Last week I presented an illustrated lecture at the Pacific Design Center entitled “Successful Interiors – It’s All in the Details.”  I thought that I would elaborate on one of my favorite details – drapery and trim.

I truly have a passion for beautiful drapes.  They add warmth to my interiors and provide a dramatic backdrop for the furnishings.  I like to think of gorgeous drapes as the crowning glory to a room and the trimmings are the jewels in the crown.  Here are a few pointers to consider when planning your window coverings:

  • If you are building a new house or remodeling, make sure that your layout leaves enough wall space to stack your drapes.  If you have the luxury of motorizing your drapes, be sure to plan ahead for the necessary outlets in a location where they will be hidden from view.

  • Valances and upholstered cornices are great treatments for above the window.  If you want a more clean and architectural look, use crown molding to create a drapery pocket.

Even Outdoor Fabric Needs Attention to Detail!


  • Drapes should always be lined (except of course for sheers).  Go outside and make sure the lining color looks OK from the exterior, also be sure that the material blends in color with those of the drapes.
  • Tie-backs lend a graceful elegance to draperies and there are styles to suit every taste – from a simple band of fabric to the most elaborate of silks.
  • Embroidery on drapes really makes a statement.  The beautiful design below was executed by Villa Savoia, Inc.  I find that a 8″-9″ wide design gives the maximum impact on a leading edge, something I have learned over the years.
  • It is important to allow for an extra wide space between the leading edge and your first pleat in order to showcase the edge band, or embroidery, and not have it hidden in the fold.
  • It is imperative that you know if you are going to use tie-backs before you order your  drapes.  Allowances must be taken for the extra fabric needed to accommodate the swag effect that the tie-back creates.
  • Don’t be afraid to layer your trims and I recommend that you sketch out your concept.  Here I took multiple styles of trim from Janet Yonaty, Inc. and incorporated a fabric banding to achieve this luxurious look.