Tag Archives: drapery hardware

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.


#2 Making the Hardware an After Thought


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


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


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?



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.


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



#4 Measuring Incorrectly


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.


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


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

orion outdoor

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.


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



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



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.

0706_sunset_shower_3l art gray

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.




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


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.


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.




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.


Available on Amazon


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.


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.



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


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.

Earth Day and Orion Green

earth-day orion green

Wednesday is Earth Day’s 45th anniversary. It was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970 and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 192 countries. This year Earth Day Network hopes this is the year in which economic growth and sustainability join hands- turning to businesses to take the lead so that world leaders can follow by example.

orion green

So I thought it was appropriate to talk a little “Green” and Orion’s role in it. As a Maker and custom drapery hardware manufacturer, Orion appreciates and is invested in sustainability and the environmental movement.  We have been supporting Earth Island Institute and all its good work through our Orion Green program since 2008.

Earth-Island-Institute1Orion Green

What Does Earth Island Institute Do?

Earth island Institute is a non-profit organization and:

* Supports a worldwide network of 65 solutions-focused projects serving as an incubator for start-up environmental groups

*   Offers special initiatives in developing young environmental leaders

*   Supports both urban and rural community-based habitat restoration like Streets Alive! Streets Alive! Hopes to engage communities about the concepts and application of Sustainable principles. By using art as the platform for storytelling and communication, Streets Alive!  turns neglected urban landscapes and infrastructure into vibrant art pieces and community gathering spaces.

* Works to support networks of watershed groups to tell the story of restoration and conservation with groups like Re-Seed California. Through their Small Grants Program, Earth Island Institute has been able to support locally based restoration efforts. Small grassroots efforts to restore the coastal habitats of Southern California, which have been depleted by an astounding 98%, have been slowly working to bring our wetlands back from the brink of extinction.

Orion believes in Earth Island Institute’s vision. As a small business located in California, we feel that Earth Island Institute is a kindred spirit. Through Orion Green we hope to make a difference and improve the health of our planet. Working together with our trade partners and dealers, Orion chooses to support causes aimed towards the betterment of the environment, the people and animals living on the planet.

We try to make daily business choices to consume less, create awareness, preserve our natural resources and assist others to create a positive impact on our environment.

Orion Green is a simple program – Purchase & Donate >> Match >> Save the Planet’s Health.

How Does it Work?

1. Become a Partner of Orion Green by logging on to www.ironartbyorion.com.

2. As a partner of the Orion Green program $1.00 will be added to your invoices toward your donation to this program.

3. Orion will match your donation by $2.00 making a total donation of $3.00 per invoice contributed to the Earth Island Institute.

Your tax deductible contributions to Earth Island Institute will provide an acknowledgement letter and receipt by Feb 15 each year, for all donations over $10 made to Orion Green in the preceding calendar year.Orion Green bag

You’ll  will receive a tote bag “You are here” as a token of appreciation for the contribution made to the Orion Green program. Orion partners donating over $249 annually will have a special mention in the Annual report published by the Earth Island Institute and sent to each partner via email.

If you are interested in joining us in helping to save the planet, join today at Orion’s website. If you want more details or have questions, email us at oriongreen@ironartbyorion.com

Happy Earth Day!






Orion 101: Traversing Systems

Our April webinar Orion 101: Traversing Systems has been posted. In this continuing series of complimentary webinars, we’ll share tips, tricks and product insights to our product lines and services.  Join us to learn more about specifying and selling traversing systems in our decorative hardware line. You can view it HERE: 

orion traversing systems

The Italian Collection


Angela Britt, Deziner Orginials

Are you designing in a contemporary context and looking for the right hardware to finish your window fashions?  Playing off of today’s design aesthetic of clean, modern design, Orion’s Italian Collection is your answer.

The California made collection is available in a broad range of sizes, configurations and finials. This custom collection has rod sizes in  3/4″,  1”, and  1-1/4” round and  1” and 2“ square. You can meet any client’s needs with either single or double rod sets, traversing systems and even motorization. Need to mount inside- we have socket brackets. Want to mount at the ceiling? We have ceiling mount brackets.  Have a door or large span to cover and need a decorative option- we have the bypass system. Want to use a French pole with a modern twist? Our Italian finishes will give you that.


Shirley Wickman, Cyrus Interiors


Warren Hartsook, Warrens Window Treatments

Minimalistic makes Dramatic Statement

The Italian collection’s six finishes are inspired by metallic trend that’s not going away. Brushed nickel and oiled bronze are on point. Chrome is gaining popularity- especially with more and more draperies and curtains appearing in baths. Satin Gold and Satin Copper speak to the warm metal trend. Black Nickel is our fashion forward finish.


The collection’s metal finials are inspired by geometric forms with their sharp corners and angles. The new wood inset finials mix media with the warmth of natural, oak and walnut warming up the cool of the metal. Looking for Modern Glam? Our Bohemia Crystal finials are a perfect complement for the Italian collection poles or rods. All are hand crafted. Plus, I love that the crystal finials come in nice velvet lined black box.



Looking for Solutions?

If you are working with specialty windows the Italian Collection has the right accessories and systems to solve your challenges. If you working with Bays and Corners use our movable Corner Brackets or Movable Elbow with End Brackets to maximize space. Send us your wall measures and angles and we’ll custom bend your pole.


When your customer asks for functioning treatments but doesn’t want a traditional or heavy looking decorative drapery hardware – that’s when you sell our Italian collection.

Use our traversing system when:

  • Your customer asks for functioning treatments
  • You need easy and convenient- ball bearing carriers in the same finish as the track and heavy duty pulleys
  • The Drapery Specs require it- whether its weight or span of heading
  • The Hardware becomes the top treatment
  • You need to solve a client challenge- traversing systems offer multiple answers

No matter what your design intent or challenge is Customization is our specialty. Our products can be customized to meet installation specifications. We offer products and accessories that are highly functional as well as innovative and unique.



