Picking out drapery panels can be a daunting task. There are so many choices of color, pattern, fabric, lining and headers it can be difficult to know where to begin. Start by thinking about what type of style and mood you want to create in your room. Formal or casual, relaxing and monochromatic, or upbeat with punches of color.
When choosing a color you have two basic choices. Color or neutral. If you already have a lot of bold color and pattern in the room, if you do not want your window to be a focal point of attention, or if you want the room to be calm and relaxing choose a neutral color. A shade darker than your wall color works well. On the other hand if you want to draw attention to your windows or you find the room boring and in need of a punch of color than pick up an accent color on your drapery. Pull a color you already have in the room from a throw pillow or a piece of artwork.
Once you have chosen a color you need to decide on a patterned or plain fabric. The general rule of thumb is if you already have a pattern in your sofa, rug or bedding, go with a solid drapery panel. If everything else in the room is solid this may be a good place to add some pattern.
Now that you have a color and pattern decision made you need to decide on a type fabric. If you want your room to have a formal feel heavier fabrics like silk or velvets are good choices. If you want a more relaxed or casual look pick a linen or cotton.
Most draperies benefit from being lined. Lining allows drapes to hang better and prevents fading from sunlight exposure. Blackout linings are also an option if you require total darkness in a room for sleeping or TV watching, but this can be an expensive add on. Flannel linings are also available to help hold in the heat in colder climates. They can be energy-saving. If you do not require privacy and looking for a casual, billowy drapery a sheer panel with no lining is an option.
Now you need to decide on a header style. A rod pocket panel is your least expensive option, but these panels do not slide with ease on the rod, so they should not be chosen if you plan on opening and closing your drapery frequently. A reverse tab rod pocket header will slide easier and give a more streamlined, elegant look. A grommet header provides a more contemporary feel, but the hardware can create extra wear on your rod. If you choose a grommet, pick a metal color that will compliment the other hardware in your room. The most expensive headers are you pleated options. They attach to rings and will slide smoothly on your rod. Pinch pleats are the most popular type and create a more formal look, box pleats are also popular and give a more masculine feel.
The final decision to be made is your drapery size. For drapery length measure from your rod right to the floor. Your drapery rod should be hung approximately half way between the top of your window molding and your ceiling and about three inches past the outside moldings. If you would like to create a look of increased height in your room or want your drapery to make more of a statement you can take your drapery right to the ceiling. Generally the bottom of your panels should just skim the floor, if you want a more casual look you can add an extra 3 inches, for a more formal look you can add an extra six inches and puddle the bottoms. To measure fabric width you typically want fabric fullness two to two and a half times the width of your window. For example if your window is 80 inches wide, you would need 160 to 200 inches of fabric width. Therefore, if you use two panels each would need to be 80 to 100 inches wide. Most prefabricated panels are 50 inches wide, so you would need two panels on each side of your window for proper fullness, for a total of four panels.
If you are ready to add drapes to any room in your home stop by with pictures and we will help you choose what is right for your style. We have a beautiful line of draperies that can be custom-made just for your window.