Dress to Impress with Draperies: Tips and Trends in Making Fabric Selections

Living room by Diane Bishop Interiors with custom window treatments and drapery

Designed by our friend and neighbor Diane Bishop of Diane Bishop Interiors!                   Ambiance Design provided finishing touches with Hunter Douglas Roller Shades.

Selecting Custom Draperies

The right draperies, curtains, and valances can complete the look of your space, adding style, a splash of color, and coordination with the surrounding furniture and décor.  With the vast amount of Fabric vendors out there, each providing a huge selection of styles, patterns, and color at varying price points…you may well be overwhelmed and at a loss of what to do when it comes to selecting custom draperies.  Cast your cares aside and read on for little bits of advice and considerations regarding color, style, patterns, and length that will help you cut the choices down and cut the fabric you love!

Color Choices

Pocahontas was right, you really can “paint with all the colors of the wind” but let’s try to avoid the dreaded color clash please.  No one enjoys that.  That being said, there are a lot of ways to mix and match colors in your space, pulling in a splash here and there from pillows, walls, furniture, and more!

Take a look at the color wheel for a better understanding of the color rules and trends below.

  • Complimentary and Contrasting Colors

Complimentary or contrasting colors are across from one another on the color wheel, thus they are opposite of each other, making them stand out. For instance, pairing yellow and purple or blue and orange together would be nice choices.  Typically, we recommend using one color heavily and the other as an accent.

  • Analogous

Analogous colors are sections in thirds of the color wheel. These colors have similar tones, such as red, orange, and yellow or green, blue, and purple.  Pleasing to the eye in a more subtle way, these colors work together nicely and could be your preference in your space.

  • Monochromatic
neutrals monochromatic living room with woven woods and drapery panels

This client bought Hunter Douglas Woven Woods to pair nicely with their already existing drapery panels.  The drapery blends in with their walls and sofa, all of which are shades of cream.

Monochromatic colors all have the same tints, tones, and shades and is common with neutral colors in home designs. It gives a look of consistency and cohesion.

What’s Your Style?

Home Décor

  • Victorian, Traditional, Country, Mediterranean, Contemporary, Transitional, Modern
    • Draperies, cornices, and valances all come in a variety of styles of fabrics across multiple fabric lines that we provide in our showroom.
    • We recommend swags and jabots for Victorian style homes. All other drapery options can pretty much work for the other more common décor styles!

Cornices and Valances

Perhaps you aren’t looking for a long drapery panel, but want to dress your window up a bit. Cornices or valances might be the perfect fit for you.

  • Cornices: simple, easy to clean, basic “box” treatments that come in a couple of shapes
    • These are great if you love an intricate pattern and don’t want to lose any of it in a fold.

  • Valances: offers much more variation with folds, adding interest in shadowing and pleating
    • Choose simple, flatter styles and folds if picking a busy print/pattern
    • You can pick fancy/busy styles and folds if going with a solid or simple fabric pattern

Prints & Patterns

  • Mix and Match?

Years ago, it was considered taboo to put polka dots with stripes…but times have changed and as long as you follow some simple rules and tips, you can play matchmaker all day!

Office Lounge of mixed patterns: green striped cornice and "splotched" chairs

This client purchased Hunter Douglas Luminette Privacy Sheers for their Lounge.  Their already existing striped cornice mixes patterns with the splotchy chairs and also pulls greens from room.

If you choose to mix and match, we do recommend that you choose ones that are significantly different from one another so that it doesn’t look like you were trying to have it be similar.  You can pull a stripe out of a plaid pattern on your sofa and use it in your drapes.  The ideas are endless.

Read more about how to mix and match patterns and prints here.

  • Common Prints and Designs
    • Florals, solids, and paisley prints are all still very common selections. Geometric shapes are also trending now.  Cool, right?!

 Determining Length

Rules of Thumb:
  • Hit the Floor:

When it comes to drapery panels, we always say the longer the better.  This draws your eye upwards, making your ceiling appear higher and your room bigger.

       Exception: the only exception to this rule would be if you have a floor heater that could potentially be a fire hazard.

  • Sky High:

Now you know how long to bring the drapery down, but how high should you hang it above the window frame?  Our recommendation: as high as you can go!  This makes your window appear much bigger than it really is…see for yourself!

There ya have it!

You are well on your way to having a better idea of what you are looking for based on pairing your preferences and style with these simple tips.  Come stop in or give us a call to schedule a consultation with one of our design consultants!  We provide many fabric vendors including Stout, Robert Allen, Carole Fabrics, Kravet, and more!

Give us a call today at 267.898.0200 to discuss your drapery needs or visit our website to learn more about other products and services!