Curtain embellishments capitalize on strong design details.

Embellishing a Curtain

by D Ann Kross

Beyond their obvious functional designs, curtains contribute to the overall style and design direction of a room. Depending on the size and number of windows in the space, curtains can play a major roll in a room's overall decorating statement, such as a family room with floor-to-ceiling windows or extra-wide sliding glass doors. Maximize your curtain's impact by including embellishments that demonstrate your decorating savvy.

Plan Ahead

Embellishments call attention to curtain details and can highlight hemlines, headings, center openings and valance edges. Include embellishments with lipped edges early in the planning stages to insert the lipped edge between the lining and cover fabric for a custom application along the inside or bottom edges of your curtains. For a formal statement, opt for delicate tasseled fringe along visible curtain and valance edges. Include fabric-covered piping or factory-made lipped cording for dressmaker details along seamed edges of fabricated tiebacks, tailored valances or curtains, for extra style definition.

Tassels and Cords

Box-pleated and smocked headings provide opportunities to apply embellishments across the top of curtains, such as tacking evenly spaced fabric-covered buttons in a contrast color that are connected with softly draped cording across the top of your curtains. Corded tiebacks and chair tassels are factory-made embellishments that can be used to gracefully highlight the soft folds of your curtain while providing a practical solution for light control. These decorative embellishments also provide striking and functional options for tie-up valances and roll-up shades when used instead of fabric ties.

Mix It Up

For maximum impact, jazz up your curtains by layering multiple embellishments at various locations, such as adding hand-sewn buttons or fabric medallions to the face of pinch pleats, and match them to tasseled fringe along the inside curtain edges. Consider top-stitching a few rows of rick-rack trim in two or three colors along the hemline of a child's bedroom curtain, and include a matching awning valance with the same zigzag trim along the bottom edges. Think outside the box to personalize your ready-made kitchen café curtains and apply a row of decorative brush fringe along the inside bottom edges.

Designer's Tip

Research embellishments online at manufacturer's websites for access to designer-inspired collections that feature preferred color combinations and options such as lipped and unlipped fringes, a variety of braided cords and tassels as well as recommended placement and application tips.

Opt to create your own curtain embellishments from coordinating fabrics, such as applying a 6-inch ruffled or pleated fabric to your curtain's inside edges or inset along the bottom of an operable fabric shade.

Embellishments are meant to draw attention to your curtain's details. Highlight the features, such as swag dips and cascade folds, with decorative embellishments that display your creative side.

About the Author

As an allied ASID member, D'Ann Kross co-owned and managed an Interior design business serving the greater New Orleans area for 20 years, and has been the lead designer for a major home furnishings franchise. She has published several articles as a contributing editor for "Gulf Coast Woman Magazine."

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images