​Drapery is an essential part of any room and is key to creating an elegant, sophisticated design, no matter the style.​ While seemingly simple, several factors must be considered to achieve a sucessful look, including placement, function, and material. To help with this design element, we turned to top interior designers to share with us their most important piece of advice for drapery.

Living room with cream couch and accent chairs, red accent chair, orange striped drapes and orange crystal table lamps.

1. Create the Illusion of Height

“Try to hang curtain rods as close to the ceiling as possible. This draws the eye up and helps emphasize verticality. If the top of the window is a few feet from the ceiling, fabricate a roman shade the same width as the window, including any frame, and outside mount the shade a few inches under the curtain rod. This will give the illusion that the window is taller and allows the maximum amount of natural light into the space.”

Gideon Mendelson, of Mendelson Group, Inc.

Bedroom with maroon pillows, crystal chandelier, and teacup accent chairs.

2. Consider Window Layout & Positioning

“Stationary drapery panels are a smart option for window fronts impeded by heating and cooling units. They provide the completed look and feel of drapery without needing to open and close.  For privacy, I suggest a separate shade or blind mounted neatly inside the window frame a few inches behind the panels.”

Peter Sandel, of Peter Sandel Design, LLC

Dining room with raw edge dining table and gray zebra-stripe dining chairs with glass chandelier.

3. Fabric Choice is Important

“The fabric and lining are important for how the drapery reads. I prefer a heavy lining, especially for larger windows, to ensure the drapes maintain their shape and fall. Draperies define and soften a room and take the edges off. ”

Suzanne Childress, of Suzanne Childress Design

Living room with white couch, beige upholstered coffee table, and farmhouse iron candelabra.

4. Adjust to the Challenges of the Space

“This room has very tall ceilings and abundant sunlight—two factors we took into consideration when designing the drapery. To solve for the high ceilings, we installed a motorized rod and had it custom painted to match the walls, ensuring that just the drapery was highlighted in a clean, unfussy way. By adding a blackout lining to the sheer patterned drapery, the room can be protected from the sun with the quick flick of a switch.”

Justine Sterling, of Justine Sterling Design

modern bedroom with floor to ceiling headboard and square wall sconces.

5. Use Headings & Placements to Convey Different Styles

“In rooms where we want a clean, modern design, we create space in the ceiling detail for the curtain heading to be invisibly fixed. A plain luxurious fabric and S wave heading are unfussy and best for a simplified look. In this room, the curtains stop just off the floor and are motorised – the right choice for curtains that need to be regularly opened and closed without the need to dress or arrange them twice a day.”

Staffan Tollgard


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February 9, 2017

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