Wednesday, September 2, 2009

5 Dos of Drapes

5 Dos of Drapes

For years it seemed that every designer under the sun was maximizing each room’s exposure to the sun’s rays by leaving windows starkers. But modernism has now embraced ye olde yard goods as part of the mix (especially the glamorous mix), and curtains are definitely back. Here are some tips:
Cover an entire window wall (or two) with crisp white sheers. This will not only soften the room but heighten the drama (and glamour quotient) and make the room seem more finished. It’s also the best way to handle oddly shaped or asymmetrical windows. In his Washington, D.C., living room, designer Supon Phornirunlit ( matched the art on the walls to that on the pillows, all of his own design.
Curtains are not just for windows anymore. You can have a drapery wall without even having fenestration— and you can hang art in front of or behind the curtains (if it’s sheer enough), as designer Joel Agacki did in his 750-square-foor apartment in Milwaukee.

Interior draperies—those that stand-in for walls instead of just hanging in front of them—are a terrific and inexpensive way of setting off one room from another visually, especially in small spaces. Designer Kelly Monnahan hung this silvery mesh on a simple hospital track between the living and dining rooms of his Boston loft for more elegant, more intimate entertaining.

Nothing says luxury like deep folds and a fabric that’s lush to the hand. In his own New York City apartment (on the parlor floor of a classic town house), designer William Sofield indulged himself just as he does his clients with simple, rung-hung drapery panels—of heavy-grade cashmere. (A simple rule of thumb for curtain fabric, from designer Raji Radhakrishnan “Don’t put anything on your windows you wouldn’t want to wear against your skin.”)
For maximum glamour, draperies should puddle or at least break (which means they’re a little bit longer than the distance between the rod and the floor). For a client in Atlanta, designer Jill VanTosh created simple sheer panels with loops for hanging but added a thick taffeta border which give the curtains the look of a wedding gown with a hint of train.

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