Monday, July 15, 2024

Window coverings not only provide privacy but also play a crucial role in furnishing a room, according to interior designer Jake Arnold. He states that drapery is an essential part of the interior’s layers and can transform a space dramatically. However, selecting the right drapes can be complex, considering factors like window style, architectural detailing, windowsill, and hardware. To help with the process, Arnold provides some tips based on a living room he designed in Los Angeles.

To start, evaluate the space to determine the type of window covering needed. In living or dining rooms with sufficient wall space, curtains are a popular choice, provided they can be pulled to the side when open. For kitchens, bathrooms, and bedside windows, Roman shades, which can be raised and lowered vertically, are practical. When choosing traditional curtains, consider the architectural style of the space. Contemporary spaces often benefit from ripple fold curtains without pleats, whereas more formal rooms can have pleated drapery. Arnold prefers a simple single pinch pleat near the top for a relaxed, traditional look.

Fabric selection is crucial, with two approaches to consider. A neutral fabric that blends with the paint can create a sophisticated and timeless look. On the other hand, a colored or patterned fabric can add visual interest and transform a lackluster room. When reviewing fabric options, pay attention to color, pattern, texture, and weight. Arnold recommends a linen-and-viscose blend for its natural nubbiness and refined sheen. Additionally, consider the light-blocking qualities of the fabric. Lining the drapery with another fabric provides better light control, with options ranging from sheer to blackout.

When it comes to hardware, it can be concealed behind a valance or crown molding for a clean look or left exposed to complement the room’s décor. Select curtain rods and rings that match the style and finish of other architectural hardware in the room, like doorknobs and hinges. Arnold suggests avoiding traditional, decorative finials and opting for simpler options, such as curtain rods with flat end caps.

Accurate measurements are essential when ordering drapery. Determine the height at which to mount the hardware, typically four to eight inches from the ceiling to create a taller room illusion. If there are beams or other obstacles preventing this, mount the hardware as high as possible. Consider the floor length of the drapery, aiming for a straight and tailored look or an inch-and-a-half puddle for a more relaxed feel. Fullness is also important, with curtains ideally being double or triple the width of the window to create a generous appearance even when closed.

During installation, ensure that the hardware is securely fastened, ideally with screws to studs or blocking in the wall. Improperly hung drapery can be hazardous due to its weight. Although acquiring beautiful curtains may require time and financial investment, Arnold believes the end result is always worth it.

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