Decorative Drapes: The Dos and Don’ts


Framing windows with decorative drapes is a great way to add glamour and personality to a room and soften up a living space by adding fabric and another texture into the mix. Here are some simple and easy tips to think about when either buying store bought or custom making curtains.

DO think long and hard about what color and pattern fabric to use. Curtains take up a large amount of visual space and will have a huge impact on the look of your room.

DON’T skimp on size – Curtains need to have generous proportions. They should always be at least double the width of the window, even if they’re going to be open most of the time. It’s also important that they be long enough. My preference is for them to just skim the floor and not puddle or land above the floor.

decorative drapes

DO think about the exposure to sunlight in order to ensure the longevity of your drapes. Sunlight will fade fabrics over time. If the room gets a lot of light, it’s smart to avoid bright colors, since they tend to fade faster. Go with neutral colors if they are in a very sunny area, since they’re less likely to fade and more likely to blend into a room’s decor.  Cotton, linen, silk, faux silk, and velvet are best choices to use for window treatments since they tend to hang the best and stand the test of time.

DON’T forget the hardware. Curtain rods and finials don’t need to match the fabric or wall colour but need to coordinate with the other hardware in the room and the fabric. Heavier drapes such as velvets should be on a large and somewhat decorative rods while light silks and sheers can sit on light-weight and more dainty rods. Try to connect the finish of the hardware to another element in the room. For instance, if you’ve got Lucite lamps or chairs, a Lucite drapery rod would be a great look.

decorative drapes

All room designs and photos by Ungerman Homes.


About Author

Jessica Ungerman heads up the interior design division of Ungerman Homes. With expertise in residential and commercial interior design, Ungerman Homes offers a range of services from paint colour consultation to sourcing of interior furnishings. Jessica is a busy mother to three and enjoys spending time with her kids when she is not working. You can find out more about her design offerings at and see examples on houzz.

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