Drapery Style & Form

Drapery Style Follows Function

Function simply has to do with what you want your draperies to do for the room. Functions can be active or passive:

  • They may passively disguise the hard surfaces and angles of your windows with the softer lines of draped fabric.
  • Or, actively control light and enforce privacy

Drapery Forms

These draperies are not meant to be closed. They are, instead, part of a lovely vignette that capitalizes on the window's wood work, the view, and the sweeping height of the ceiling.

These draperies are not meant to be closed. They are, instead, part of a lovely vignette that capitalizes on the window’s wood work, the view, and the sweeping height of the ceiling.

Passive draperies–whose job it is just to “hang there and look good”–can be as simple as a scarf arranged at the top of the window, or a swag-and-jabot treatment. See Useful Terms for further explanation of scarf, jabot, and swag styles.

Curtain Panel Length

Generally, sill-length curtains are casual. They’re appropriate for bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchens. Floor-length panels, either those breaking at the floor or “puddling” on the floor are formal. Use this length for dining rooms, living rooms, and master bedrooms. Think of puddled curtains as “still life” for your windows—they’re not meant to be opened & closed on a regular basis. See this image, above, for a beautiful example.