Guest Post by Jay Harris: Designer Drapery & DIY Tips to Install

Today I’m pleased to introduce my guest Jay Harris, a regular contributor to Home Depot’s blog and an “on the floor” Home Depot sales associate.

Home Depot - Master LogoJay’s interests include providing tips to homeowners on exterior shutters and casement windows, and today Jay has a ton of great DIY tips for you on how to select and install window treatments. Settle in. You won’t want to skim. I know this is one post you’ll want to bookmark for all your future window treatment DIY needs!

Thanks so much for sharing on sZinteriors today, Jay!

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DIY Designer Drapery – ‘Wow!’ Window Treatments

One of the quickest (and least expensive) ways to update a room while adding color and personality is through swapping out your window treatments. At the same time, once you know how to install them yourself, you can keep them in place for a month or a year or a decade…it’s completely up to you!

White & Blue Panels, Blue Pompom Trim - HGTV (Sarah Richardson Design)

{via HGTV Blog | Sarah Richardson Design}

But the best part is when it comes to windows and window treatments, you don’t have to be a professional interior designer to decorate like one – all you need is a bit of creativity and a few insider secrets!

Here are just a few of the DIY tricks at your fingertips.

Material Matters

There are several things to keep in mind when choosing the right materials and designs for your window treatments.

Block Striped Drapes - Day Old News Blog (Mary McDonal Design)

 {via Day Old News Blog | Mary McDonald Inc. design}

Length
Long curtains create elegance and drama while shorter curtains are more informal and casual. Longer lengths are more appropriate in master bedrooms, formal dining rooms and living rooms whereas shorter curtains work well in other bedrooms, kitchens and less formal rooms.

Color
The darker the color or the more saturated the hue of a particular shade, the more formal the look. Darker colors will add more elegance and energy than neutrals. For example, even though they are both red, a rich burgundy is much more dramatic than a bright, cheery cherry.

Patterns
If you want to elongate a room, choose stripes in a vertical or diagonal pattern rather than horizontal lines. Additionally, if you choose a busy or intricate design for your windows, pay attention to the rest of the room’s décor and be sure to balance out your use of patterns in the remaining space.

Functional Fabrics and Lovely Layers
Silk, velvet and velour drapery creates luxurious and romantic ambiance. If you are going for “plush” and “pampered,” these upscale materials are just the thing!

Velvet Drapes - Elle Decor

 {via Elle Decor}

Organic cottons, linens and burlap exude natural beauty and bring some of the outdoors inside.

Floor-length Drapes - Canadian House & Home

 {via Canadian House & Home}

To create dimension and texture, consider layering a heavier fabric on the outside with a light-colored lining. The lining not only softens the look of a room, it also blocks harmful UV rays while allowing light to filter in.

Black-out Panels - Make It Love It Blog

 {via Make It Lovely & Love It Blog}

Finally, a great way to add drama, personality and whimsy to your window treatments is through the hardware. Use wooden rods and metallic finishes; couple them with elaborate crystal or fabric-wrapped finials. You can also add extra flair with elegant sashes and braided cord ties.

Brass Rod & Hardware - Nate Berkus

{Architectural Digest via MPLS St. Paul Magazine Blog | Nate Berkus design}

Installation Tips

Now that you know what to install, let’s focus on how to install it.

Tips for Hanging Curtains & Drapery - Home Tips For Women

{via Home Tips for Women}

Along with the appropriate hardware, installation kit and accompanying instructions, you’ll need a level, a screwdriver, a pencil for marking holes and a metal measuring tape (not cloth or a ruler). As always, measure twice, drill once!

Here are some basic tips to remember:

  • Measure all windows, even if they appear to be the same size!
  • Curtains and drapes are supported by a rod or bar – make sure it’s sturdy enough to support the weight of your chosen draperies.
  • When attaching screws, never use plastic drywall anchors (they will eventually fall out).
  • For traverse rods with rings (to connect the fabric and the bar), measure from the bottom of the rings to ensure the proper length.
  • Use draper’s rules: purchase fabric that is one and a half times the actual width of the window to allow for gathers and pleats.

For notes on installation placement, consider the following discussion.

Not Problems…Opportunities!

Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of your windows or surrounding room, highlight the positives and turn those problems into opportunities to show off your professional-grade home décor chops!

Here are a few of the most common fixes to “window problem areas” using tried-and-true optical illusions:

Small Windows
Solution: Instead of placing the window treatments or blinds inside the frame of the window’s casing, install them on the outside to create the appearance of larger windows. By creating a frame for the window on the outside, you give the eye more of a window “box” to look at, thereby making the entire window area seem larger.

Choppy Window-to-Wall/Ceiling Ratios
Solution: If you have shorter ceilings, windows that are placed at odd heights or tall, skinny windows, minimize the choppy look by installing floor to ceiling window treatments. By having long curtains, you have tricked the eye into focusing not on the uneven proportions of window-to-wall but rather on the smooth, elongated, elegant lines of the drapes. At the same time, the entire room looks larger!

Off-Center Windows
Solution: When you have windows that are not centered or are too far to one side on a wall, balance them out by off-setting the window treatments above them and around the sides. By doing this, you will necessarily have more surface area of the window covered on one side; however, by keeping the curtains evenly drawn, you will only see the center of the window behind them – not the 6 inches on one side and the 2 inches on the other.

Window Treatment Solutions for Awkward Window Placement - Dec-a-Porter Blog

 

{via Dec-a-Porter Blog}

By incorporating the above tips and tricks, the sky beyond your windows is the limit! What are some of your favorite design techniques that you have implemented yourself?

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