One of my lovely readers recently asked if I would write about curtain rods. What size, what colour, which finials? Trendy or timeless? Wood, metal, or something else?
Rods can frame a room, or they can be made to visually disappear. Generally speaking, they should be chosen with contrast in mind. Think of them like eyeliner: they're there to frame the room and give it depth, but not to command all the attention for themselves.
To my eye, slim rods look better than fat ones, so I always look for drapery rods that are close to 1". Rarely should you go thinner than 1", that's when it usually looks cheap and like you bought them from IKEA. Just buy the 1" rods at IKEA instead. Nothing wrong with buying your rods there!
Look at the dark furniture in the room when choosing a colour for your rods.
There is very little brass in this room to relate to the rod. The rod would also look nice in brown to tie in with the accent furniture.
Sometimes, a full-length rod is unnecessary. Above, there is a panel only the right, and it cannot be drawn closed. There's probably a matching window out of frame on the left to make this asymmetrical treatment work. Notice the rod is gold, which picks up the accessories and mirrored frame. Perfect.
Hanging drapery on a track works if you want a clean look and don't have too much space above your window. It would have been nice if this track was painted the same colour as the ceiling.
In my living room, I opted for brushed stainless rods because I already have lots of contrast and didn't need to add more by introducing black rods.
I have crystal finials on my rods because they work with the glam feel of this room, but nine times out of ten, I will choose a simple ball finial. I'm not usually looking to draw attention to the finials, although a lot depends on the way the interior is decorated and how important the window treatments are to the final look and feel of the room.
TIMELESS VS. TRENDY
Which rods are the most timeless? Go for simple and slim, and your rods will look timeless. Go flashy, chunky, and attention-grabbing, and they'll be as trendy as anything else in your house that can be described the same way. (Did you really think I would say anything other than "simple"?)
I always use metal over wooden rods. Little-known fact is that wooden ones have to be turned occasionally so they don't bow, and really, do you want to add that task to your to-do list? Neither do I.
Should adjoining rooms have the same rods? It depends. If you can see all the windows at the same time, then yes. You might even need the same drapery between rooms if your home is very open concept. The more obvious separation there is between rooms, though, the less you need to be concerned with coordinating rods between them.
In a house I'm decorating right now, we have introduced brass pendants in a kitchen that adjoins the living room. The two spaces are separate enough to allow for different rods and drapery treatments, so we will install gold rods in the kitchen to repeat the colour of the pendants, and espresso rods in the living room to repeat the colours of the floor and millwork.
HOW TO RUIN YOUR PERFECT RODS
If you are selecting rods for your home, make sure you read this post on measuring. So many people get this piece wrong, and it ruins the final effect.
So tell me about the drapery rods in your home. What do they relate to? Please share; I'm sure you'll have ideas I haven't covered here!
I've just launched 3 dates for my next Specify Colour with Confidence Training, we'll be in Chicago, Toronto and Vancouver this Spring, you can register here.
"Maria Killam's course was the best design course I have ever taken. Her hands-on approach and practical methodology lead me to quickly understand so much of what I had been missing about color in the past. The top two things I learned were:
1. How to differentiate between clean and dirty colors
2. How to determine the undertone of neutrals.
I can never look at design the same way again and I am amazed that so many designers miss these crucial steps to introducing color in their design work."
Jennifer Johnson of Jennifer Louise Interiors, Oahu, Hawaii