- The function of the treatment is the first consideration. What purpose will they serve? Is privacy, light control or heat control a requirement? Are the drapes going to be opened and closed daily, and by whom? How difficult will this be with long drapes or short ones? What hardware will be used and how is it to be hung? What weight can the rod hold? Writing down the answers to these questions will help clarify your needs.
- Window coverings can occupy a large visual space in a room. Wall to wall treatments will draw as much attention as the main furniture pieces or an outstanding floor covering. Just as a plaid wool scarf will not fit the mood of a tuxedo jacket, full length velvet curtains will not match the mood of a country styled dining room. To help visualize the length, take a picture of the window wall. Enlarge it to 8 Inches by 10 inches and wrap it in plastic cling film or insert it in a plastic binder sleeve. Use dry erase markers to draw test drapes on the picture.
Harmony Within the Room
- The style should be of the same period and color scheme as the rest of the room and should blend into the room decor, not overpower it. Formal rooms suggest more classic, longer treatments, and shorter coverings are more suited to contemporary, or casual, rooms but this is a guideline only, not a rule. The visual effect of the curtains to the whole room, and the likes and dislikes of the homeowner, are most important.
- The physical room itself must be considered. Baseboard heaters, under window registers, radiators and geothermal or air conditioning ducts will affect the length. Consider how the floor is to be cleaned. If the cleaning involves water full length draperies will have to be tied up out of the way. Children must not be able to pull on the cords; tying them up out of reach is a critical safety issue.