Home  >  About Curtains  >  Design Tips/Glossary

Design Tips/Glossary

Curtain Decorating Tips

Should I Use Natural or White?

This is really a matter of personal preference, but here are a few things to consider. White is brighter, because it reflects more light, and will provide a sharper contrast with the rest of the colors in your room. It draws more attention to the window. Natural offers a warmer, softer look, and tends to more easily blend with or complement the other colors in your room.

Control Light Through Fabric Selection

Sheers and laces filter light without blocking it, and don't disturb your view. Natural or white cottons or blends, are translucent, and soften the light. Woven fabrics, lined curtains and insulated curtains more nearly block out the light. Achieve the lighting effect you want by selecting an appropriate fabric.

Choosing Your Curtain Style!

With tab curtains, you can create looks that range from country to colonial to contemporary. With tailored curtains, your look can be anything from country to traditional to formal. With a combination of top treatments and curtains, sheers or laces, an up-to-date feeling is easy to have. The most important thing is to design to please yourself!

Tie Your Curtains Back!

When you tie back or hold back your curtains, you allow more light to come through your windows, and visually widen them. Where you tie them back is a matter of personal preference. Tied high, in the middle, or low ... each offers a different look with different amounts of light. You may even want to change the height of your tiebacks from season to season, to change the whole feeling in your room.

Change The Look and Feel of Your Room, Seasonally, With Layering!

It's simple! Use any of our top treatments alone in spring or summer, and then change to a layered look in fall or winter by adding a lace or sheer panel, or matching or coordinating curtains, underneath.

Solve the Drafty Window or Too Much Sunshine Problem!

Our insulated curtains and shades are a perfect solution ... and they're available in a variety of styles and colors. Or, try our insulated tailored lining. Keep the heat in in colder climates, and the heat out in warmer climates!

Why use lined curtains?

Lined curtains offer several benefits that justify the extra expense to some people. They tend to block out more light than unlined curtains when closed. Secondly, they offer a bit more insulating value. Finally, because the lining is usually Natural or White in color, the view from the street can be made consistent from window to window, eventhough inside, different rooms have different colors.

Selecting Colors For Your Window!

Use as much or as little color as you feel comfortable with. Solid colors or prints are refreshing and draw attention to the window. Soft, neutral colors can complement the colors in your carpeting, furniture, or wallpaper. If the window is interesting architecturally, you may want to emphasize that feature through color selection.

Don't hesitate to experiment with mixing naturals and whites, or prints, stripes and solids. Warm shades of reds and yellows will add life to a room. Cool colors ... blues or whites ... or earth tones like greens and browns ... are restful. Work toward harmony and complementarity in color selection.

Glossary

Austrian Valance: The Austrian Valance is a one piece valance with tails that hang down on the left and right side with an attached swag between them, most have tassels along the bottom edge. Similar in design to a 3 piece jabot set the Austrian Valance has its limitations because it’s a 1 piece design that doesn’t allow for insert valances for wide windows.

Ball Fringe Trim:Small beads (such as a pompom or even beaded balls) are attached to a flat, raw edge that will be inserted into a seam before it is closed up. A more casual look.

Balloon Valance:A soft fabric valance that is billowy and lush, drooping in graceful, looping folds across the top of a window. Also known as a cloud, though the shape varies slightly.

Box Pleat Valance: A flat, symmetrical fold of cloth sewn in place to create fullness, spaced evenly across the top of a drapery. The fabric can be folded back on either side of the pleat to show, for example, a contrasting fabric. Bullion: Long, twisted lengths of rope form a dense fringe. Typically five inches or longer, it is a lush edging for heavier fabrics (such as velvets) draperies, although it can be lighter and more casual.

Bradford Valance: Bradford Valance sometimes called a Layered Valance is a color contrasting window top treatment with one layer of fabric over the other. These layers of fabric are generally the same color shade but with a print on the top layer and a solid, stripe or gingham color matching layer as the bottom layer.

Café Curtains: Designed as a two-tier treatment, café curtains are set at a variety of heights for maximum privacy and light control, although usually at the top of a window, and then again midway.

Cord trim: Created by twisting or braiding, a cord can be made of a variety of colors and fibers.

Cornice Valance: A rigid treatment that sometimes serves as a mask for holding attached stationary draperies or for hiding various window treatment hardware or even masking for architectural flaws. The cornice is typically constructed of a chipboard style wood or lightweight material over which some kind of padding is placed, then covered with the fabric of choice and finished with decorative trim or cording to cover any seams. Only fits over the window frame. Can be a terrific focal point.

Drapery: A heavier treatment, generally lined, and able to open and close in a number of different ways. Can also be a stationary, which means it flanks either side of a window, rather than hanging in front of it.

Duchess Filler Valance: The Duchess Filler Valance is usually a higher quality Valance that is lined and has cording along the bottom edge. One of our more popular style Valances the Duchess Filler can be used alone or as an insert valance for the coordinating Empress Valance on wide windows.

Edging: A decorative piece that has one raw edge and one embellished edge.

