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How To Pick Out Hardware For Curtains

 How To Pick Out Hardware For Curtains

When picking out your curtains, consider what kind of hardware you want to use to display those draperies.  The choices are limitless here, from simple, everyday items to detailed, decorated pieces that can greatly enhance any window treatment.  Those pieces are rods, rings, brackets, finials and others.  The hardware can also come in many styles, like classical or contemporary.  Different materials are used to make the hardware, which are metal, wood or plastic.   

It’s important to find the right hardware for your curtains.  Ask yourself some of these questions to make the choices easier:       

  • What kind of material is right for my room?    
  • Should my drapery hardware be simple or decorated?    
  • Are there any special features that I am looking for? 

Where To Start Shopping For Hardware 

There are so many choices of hardware for draperies that it might overwhelm you.  Narrow your search to make things easy.  Figure out the look that you want for the room.  There is hardware that's perfect for any style of decor you might have, like contemporary or classical.  Hardware can become the focal point when put in the open view for the show, or can be hidden from view to showcase the curtains.  Your choice of the rod can guide you in the choice of brackets, end caps, tiebacks and rings.  Start with the rod. 

All drapery hardware can be divided into two basic groups - functional or decorative.  Functional hardware is composed of simple pieces that are necessary for hanging and operating draperies.  It is often hidden by the fabrics.  Decorative hardware is designed to be showcased and to add style to boring window treatments.  It can include such accessories as tiebacks, tassels, finials or sconces.  Those pieces can be subtle or can become the focal point of the room.  Both functional and decorative window treatments will require some sort of rod, brackets and end caps or finials. 

Curtain Rods 

Curtain rods are also called poles, and are the most important element in hanging curtains.  All other pieces should be selected based on the rod.  The rod gives the main support to the window hangings.  You can have sliders or rings attached to the rod to move the curtains back and forth.  There are thicker rods that have more of a visual effect and thinner concealed rods for displaying the curtains.  To create the illusion that your window is taller than it is, hang the curtain a few inches or even feet above the window.  Also, if your room is wide, make your window appear wider by choosing a wide curtain rod.   

Decorative rods come in many sizes and colors.  They are very visible and affect the window treatment decor.  Some of the materials used for these rods are wrought iron, wood, brushed nickel, brass, pewter, verdigris and others.  The finishes for wood may be plain, painted, stained, fluted or unfinished.  Decorative rods are adjustable in length.  

Concealed rods usually come in metal that can be adjusted for different widths.  They are designed in a way that lets them be concealed by the hanging fabric.  This style is great for hanging layered draperies with its double or triple rods.  Sash rods are for hourglass curtains or sashes to hang on French doors and casement windows.  For lighter drapes use tension rods that have a spring mechanism that keeps the ends in place.  To create a shirred valance, use wide-pocket rods. 

Traverse rods are usually used with curtains that are opened with a cord or a wand.  Unless you have a top treatment, the rod is visible when curtains are opened.  Most common traverse rods are two-way rods, which let the curtains move away from the middle to each end.  One-way rods let the panels move only in one direction.  To spice up the room, get decorative traverse rods with rings.  They can be seen even when the curtains are closed. 

Cafe rods are narrow rods that are meant to be concealed.  They are fluted or rounded with small finials.  The most common material for cafe rods is brass in many colored finishes.  Some come with rings and some without rings.  This kind of rod is great for use with hand-drawn curtains or tie-tab drapes. 

Brackets, Finials and Sconces 

When your rod is selected, go ahead and find the brackets, finials and sconces.  For the best decorating possibilities find decorative finials and end caps.  Some of the shapes you can find for finials are balls, flowers, scrolls, spears, leaves or stars.  Brackets support the rod, while finials let the window treatments lay in elegance.  They come in such materials as wood, glass, ceramic, rattan, metal or molded resin.  Some brackets are simple and just support the rod.  Others are decorative and add to the design of the window treatments.  A sconce is a decorative bracket and can be used to thread the fabric through it.  Sconces come in many designs such as flowers, animals or leaves.  Picking finials and brackets from different material than the rod is good for visual contrast. 

Curtain Hardware Accessories 

To further stylize your window treatments, get accessories.  Use tiebacks to tie the curtain to one side.  Tiebacks can be just strips of fabric or decorative bows.  Holdbacks have the same function as the tiebacks, but are more decorative and are attached to the wall.  Hooks, rings and clips connect the curtains to the rod.  They can be simple in style and hidden, or decorative and bold.  Decorative tassels can add style to a plain pull cord.  Curtain accessories, such as buttons, trims and jewels also add style and the use of creativity.

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