The Differences Between Drapery and Curtains

Drapery and curtains are two of the most classic window treatments for home design. They are similar and serve the same purpose in most cases but have a few distinguishing differences that can make them unique for your room design. Many people mistakenly use the terms interchangeably but, for interior designers and homeowners, drapes and curtains are two distinct items.

The main difference between curtains and drapes is that drapes are usually made from heavier fabric options than curtains, and often feature lining and interlining for privacy and light control purposes. Because of this, they tend to be more expensive than curtains but can create a more luxurious feel. They are also usually longer and can puddle slightly on the floor, adding a dramatic effect to your space.

Both drapes and curtains come in a wide variety of colors, fabrics, and lengths. For example, you might choose a lightweight linen for a romantic look or a jewel-toned brocade for an elegant, formal setting. The choice of fabric is largely up to personal preference, and both options work well for most rooms in the house.

When you’re ready to purchase new drapes, it’s important to consider what style you want them to be. For instance, do you want them to be straight or gathered? You might also want to decide if you want the drapes to be long enough to touch the floor or if you’d like them to break just above the floor, sill or window frame.

You can also choose from a number of different pleat styles and curtain rod pockets for your drapes, which can add to the overall look and functionality of your window treatments. Additionally, you can customize your drapes even further by adding a decorative valance above them.

While drapes are more likely to be found in formal settings, you can use them in any room in the house if they fit your aesthetic. They’re especially good for bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms because of their ability to provide privacy and a sense of luxury. They can also be used as a statement piece for large windows or rooms with high ceilings.

In addition to a wide variety of styles, lengths and fabrics, drapery can also be customized with a valance or pelmet header and can include decorative hardware such as finials, rings and tiebacks. The valance or pelmet can either be sewn directly onto the header of your curtains or drapes or you can add it separately as a standalone accessory.

Both drapes and curtains can be motorized for a more modern and easy to operate window treatment option that’s accessible from anywhere in the house. This allows you to enjoy the beauty of your window coverings without having to physically lift them and can be operated with a click of a button or with a voice command through an app on your smartphone.