Down In The Drapes: Tips For Buying The Right Window Treatments

Choosing the perfect curtains can be overwhelming if you don't have that interior-decorator gene. From choosing the style and color to ensuring that they are the right size, it can be tough to know just where to start. Here are some tips to help you navigate the draperies and select something that fits your windows and your decor.

Making Sure They Fit

If you've never bought drapes before, you might believe that you can just grab a rod and some drapes and be all set. The truth is, you need measurements of your windows so that you can pick both rods and drapes that will fit. Improper measurements are likely to result in curtain rods that don't fit the window or drapes that are either too long or too short to work well.

  • Width Measurements – The width of drapes is important, because it ensures that the panels you buy will cover the entire window. To avoid having insufficient or too much material on the window, measure the width. If there are already curtain rod mounts over the window, you can simply measure the width between the mounts to determine the width of the drapery panels you need. If you're putting in brand new windows, though, you're going to need to measure the frame. Measure the width of the window frame from outer edge to outer edge, then add about a foot on each side to determine the width of the rod. That way, you can be sure that you have enough rod on either side of the window to gather the drapes. Opt for drapes of a similar width to ensure that you cover the whole space.  
  • Length Measurements – The length of the window offers you more room for flexibility. In fact, curtain length is more about your own personal preference than it is about precise measurements. You'll want to at least measure the distance from the curtain rod to the lower portion of the window frame. Choose curtains that are at least this long to ensure that you cover the whole window. If you like longer curtains, you can measure further beyond the window. Some people prefer long, sweeping curtains that fall an inch or so from the floor while others like curtains that stop just below the window frame. Just be sure that you measure the distance of whichever you prefer so that you can be sure to get the right size curtain.

Selection Tips

Once you have the dimensions for the drapes, it's time to start thinking about style. Depending on what you're trying to create, you'll want to be somewhat selective about the color and style. Bright, light colors are ideal in smaller rooms, because they can make the windows look larger or help to provide the illusion of a more spacious room. The light colors will reflect more light, making the space seem naturally brighter and more open.

In larger rooms, you can add a sense of luxuriousness and elegance by choosing deeper, darker colors for your drapes. They draw the eye, setting the general tone for the space. The rich, deep colors will make the room seem a bit more intimate, so opt for this in larger dens or living areas, not smaller spaces.

With these tips, you'll be better equipped to select the best draperies for your rooms. Don't let the process of selecting rods and drapes overwhelm you. Consider the colors and make sure your measurements are right to get the best fit for your room. With so many different types of drapes to choose from, you're sure to find something that will complement the theme of the room.

For more information, go to websites that specialize in draperies.