New Drapes? Think Functionality First

Las Vegas veteran interior designer Jackie Von Tobel knows drapery and curtains so well that she wrote the  book: “The Design Directory of Window Treatments” (Gibbs Smith).  She also knows that homeowners are often overwhelmed at the idea and process of choosing them for their residence or business.

Because drapery is “a very personal item,” and is often expensive…it sometimes scares would be buyers, said Von Tobel.  Custom-made drapes produced by professional window-treatment designers and manufacturers can cost thousands of dollars. Even those that are ready-made and available for purchase at retail stores — with the hardware required to hang them — can prove pricey.

Draperies are “definitely something (people) should invest in because it’s really the first thing you see when you walk in a house,” … “You look at what’s on the walls and its draperies, and it can set the tone for the whole room.”  ~ Jackie Von Tobel

Several measurements must be taken before selecting and hanging draperies. Window-covering companies typically provide in-home consultations that include taking measurements as part of their services.

For do-it-yourselfers, Von Tobel said there are “plenty of (websites) that will give you sort of guidelines on how to measure for your draperies.” She also recommends watching instructional videos on YouTube.  The measurement process can be tedious all by itself.

But of utmost importance…the available drapery fabric and design options are tremendously large and varied.

“Just by the fact that it is (made of) fabric, you’re going to have multiple choices to be made, and a lot of people are very uncomfortable making those choices for themselves,” said Von Tobel, who is also an interior-product designer.  She advises homeowners to begin the drapery selection process by considering how they will function in the home: “What do you need on that window? Is it just that you’re putting up something pretty to make it look nice, or do you need light-blocking? Do you need sun-blocking?”

When hung on a window with an accompanying pair of heavy, interlined curtains or drapes (into which an extra layer of lining material has been sewn between the ordinary lining and decorative fabric), blackouts can also effectively reduce sound.

Marlies Zieman, owner of Interior Visions, a Las Vegas-based wholesale drapery manufacturing company…agrees.  Working with local interior designers to create custom window coverings for high-end homes and other projects…for over 20 years…makes her perspective highly sought after.

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