Monthly Archives: May 2015

Five Drapery Hardware Mistakes to Avoid

What are the most common drapery hardware mistakes made when it comes to designing, choosing or specifying drapery hardware?  We are often asked this question, so we have compiled a list of  drapery hardware no-no’s  and added some of our best tips and tricks to avoid them. You’ll come away with great solutions for your upcoming projects.

#1 Choosing the Wrong Hardware

Usually its because you or the client is trying to save money. Don’t do it! Don’t give the client a choice- give them all the reasons why they must choose your recommendation. (Sometimes that means giving them the worst case scenario). Whether you are making the wrong hardware choice for the application- from telescoping rods to be drawn to lightweight traverse rods for draperies with multiple widths- or choosing the wrong hardware style for the drapery fabric, design or the room; it’s critical to match the drapery hardware to the window treatment design.

They are basically 2 types of drapery hardware. Basic goods that are operable and non operable called white goods and decorative hardware- both operable and non operable.

Top 10 Mistakes (2)

Drapery hardware can also be categorized as ready-made; semi-custom and custom. Ready-Made hardware is pre packaged and sold at retailers. The rods usually are telescoping and can’t be bent or bowed. Ready -made collections have limited accessories and is your most economical choice. Semi-custom hardware is bulk packaged/ pre packaged and the rods are sold in pre-determined lengths- 4’ 6’ 12’. Finials and rings are sold separately. Semi-custom hardware also has limited accessories. Custom drapery hardware is one -off production; meaning no waste. It is easier to install because it is made specifically to your measures and there is less chance for error. Custom hardware is truly personal; each job is finished specifically to your specs so there are no lot variations.

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#2 Making the Hardware an After Thought

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A strap and a Command strip doesn’t replace a bracket.

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Plumbing fixtures should not be part of your sample pack.

The window treatments are the main event, but the drapery hardware is important, too. Don’t forget to give ample consideration to the hardware. Pay attention to how heavy the curtains are, sometimes you may need a rod with extra support or added hardware. Also, think about the style of the rod and finial and how it goes with the curtain style. The narrower or smaller your window, the thinner the rod can be. Larger and wider windows will require heftier rods.

#3 Mounting the Hardware in the Wrong Place

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Unfortunately this is not a good look- the decorative hardware is mounted too high

It’s so important to know the window and window treatment footprint. (i.e. will it fit above the frame and below the crown). Telling your installer to “hang it as high as possible” doesn’t cut it. Here are some questions to ask yourself BEFORE measuring and before showing your decorative hardware options to your client.

  • Will this treatment function or not or is it limited functionality? If so, which direction will it draw?
  • How much area do you want to cover?
  • Where are you going to mount it?
  • How many layers are you doing?
  • How far out will you or can you come with the layers?
  • Will the hardware you choose work at ceiling?

 

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Lovely treatment where all things have been taken into consideration.

Rule of thumb is to mount the rod or board up a minimum of 4”-8” above top of trim if not mounting at the ceiling. This is done so the drapery covers the trim when closed, and the underpinnings don’t show outside. Standard drapery brackets need a minimum of 1-3/4” to mount above trim, so you should be mounting up at least 2” up from the frame NEVER on the frame.

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Mount hardware are the same height to eliminate sight lines.

Avoid common drapery hardware mistakes:

v  Always check to see if there is enough room for rod above and finials on the side.

v  Ceiling mounts- I like to start at the ceiling and work down. Keep in mind, finial height and ring clearance. Top treatments should be mounted at ceiling when draperies go to floor.

v  Windows or doors at different heights in a room should have treatments mounted using the height of highest window as a guideline.

v  Mount directly below wide crown molding.

“Many designers don’t understand that to properly determine FL you need to either have the hardware in hand or that you need very detailed specs about the hardware. Even many wholesale suppliers don’t understand all the information that we require.”~ Angela Schreiber

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#4 Measuring Incorrectly

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The first thing you should do is measure your windows and make adjustments depending on how you want to hang the window treatments. It will save you another trip to the store if your curtains and rods are the right size. First consider the window.  Second, Consider the space around the window. Are there security systems? Window centered on wall? Obstructions? Are the floors and ceilings are parallel? The bottom line-Is there space to do what you want to do? Third, consider the room it’s in. Is your design intent congruent with the room it will be in?

#5 Not Figuring How Much Your Treatment Weighs

As a designer you must know the weight limitations of each track to be used. For example, a well known manufacturer’s smooth Designer Metal rod will only hold .9 lbs per foot and the fluted version only holds 1.5 lbs per foot. This means an 8′ wide window drapery cannot weigh more than 7.2 lbs or 12 lbs.

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There are two things you need to figure to make sure you have the right rod for the right treatment. First, check with your drapery hardware manufacturer to find out how much weight the rod you are considering holds per linear foot. Next, figure your drapery  or treatment weight using the formulas below.

