Seven Tips for Great Window Treatments

A beautiful window treatment can transform an interior space by complimenting the furnishings and layering color and texture that completes the room. We use draperies to highlight beautiful windows, to highlight the height of a space and to tie together the room design. Here are some design and installation tips that will help you to create spectacular window treatments in your own home.

Hang Them High

We try to hang the window treatment as high as possible to give the illusion of height; this is the most important rule when hanging draperies. The drapery rod or valance should ideally be hung 6 to 12 inches above the top of the window. Even a budget valance or unlined curtain panel can look great when hung at the proper height above the window.

Two Treatments Can be Better Than One

Combining the two window treatments can add to the design and allow a drapery to be hung high without a large space of blank wall showing through under the drapery rod. The shade covers the blank portion of the wall and gives the illusion that the window is taller. If the room needs shears, we suggest using unlined Roman shades instead of shears below the main drapery for more of a modern and tailored look.

Extend the Rod Wider Than the Window

Many people install a drapery rod the exact width as the window. But the drapery rod should ideally always extend a minimum of six inches beyond each side of the window casement molding. By having a wider drapery rod, it will allow the drapery opening to be wider, letting in more light and also giving the illusion that the window is wide.

 Consider Drapery Length

For a clean and tailored look, I generally suggest that the drapery hem just grazes the floor. To me, this is a more modern look that works well in most interiors. 

Get Proper Fullness.

There's nothing worse than a skimpy drape. So we generally specify draperies to be three times the width of the window. Having a full drape gives the drapery fabric more body and gives the drapery the proper presence in the space.

With Window Coverings, Less is More  

In most cases the window covering is the backdrop to the beautiful furniture and furnishings in the space. So, we tend to keep the window covering clean and simple in design and fabric selection. A drapery can feel rich and luxurious without being too busy. In my opinion, there is nothing more beautiful than a crisp white linen drapery.

It's All in the Details

To dress up a drapery or shade, consider using a beautiful trim detail that coordinates with the color and fabric palette of the space. Some of my favorite sources for beautiful trims are F. Schumacher and Co. And Holland and Sherry.

Robert Frank Interiors is a full-service interior design firm located in San Marino, California. We work in collaboration with our clients to create beautiful, functional spaces that reflect our clients' lifestyles and personalities.  Visit us on the web at