Empress Valance: Empress Valance is very similar to a jabot window treatment. Sold as a 2 piece valance that hangs down on the left and right side of the window the empress is perfect for framing the window. Most empress valances have a center duchess filler valance sometimes called a scalloped valance that can be purchased separately for wide windows.

Festoon: Folded drapery fabric that hangs in a graceful curve from the top of the window. Also know as swag. The term can also refer to a ribbon- tied garland balanced between two points (such as either side of a window) which drapes down in the center.

Finial: A decorative hardware piece attached to the end of a pole or rod, which keeps the drapery from falling off the end.

French Pleat: A threefold pleat found at the top of a drapery. Also known as a pinch pleat.

Fringe: Available in sizes from about one inch in length to about eighteen inches, fringe is lighter style bullion: where as the bullion is more like twisted rope.

Goblet Pleat: Similar to a pinch pleat, only the top of the pleat resembles the shape of a goblet. Sometimes the goblet is filled with batting to provide bulk.

Grommet Valance: Grommet Valance is the newest type of valance on the market these days. Considered by most to be a contemporary window top treatment the grommet valance has metal grommets installed along the header of the valance that the curtain rods gets installed through.

Grommet Curtains: Grommet Curtains are extremely popular since they install and hang effortlessly from any decorative curtain rod. Metal grommets installed along the top of the curtain allow the user to draw the curtains with ease, unlike rod pocket and tab top curtains that could snag on the rod creating pulls in the fabric or even pulling the rod out of the wall. The placement of the grommets allow the curtains to look neat all the time, whether their open or closed.

Holdback: A piece of hardware placed about one third to midway between the top and bottom of the window, used to hold draperies back to either side.

Jabot: A stationary panel, decorative in nature, used in tandem with a swag (festoon). Also know as a tail.

Lined: A layer attached to the backside of a decorative fabric or interlining to protect drapery from sunrays . Adds bulk to a drapery.

Loop Fringe: Similar to brush fringe, only the fringe loops back into the finial or lip cord rather than it being cut at the bottom.

Pinch Pleat: A threefold pleat found at the top of a drapery. Also known as French pleat.

Piping: A thin cord covered in fabric that is used primarily to cover seams.

Pole Top Valance: Pole Top Valance has a large pocket for a large diameter curtain rod, generally installed over a decorative wood pole, large diameter decorative curtain rod but can be installed on a 2 ½” conventional wide rod.

Portiere: A drapery treatment that hangs in either a doorway or room entrance. Usually stationary, its main function is to soften and beautify an area.

Rod Pocket: A hollow tube-like sleeve located at the top of a drapery and sometimes top and bottom of a curtain) that will accommodate a rod. The rod is attached to the wall or ceiling and the drapery suspended from it, is able to traverse back and forth.

Rosette: A detailing fabric piece used primarily for accentuating. Resembles a flower and can be quite large when used at the top of a drapery, or quite small.

Scalloped Valance: Scalloped Valance sometimes called a shaped valance or wave valance has a scalloped bottom edge giving the window top treatment motion, creating a full body look. Scalloped valances are one of more popular items.

Scarf: A single piece of light weight fabric with a color/ pattern that shows both sides (as opposed to simply being imprinted on one side) that either wraps loosely around a stationary rod, or loops through a decorative brackets placed on either side of the window frame.

Shaped Valance: Refer to Scalloped Valance.

Sheer: A light, see through or opaque fabric, never lined. It is only used for beauty and some sun control. Usually used in conjunction with some other hard treatment. Stationary Drape: Usually hangs to either side of a window and acts as decoration. It is not meant to provide protection from the sun or offer privacy. It is a beauty treatment that does not move.

Tailored Valance: Tailored Valance is a straight bottom edge valance that is the perfect fit for all types of home décor depending on fabric type but can be considered contemporary with its neat straight lines. Easy to install and usually very affordable the tailored valance can be used in all windows in the home.

Tassel: Consisting of three main parts: the cord (used to suspend the tassel), the top 9 Holds the fringe in place, can also be called a finial) and the skirt (the fringe that hangs from inside the top of the piece), a tassel can range from a very simple (such as a key tassel) to extremely heavy and ornate.

Tieback: A shaped piece of fabric or cording used to pull a drapery panel away from a window.

Valance: A simple to elaborate treatment, the valance is a piece of decorative fabric usually hung from a rod, a piece of decorative hardware or a board. Valances can take on many shapes: layered, shaped, festoon, m valance, pleated, scalloped etc…

Wave Valance: Refer to Scalloped Valance.
  • Use Coupon Code: SAVE5 to save 5%!
  • Use Coupon Code: FREESHIP75 for Free Economy Ground Shipping on all orders over $75!
  • Use Coupon Code: SAVE15 to Save 15% on orders over $100
Only one Coupon per Customer. Coupons valid today. Not valid on previous orders.
Coupons must be entered and applied during checkout,
no adjustments will be made after an order has been submitted.
(Save15) Not valid on Almost Custom, Waverly & Park Design Products, USA customers only.