Drapes vs. Curtains: Which One is Better? Wilmington NC
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Drapes vs. Curtains: Which is the Best for Your Room?

Whether you’re decorating a new house, or revamping a tired room design, window treatments can work wonders in a space. But deciding the type of window treatment can be tricky. When comparing drapes versus curtains, which is the best for your room?

Below we not only outline the difference between drapes and curtains, but also help you determine which is the right solution for your space. 


What’s the Difference?

Many people consider drapes and curtains to be synonymous with each other; however, they are two different window treatments and each has different effects on a room.

Let’s start with drapes. Traditionally made with a heavy fabric, drapes tend to be for a more formal setting. Whether it be a fancy banquet hall or even a formal dining room in a house, drapes give an air of sophistication and propriety.

Drapes are usually made out of silk or velvet, and are lined with either a cotton or linen fabric. When closed, drapes also block out the majority – if not all – of the light streaming through the windows. Because of their heaviness, drapes also can help seal in the heat and can have an effect on the house’s electric bill in the winter months. In addition, drapes traditionally fall all the way to the floor.

Overall, drapes are often found in a formal setting, whereas curtains tend to dress up rooms that have a more casual purpose.

Curtains are most often made from a cotton or linen fabric and give a ‘lighter’ air to the space. While drapes are a stand-alone solution for blocking out light, curtains are traditionally paired with a blind, shutter, or shade to help block the sun.

Made for spaces that are casual, such as a family room, den, or kitchen, curtains set a more informal tone for the room. Curtains are often the more economical solution for a space as well because the fabric choices are less expensive than the drapes’ silks and velvets.

To add to the casual tone of curtains, their length is usually the length of the window rather than falling to the floor like the drape.

How Do You Choose?

Now that you understand the difference between a drape and a curtain, how can you choose between what’s right for your space? As mentioned above, these two types of window treatments do tend to be seen as formal versus casual, so your final decision depends on what you want the tone of your room to be.

If you’re designing a formal room that is full of rich and expensive designs, drapes may be your best option. These are the perfect dramatic touch for a formal dining or living room, or when decorating a romantic master bedroom.

However, if you’re designing a kid’s room or even a much-used family den, curtains are often the better choice due to their casual nature. Curtains allow for a freedom that drapes don’t usually afford. The length of the curtain is important as well in order to determine which is best for your space. The formality of having floor length drapes as opposed to window length curtains does change the look of a room.

Another factor to consider is the price of the two varieties. In general, drapes are costlier than curtains due to their fabrics and length. Drapes are not only made from richer and heavier fabrics, but they are also lined. Curtains, on the other hand, are a lighter, unlined fabric that tends to be less expensive and overall, a lesser use of materials.

When determining whether drapes or curtains are best for your space, evaluate the formality of your room as well as the amount of money you’re willing to invest on your window treatment.

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