few rules one must follow
- The curtain has to go all the way to the floor.
- You want the curtain to make the window appear taller & wider
- Hang the rod as high as you can
- Stretch the rod at least 5" to 10" beyond the frame
I think Erin Gates of the lifestyle blog Elements of Style said it best. I have cut & pasted from one of her best blog posts. I could not have said it better & she only used 4 WORDS:
#5. Lauries's Pet Peeves
After 20+ years making window treatment for Bethesda's best. What are the things that absolutely drives her crazy.
- Hanging curtains to the window sill (AS IF)
- Buying "Ready Made Curtains" at the standard length that are too short. There is no standard. Custom gives you length that is right for your windows.
- Not lining the curtains. Unless they are sheers. you shouldn't be able to see through them:)
- Narrow Panels that are too small for the windows. Every window needs two panels. Each panel should be the width of the window.