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.
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
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
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?
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.
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.