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The Ultimate Guide to Dressing Your Draperies

Brooke Cleaver     April 10, 2023

Selecting the right draperies for your home can be a daunting task. With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start. But don't worry. We're here to help! Let us guide you through the process and help you find the perfect solution for your space.

First Things First: Form vs. Function

If you're an avid fan of architecture and design, you may be familiar with the phrase "form follows function," Which suggests that an object's shape should always correspond to its intended purpose. However, when it comes to draperies, that isn't always the case. Typically, draperies fall into one of two categories: functional or non-functional. Stationary side panels are non-functional and are generally used as a decorative frame or accent, whereas traversing treatments allow for privacy, light control, and temperature regulation.


When planning your design, it's imperative to decide whether you're after form or function, as this can influence everything from the type of style you choose to the type of hardware needed. Once you've made this crucial decision, you can then move on to considering other essential factors like material, opacity, and length.

Find Your Flair: Choosing the Perfect Drapery Style Based on Your Needs

Ready to take your window game to the next level? Great! Once you've got a handle on the purpose of your draperies, it's time to dive headfirst into the world of style and flair. From adding a touch of luxury with flowing draperies to creating a light and airy feel with sheer grommet panels, there's no shortage of options to suit your unique design preferences.


If you're drawn to a particular style that doesn't perfectly fit your needs, don’t worry - you can still achieve the look you're after by layering and using undercover techniques.

Sample Fabrics

One of the most crucial steps in the design process is fabric selection. One of the greatest mistakes consumers make is choosing fabric based on appearance alone. Just because you love the way a fabric looks doesn't mean you'll love the way it will feel on your skin or drape over your window. To make the right choice, you need to consider a variety of factors, like weight, touch, and feel. And when you're sampling fabric, be sure to choose options that align with your style and application. Remember that no two fabrics are alike, so what works for one application may not work for another. Don't be afraid to experiment with different samples, or even to seek the guidance of a qualified expert. With their help, you can curate a look that's both stylish and practical.


Land on Length

Sill Length:

01_Sill_LengthAs the name suggests, sill-length draperies are designed to hover just over your windowsill. Cozy yet casual, this easygoing treatment is perfect for smaller spaces, like cabins and cottages, where an easy, laidback look is preferable – or rustic spaces that rely on effortless charm and understated beauty.

With that said, sill-length draperies are not for everyone. You should avoid this length if you are aiming to achieve a timeless, elegant look, as the shortened nature of this solution can sometimes come off as dated. Additionally, fabric isn’t perfect, and neither are most windows. Obvious light leakage could occur under your window’s sill. For this reason, we’re only recommending this length to those with a clear vision in mind.



Apron Length:

02_Apron_LengthSimilar to sill-length draperies, apron-length solutions are designed to hang higher off the ground, creating a sense of casual comfort. They typically hang just a few inches below the windowsill and are commonly used in spaces with taller windows, such as kitchens and bedrooms. This makes it a perfect pick for those who cherish the understated beauty of sill-length draperies, but fear light leakage.

However, it's important to note that they can be easily misinterpreted or misunderstood if not executed correctly. Far too often, apron-length treatments can appear haphazard or accidental, which is why it's crucial to approach this length type with caution. To ensure success, consider pairing these solutions with design elements that complement their relaxed, casual feel, such as a table with similar lines or a bedframe that runs perpendicularly to the draperies.



Floor length:

03_Floor_LengthWhen it comes to drapery design, floor-length draperies are the epitome of elegance and sophistication. They're a safe choice, especially if you're unsure of what length to choose. The trick is to make sure they sit no higher than half an inch above the floor, allowing them to skim gracefully over the ground without quite touching. This timeless look creates a beautifully tailored appearance that elongates windows. Not only does it look stunning, but it's also a practical solution for privacy, light control, and insulation. Plus, longer treatments can make rooms with lower ceilings appear taller.




Puddle Drapery Length:

04_Puddle_LengthPuddle-length draperies are a luxurious and dramatic option for those wanting to make a bold statement. As the name suggests, these draperies "puddle" onto the floor, creating an opulent and elegant look. While this length can be stunning, it's important to use it sparingly and in the right spaces. Puddle-length draperies work best in formal spaces, such as dining rooms or master bedrooms, where a touch of glamour is desired. It's essential to ensure the puddle is even on both sides and doesn't create a tripping hazard. And if you have pets who shed, you may want to steer clear of this style. But when paired with the right decor, puddle-length draperies can add a touch of drama and sophistication to any room.



Remember Placement

When it comes to designing your draperies, placement is key. Before making any purchases, consider where you might hang your draperies. Doing so could save you valuable time and frustration later down the road. Not only does placement affect the amount of fabric needed, but it can also change the room's overall aesthetic. You must plan out the placement of your treatment to avoid ending up with an unintended length that doesn't fit your vision. So take the time to carefully plan out your drapery placement to achieve the look you desire.


Note: Finials can increase the amount of space needed.

Consider Care

Let's face it - when it comes to selecting draperies, not all fabrics are created equal. Fabric isn’t perfect, and some require a little more TLC than others. That's why it's essential to do your homework and research the contents and cleaning instructions of any fabric you're considering. Knowing this information could mean the difference between maintaining your custom drapery’s gorgeous appearance or making a costly mistake.

That's where consulting with a qualified professional comes in handy. A dealer or designer who specializes in hand-crafted draperies can provide expert guidance and help you make an informed decision about your drapery options. So, before you make your final selection, be sure to consider the care required, do your research, and consult with an expert. With a little bit of effort and attention, you can ensure that your draperies look stunning for years to come.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the perfect draperies for your home can be a fun and rewarding experience, and we hope our guide has helped make the process a little easier. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when selecting window treatments; ultimately, it's up to you to decide what works best for your space and style.

Lafayette Interior Fashions is a family-owned, to-the-trade manufacturer of blinds, shades, shutters, draperies, and other custom-crafted interior fashion products. To learn more about our products, Find a local dealer near you.

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