You may have chosen the perfect window treatment that wows everybody and is the centerpiece of the room. However, what speak volumes about your attention to detail are the headings of your curtains. And, don’t think that all window treatments look the same. What makes the difference is the top of each, and it can demonstrate your style or give style to a room. In some cases, the effect of a nice heading, unpretentious or elaborate (and everything in between!) can surpass that of the fabric itself. Some of our favorites are presented below for your eyes only!
Pinch Pleats: All you Need to Know!
Yes, you may say they are traditional, but perfect pleats can never go out of style, no matter what. Pinch pleats are a much-preferred option to finish off the top of drapes and provide that extra light and privacy control you want. They are not only great additions to a traditional-styled house but also look fantastic in elegant spaces, offering a timeless and dramatic look. They are called pinched because the top of the drape is pinched together (literally), and the pleats are weighted at the bottom of the seams and spaced out evenly apart to get a tailored overall look. Have you noticed how they control the fullness as the fabric drops downwards, allowing the drape to fall evenly and smoothly? That is the beauty of it all!
Of the many pinch looks available, the three-finger pinch pleats are the most popular (see image above). As its name suggests, it has 3 pleats (called fingers) pinched together a couple of inches from the top of the drape. What is distinguishing though is that they open up toward the bottom the drape in a flower-like fashion, creating a much fuller look compared to the two-finger pinch pleats. Of course, the closer the pleats, the fuller the outcome.
Now, the two-finger pleats (form a V shape as they are pinched together) is a much more affordable option considering that you use less fabric than other pleats, which is perfectly fine if you are OK with the contemporary look they give overall. Of course, you can always go for the four- or even five-finger pinched pleats that require more fabric but give a much fuller look.
How to measure for pinched-pleated drapes
Also, consider the length of the pinched-pleated drape:
- Positioned half an inch off the floor for tailored looks (more traditional). Having them right above the floor is best for traversing draperies.
- If you have stationary panels, it is best to have the pleats break at the floor.
- For a more dramatic effect, you can add an extra eight inches beyond the floor. Also perfect for puddle length, among other stationary panels.
Now, if you walk to your nearest window treatment store, the expert there will come out and measure everything for you. In case you are getting custom-made drapes from an online store, note that most of them have calculators that help you figure out the right size for your drape. Just be careful when measuring.
How to Hang your Pinch-Pleated Drapes
Since pinch-pleated drapes are an investment, you have to make the most of it and have them compliment your drapery panels beautifully. Taking proper measures is paramount, especially when you are ordering drapes to cover your entire window because you get pinch-pleated drapes specifically made for your window treatment. Hence, they are not adjustable, and everything counts on taking correct measurements.
The key is to ensure they are pinned and hung correctly. If you have asked a professional to make them for you, them just let them install them as well. If you are hanging the drapes yourself, then you know the pinch pleat on the drape is done well if the pin hook is pushed in right next to each pleat. They should not be pushing the pins through the front, and you may even insert the pin hooks about ¼ an inch from the top of the drape so that it opens and closes nicely. If everything is done correctly, you should have pinch-pleated drapes with a very elegant vibe indeed!
What you Should Know when Picking a Window Rod
Considering that the fabric gets heavier the more widths you add of it to the rod, the rod has definitely got to be heavy-duty (traverse or track rod will also do) to hold the weight of the drapes, especially on large windows. Personally, I find traverse rods very appealing because they not only look awesome but also make opening and closing the pinch-pleated drapes a walk in the park.
- If you are planning on having pinched-pleated drapes in the bedroom(s) a good idea is to try black-out lining so that you keep light completely out of the room when you close the drapes.
- A white or off-white lining to the back side of the pleated drape will make your windows look like one piece on the outside of your house.
- If you want to keep the warmth in, it is always nice to use thermal or insulated lining.
Useful Bits & Pieces:
If the time has come to take down your old curtains, take your time before rushing to the next reasonable alternative. You can ask for an interior designer’s input, or you can follow this simple guide that will get everything answered for you! What is important to know is that the way you dress your windows will have a dramatic effect on how the room feels and looks. So, no matter your decision (you have a wide range of options, from bamboo blinds to sheer curtains), keep these tips in mind:
1. Functional or Stationary?
What is it that you need most? Plenty of light or more privacy? Do you want to keep the heat in or allow the room to remain cool? Prevent drafts, perhaps? You see, besides an additional décor to your home, drapes can be functional, too. If you are about to get curtains for a bedroom, you may want to consider choosing a heavy material that will block light when you have the drapes closed. For a kitchen, on the other hand, you most likely need an abundance of light, and the same applies to an attic window. In these cases, you want your drapes to have a variety of functions: to be able to open them for a partial view, pull them up to enjoy an unobstructed window, or close them completely to keep nosy people outside your business. When you make up your mind regarding these issues, you will know what to ask for exactly!
2. Have a Lining or Not?
Besides the design, you also have to make a decision regarding whether your drapes will have lining or not. With lining, you are sure your curtains are protected from sunlight that may cause the colors of the fabric to fade, as well as dirt from the window. It also provides added insulation so you might cut costs on electricity bills! On the other hand, without a lining, it is much easier to wash and significantly lighter to handle. Not to mention drapes without a lining are best for rooms that you wish to remain cool and are very practical in areas such as the bathroom and kitchens, where the extra moisture and steam call for more regular washing.
3. Go Above and Beyond what is Expected and Give more Length!
To put it simply…exaggerate it! If your goal is to draw all eyes to your windows, order draperies that require more fabric and hang the curtain pole about 6-12 inches above their frames. This trick will give the illusion that your windows are much larger than what they really are! To top the effect, you can also consider allowing your drapes to hang to the floor past the lowest point of the window frames.
4. Let it be Sunshine!
If you love having much sunlight where you live, work, or spend most hours of your day in, then a good piece of advice is to hang your curtains, and add about 12-20 inches more length on each end of the curtain rod. This way, you will still be able to pull the curtains aside and leave every part of the pane unobstructed. The result? You let in as much light as possible and make narrow windows look wider!
5. Don’t be Afraid to Mix & Match!
Still have concerns regarding your drapes, and which fabrics to use? Feel like your sheer curtains will not provide you with the privacy you want, as soon as the lights are on? Are convinced that your blinds are not homely and cozy enough? Dare to step up and combine options. Add a heavier drape on top of your sheer curtains, so you can draw them at night, add a curtain pelmet to your window frame to give your blinds a different look! Just let your imagination gallop and I am sure fantastic stuff will come out of it!