Shades or Drapes, Which is the Best Solution for Your Windows?

Window treatments often serve as a way to provide while helping to control the levels of natural light. Window treatments can also help with the cooling or insulating of a room. But which one is the best solution for your home?

Roman shades can easily be the centerpiece of a room and draw your eye towards the windows. Roman shades are highly effective at blocking light and protecting privacy by adding blackout liners and flannel interlining. Roman shades can diffuse or block out light completely depending on how sheer they are.

Roman shades, which are more structured than drapery, and are perfect solutions for tricky windows or spaces. Roman shades fit in the window frame or on the outside of the frame. They work well on windows that sit up high off the floor, are particularly narrow, or are divided into multiple segments. However, to allow light, the shade must be lifted entirely which means if you need privacy, you’ll have to sacrifice natural light in the process.

Drapes can be made of beautiful luxurious fabrics and can give a room a formal appearanceDrapes are perfect for dining rooms, living rooms, and other areas where guests are frequently entertained. However, drapes don’t have to be installed only in formal rooms. When paired with high-quality blinds or shades, they’re perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any room in your home.

Drapes are great at insulating and soundproofing rooms. Thin, sheer drapes will provide virtually nothing in the way of insulation and soundproofing, thick thermal drapes are great for reducing heat loss during the winter and keeping away cold drafts. Thick drapes also create a dampening effect for loud and bothersome noises, making them ideal for homeowners who live near train tracks, industrial facilities, or busy highways. Drapes, with their added layer, block out light and are thus popular for bedrooms. They can also insulate against heat and cold.

Drapes may be more expensive than Roman shades due to the amount of fabric required. But adding draperies to a room can really add warmth, design and texture and really finish a room nicely.

If you have any questions about Roman shades or drapes, please contact one of our talented designers. We would love to help you create beautiful, high quality window treatments.

How to Measure for Draperies

We often get questions about measuring for custom draperies. DrapeStyle has a measuring guide online to help you with the process, but here are a few more tips you may find helpful:

Always measure using a metal tape to ensure accuracy. Drapery measurements are always recorded in inches (never feet) and the measurements are written down as width x length.

Mount your rod on the outside of the trim, both above and side to side, adding extra height and width for a more finished look and to keep light out more effectively.

If you would like your draperies to clear your window when drawn open, extend the rod beyond the width of the window at least 6-8 inches on either side.

For a more custom look, you may want to utilize the “return.” A return is created when the end of the drape is wrapped around the bracket to hide the mounting hardware, block out light and create a more polished look.

If you are looking to add more color or design element, and don’t really need the drapes to functions, chances are you are looking for a decorative set of drapes. I usually suggest ordering drapes 1/3 the width of the window width.

If you need to solve a problem like too much light, lack of privacy or drafty windows, you will want functional drapes. And most likely you will want to add an interlining to your draperies.

As always, we are here to help. Contact one of our helpful designers with any questions you may have. We would love to help you design your dream drapes.

Belgian Estate Linen

Once in a while we like to just re-introduce one of our styles. This afternoon we were looking at a brand new pair of amazing Estate Linen Drapes that were just finished and I realized that we haven’t really talked about these lately and they are one of our best selling drapery styles. In case you have not seen the Estate Linen Collection you really need too.

These custom Belgian Linen Drapes are softer and thicker than our classic linens and a bit heavier. The weave is little more relaxed and the hand is beautiful. Like any natural linen fabric, they are going to be prone to wrinkles but a little time hanging on the rod should take care of them. Care cards are always included with each order to guide you so that you can hang your drapes yourself, beautifully.

We love to dress these linens up with edge-bands, borders and ribbons. For a limited time you can add a solid linen contrasting edge-band at no additional charge. If you would like one of our designer fabrics as the edge-band, we can do that too for an additional fee.

Like with silk drapes, our linens are a natural fabric so you may want to take advantage of our blackout lining promotion and upgrade the lining to blackout to both protect the fabric, give you more insulation and privacy. For $99 per panel, the blackout upgrade option is the easiest decision you will make when ordering your new drapes.

If you need some help selecting an edge-band, border or trim, please contact one of our designers. They love creating unique and one-of-a-kind creations for our clients.

How to Avoid Sun Damage

Kravet Riad Dune Drapes, Shade

Custom drapes are an investment so protecting them and making sure they look great long term is important. Enemy number one is the sun. To help with this, adding blackout lining and interlining will provide the most protection against the sun and elongate the lifespan of your drapery by creating a barrier between the harsh rays of the sun and the fabric.

Roman Shade

Man-made fabrics or synthetic fabrics are generally more color resistant due to either the color being ‘built-in’ to the fiber, or the ability to take stronger more caustic dyes. As with anything, the darker and more saturated the hue, the more prone to fading it is. But even with the right lining, all drapery fabric is susceptible to fading/damage over time.

Bordered Silk Drapes

If you have a very wide window and the fabric you’ve fallen in love with will break the bank, consider decorative side panels instead of full drapes. Meaning, the drapes you select won’t completely meet in the middle and cover the entire window. They are meant to be stationary. But if you need protection from the sun consider adding blinds or shades that can be raised and lowered as need to block the sun. With or without blinds, you’ll still want to add a protective lining to your drapery.