First, let’s get some confusion out of the way. Drapes and curtains are not the same thing. While both fall under the category of window coverings, where they differ is in how they’re both used.

Drapes are heavier, formal, and usually lined. Typically used to block out light and offer privacy, they’re used in more intimate areas of the house, mainly the living room and bedroom. Curtains, on the other hand, are not lined and are often sheer. Think colorful curtains in offices and on your kitchen window!

Diving into the Details…

Now that we’ve settled the difference, here’s the gist of what you need to know about drapes.


Drapes are available in a number of styles, though these differences are usually categorized by headers, which is the top of the drape. Basic types of headers include:

  • Swags
  • Tab tops
  • Grommet tops
  • Pinch pleats
  • Gathers

Often, drapes are accompanied by toppers like window scarves, swags, and valances to give them that added formal touch. The drape panels are left to hang straight down and often puddle on the floor. Drapes also come with ties that allow you to sweep them back.


Drapery Hardware

Basic drapery hardware includes the following:

  • Drape rods
  • Rod brackets
  • Finials (decorative ends that are added to the rods)
  • Hangers (could be hooks, rings, grommets etc)
  • Holdbacks and tiebacks

Rods are available in a number of lengths and types although you can also purchase custom rods in case you have a specific type of window. The rods are screwed into the wall and are balanced with brackets, which can be decorated further with finials and sconces.

For hanging the drapes, you could use the basic curtain hooks that are meant to give your drapes a seamless look. However, you could also use ties, grommets, and rings to give your drapery a more distinctive look.


Ties and holdbacks are usually made from the same fabric as drapes. But you can choose contrasting fabric as well. Holdbacks are available in a variety of styles and colors so you’ll probably find any shape or design you need.


Basic choices for drapes include velvet, satin, and silk to lighter fabrics like brushed cotton. The lining with these drapes gives them more body and allows for elegant movement. It also gives them shape and presents a seamless look if one were to look in from outside.

For rooms such as bedrooms and living rooms, it’s usually better to use softer, subtle fabrics to get that blacked-out effect. Otherwise, you may need to get some lighter fabrics to create a sense of balance within the room.

Getting Started with Drapes!

If you’re looking for the best quality drapes for your home, we recommend Creative Window Coverings in Southern California!

With their selection of premium fabrics, accessories and trims, you’ll get just the look you need. Contact them today and talk to a representative!