3 Tips For Decorating With Drapes

Many people don't realize it, but there are important differences between drapes and curtains. Curtains are lighter and airier, and tend not to be as lengthy as drapes. Drapes are made of heavier fabric, and are usually designed to reach the floor, or at least close to the floor. Drapes can be harder to work with than curtains; they're more unwieldy and can have a more drastic impact on the room, which can be a bad thing if you choose the wrong drapes. On the other hand, drapes can give the room a more textured look, and that dramatic impact can be a plus if you choose the right drapes. Take a look at some tips that will help you successfully decorate with drapes.


Since drapes tend to be heavier and longer than curtains, they have more of a visual impact on the room. That's why it's important to be sure that you choose a color or printed pattern that doesn't clash with the rest of the room, or overpower everything else in it.

For example, if you have a lot of navy blue in the room, then blue curtains could be just the thing to tie the room together. However, if the room is small, a dark color like navy blue could make the room look even smaller, and a lighter blue might not look right with your darker pieces. So instead, you might want to try a color that complements the dark blue, like a light gray or a deep orange.


Of course, there's no reason that you have to stick with solid colors when it comes to drapes—you also have a variety of printed designs to choose from. However, like colors, you should choose prints with caution.

A floral print can be the perfect touch for a room that needs a feminine, flowery look. The right print can give the room a natural, garden-like feel. But if the room you're decorating needs a more neutral look, flowery drapes can be overwhelming. Consider stripes or other designs instead.


The material you choose for your drapes can add as much to the room as the colors or prints that you choose. You can find drapes in velvet or crushed velvet, heavy silk, cotton, rayon blends, and linen.

You'll often see the heaviest materials, like velvet and heavy silk, in formal dining rooms, master bedrooms, or any other room that needs a formal feel. However, it's important to remember that these heavier fabrics are also good insulators, so you may want to try them in drafty rooms, too. If you want a more casual look, then cotton or rayon is a better choice. Linen or crushed velvet are both good in-between options, when you want something that's not overwhelmingly formal, but not too casual either.

When you're choosing drapery material, make sure to note the washing instructions. Cotton and rayon are usually machine washable, but the other materials may be dry-clean only. If dry-cleaning is going to be too much of a hassle, you may want to stick to materials you can wash at home.

Drapery can really add something to a room, but it all comes down to choosing the right custom drapes for the look you want. Understanding the different ways to use colors, prints, and various drape materials in the house can help you make the right choice.