Multiply total yardage by one of the following:

  • Regular Drapery fabric + lining:  ¾ lb. – 1 lb. per yard
  • Regular Drapery fabric + Blackout lining: 1 lb. – 1.25 lbs. per yard
  • Regular Drapery fabric + Blackout + interlining: 1.5 lb.- 1.7 lbs.  per yard

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How much will your rod hold?

For more tips and tricks about selling and specifying drapery hardware heck out our complimentary monthly webinars or watch them on demand HERE. 

 

Take it Outside: Outdoor Decor Ideas

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Can you believe it- the official start of the summer season is only days away. Now certainly is the time to think al fresco.  Think summer and refresh and renew those underused outdoor spaces with these outdoor decor ideas.

Take it Outside

Bring your indoor style outside. Here’s some inspiration to get you started:

Outdoor Draperies: Create intimate spaces within the yard, frame a beautiful view or block one if you feel as though you’re on stage every time you walk outside.

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This is a perfect example of bringing your style outside. Scalloped valance and tiedback draperies crave out a dramatic back entry.

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e07c052b7b58Whether you choose grommets, pleats or tab tops for your outdoor drapery heading; you need the correct hardware to hang it from.

 

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Who says you can only do draperies in the back yard?

Get Creative: Do you want a frig or bar to make entertaining easy-  peasy? Think summer kitchen. Wish that you had an extra bath to wash off those sandy or dirty feet before you come into the house? Think outdoor shower.

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Our Italian or Iron Art collections can be custom bent to your specs; turning an outdoor faucet into your own private shower or hang one of our custom bent poles from a tree to craft a secluded sanctuary.

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Need shade? Use architectural track with cubicle carriers run lengthwise across the space to be covered and fabricate a flat Roman shade with pockets that hold rods . Attach to the carriers to slide the shade easily when needed.

Outdoor Design Tips

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Scale the Space: One enormous couch in an area designed for a table and chairs will probably end up being a traffic hazard. Make sure that the furnishings you choose for your patio keep the space open and easy to move around in.

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Proportion Rule #1- Height Reigns Supreme.

Keep It All-Weather: Keep your patio looking good for longer than a season or two by choosing soft furnishings that are built to last outdoors. Choose cushion fills that repel moisture and resist mildew, and don’t forget fabrics that are  UV-protected. Sunbrella, Bella Dura and perrennials are a few brands to source. Finally no matter how much outdoor resistant your fabrics and materials are don’t fail to also choose the right hardware. Orion outdoor drapery hardware is first powder coated, then hand painted in the finish of your choice. The final step is an outdoor sealant, giving the best protection against Mother Nature. The outdoor finishing process is applied to rods, brackets and rings, but can also be applied to our accessories like batons and tiebacks, and even bent or arched rods.

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Outdoor spaces bring another set of challenges. Draperies and shades need tiedowns or weights to stay in place from wind and weather.  Use this tip from My Crazy Good Life– You’ll need to purchase the following:

  • Large Plastic grommets
  • Bungee Balls
  • D Rings

Attach the plastic grommets to the hem and bungi to a “D” ring screwed into deck or patio.

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Available on Amazon

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Build in function: Patios and decks are great relaxing living spaces, but unless you plan ahead and add function; Mother Nature can sweep in as an uninvited guest, ruining your day or evening outdoors with high temperatures or rain. So, consider adding a retractable awning or umbrella to your outdoor  space.  You’ll have several options depending on your budget and the size of your patio. Such as:

•Retractable awning: This modern shelter allows you to shade your porch and keep it dry during a storm, but you can also retract it to enjoy the sun’s rays. Motorization is also available for hard to reach or specialty installations.

•Sail shades: They’re flexible enough that you can attach them to anything from the side of a house to a tree, and they come in many sizes, shapes and colors to fit any budget and style.

•Umbrella: This back-porch classic is both decorative and functional.

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Add Personality

Outdoor living should appeal to the senses and help relax and refresh you. When dealing with outdoor spaces, texture is your friend. Lattice work, pots made of unusual materials like hypertufa, bamboo curtains and wrought iron all help create an interesting mood.

wanda iron inspirationUse Orion’s Crown or Burgundy collection as vine trainers.

Lavish color is also always an enhancement to outdoor spaces.  If you’re dealing with a plain Jane environment, brighten it up with painted benches and some colorful throw pillows.

 

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Who knew that with  2 pallets and some rope could create this endearing outdoor swing.

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Dreaming of an exotic vacation? Create an outdoor space that evokes your fantasy place.

Images via My Crazy Good Life, Wanda Suitt Horton, House beautiful, Pinterest, Orion Ornamental Iron, DIY Creative Ideas.