Ten Drapery Hardware Mistakes You Should Avoid

Join Orion for our next month’s complimentary webinar:

bad mount

The Top 10 Drapery Hardware Mistakes to Avoid
Thursday, March 12, 2015
1pm EST/ 12pm CST/ 10am PST

You’ll see and hear some interesting stories about inappropriate choices, bad installations and drapery hardware no-no’s and you’ll come away with some great tips on what to avoid on future projects.

Drapery Hardware by Design Art

“What do you want in a drapery hardware line?”

That’s what we asked designers and then we took their answers and we created Design Art. From elegantly simple to exquisitely detailed, Design Art by Orion presents gorgeous drapery hardware designs. At Design Art, customization is our specialty, and every order is carefully created by Orion’s artisans. Whether you want traversing poles (manual or motorized), or great, originally styled finials, poles, rings, brackets, centerpieces or medallions, Design Art – proudly made in the USA – is just for you. Here are some of the wishes the designers we surveyed expressed.

“Sophisticated.” “Simple.” “Design originality & flexibility.”

What better way to create sophisticated drapery hardware then with finials and Rod-Enders. Ours are all original designs with styles ranging from simple & petite; to sophisticated & grand. Each finial fits at least 2 pole sizes to increase your design options.



“Distinctive, gorgeous designs.” “Multi-functional.”

Design Art has SwissCrystal Finials for wood poles & iron rods, medallions, holdbacks and even stair newels. You have the design freedom to mix & match. Design Art has 16 styles of SwissCrystal with 28 SwissCrystal Bases and 4 SwissCrystal Medallions Bases. Plus, 16 Bohemia Crystal finial designs for wood poles & holdbacks.


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“Really unique and unusual designs.”

We took that to heart and shaped Design Art inlays. There are 10 original Inlay Design patterns for 2-1/4” and 3” poles. Add matching or coordinating finials, rings, brackets, SwissCrystal bases. Plus, we created inlay decals.

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“More than just the basics. New pieces with special features.”

Check out our brackets – simple to magnificent. Holdbacks – Iron U-Bends and Posts in Iron or Wood and rings– smooth to ornate.

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“The finishing touches.”

Decorative drapery hardware is window fashion’s finishing touch. We went the extra mile and added Centerpieces for our poles, medallions in 3 designs and multiple projections, even SwissCrystal Stair Newels.

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“Manual, traversing and motorized.” “In all sizes & in long lengths.”

That’s what you’ll get with our poles, finials and all accessories in 1-3/8”, 2”, 2-1/4”, 3” diameters.


 “Lots and lots of choices in finishes…with finish combinations you can choose yourself.” “Every finish offered on every item.”

Select from 685 possible hand-painted finish combinations, plus Custom Colors… all hand-painted just for you in the USA.Choose a color from Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. Send us a fabric or other color swatch we’ll match your color and add Accents with any of our 11 Accent Finishes or add Highlights in Gold, Silver or Bronze.




“I want to be able to create my own individual look for clients.”

We heard that time and time again…And we created Design Art by Orion so that you have the freedom to… Combine finials, poles, brackets, rings & other unique design products to create your own individual look.


DIY Trends You Should Know About

Darby Smart, DIY website extraordinaire, just released its Spring  DIY Trend Report and it caught our eye. Why you ask? Well, for starters  total DIY sales is predicted to be  338.3 billion dollars in 2015. We know there is a thriving and market out there of DIYers and crafters and as design entrepreneurs we want to reach that market.

Second, we live in an era where the consumer is empowered and encouraged to design their own products to renovate, to repurpose castoffs into functional and creative art, and even design and construct personalized objects out of recycled materials. The appeal of the DIY lifestyle is not just about frugality or politics: it’s about a deeper connection with authentic craftsmanship and the heart of the artisan through the consumer co- creating. Last, as Makers ourselves, Orion is inspired by other Makers and Creatives. We love to see what they are getting jazzed about . So here’s a DIY take on what trends will be created and constructed this Spring.  See how DIY trends can inspire your decorative drapery hardware choices. I am a bit obsessed with Lovely Lace. Wouldn’t decorative drapery poles look stunning with a lace overlay?  Pearl studded rings?  Which one is your favorite?

Prim and Pearl



 Lovely Lace


Get Personalpersonal-11



State of Mind


Orion Invites You to Enter the Design Art Selfie Contest

Orion decorative hardware Crystal

Orion will be introducing their new Design Art Collection, a premier drapery hardware collection at IWCE January 20-22, 2015 in Las Vegas. Orion will be hosting attendees at booth 615.  We invite pros to view the new products. While you are in the booth show off your social media skills and participate in our Design Art Selfie Contest.

To enter the social media photo contest, buyers can take photos using their favorite social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter using the hashtag #WinOrion. Who knows… you might win some pocket money for the slots?

There is no limit to the number of photos a single contestant can post. Make sure to use the hashtag on each entry. Only posts with the hashtag #WinOrion will be accepted.  Winners will be awarded an Orion Voucher in the following three categories:

  • Best  Design Art Collection Selfie Photo – $200 Orion Voucher
  • Best Product Photo – $150 Orion Voucher
  • Best Selfie with Product Photo – $100 Orion Voucher

Show off your social media skills and join in the fun! Contest runs during IWCE/ Vision15 from January 20- 22, 2015. Winners will be judged by Orion’s team. The winners will be announced on Orion’s social media channels or before January 29th, 2015.

Hand Painting Design Arts decorative hardware