Tag Archives: finials

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.

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


Sneak Peek at Design Arts


We are launching our new Design Arts Collection at IWCE 2015. We so excited; we can’t keep it under wraps any longer. Join us Thursday December 11, 2014 at 1pm EST/ 12pmCST and 10am PST to get a sneak peek at our new Design Arts Collection of drapery poles, finials, rings and more.

7 Statement Window Treatment Ideas and Drapery Hardware

VIA Dering Hall:

To really transform a space, custom drapery is a must! Creative drapery design has the ability to filter light, exaggerate ceiling height, add color and pattern, define vertical space and ultimately complete a design scheme.

SPARK: When you do drapery you HAVE to do drapery hardware.  Drapery Hardware does more than finish off a window treatment. It can solve a design problem; help meet your client’s needs, adds function and  tie the window treatment to the rest of the room. Take a look at Dering Hall’s statement picks and check out the great decorative hardware used in each.


Peace Design

SPARK: Ceiling tracks don’t interfere with the wall  of draperies. Love the cut outs!


Faiella Design

SPARK:  Iron rods, rings and brackets with mitered corner brackets allow the panels to be proportionate


BKH New York Inc.

SPARK: Pockets hide the basic heavy duty drapery hardware.


Beth Webb Interiors

SPARK: French  curtain poles in Iron finish of the great window treatment


Elle Decor


David Scott Interiors, LTD.

SPARK: Ripplefold sheers let in light and function flawlessly with drapery tracks.


Leverone Design

SPARK: Stained wood rods and rings bring the eye up and complement the finishes on the furnishings in the room.

Looking for more statement window treatment ideas? Check out our Designer’s Pride Gallery.


The Designer’s Guide to Decorative Hardware: Specialty Applications

orion decorative hardware

Join Us Thursday, May 29, 2014 for The Designer’s Guide to Decorative Hardware: Specialty Applications  1 pm EST/ 12 pm CST/ 10 am PST/ 11 am MT
In the second of our series on decorative hardware, we narrow our focus to specialty applications. Learn the tips and tricks the pros know for bays, bows, arches and more. Learn how –to specify truly custom hardware for your window treatment designs. This is a not to be missed webinar for designers, decorators, workrooms and installers.
Here is the link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5054700502366200577

Missed our first webinar, The Designer’s Guide to Decorative Hardware? You can view it on our You Tube channel.


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