Curtains Versus Drapes: When and How to Use Each in Your Home

Although often used interchangeably, curtains and drapes refer to two distinct types of window treatments. This guide explores curtains versus drapes, and we’ll help you learn when and how to use each in your NYC apartment.

Although often used interchangeably, curtains and drapes refer to two distinct types of window treatments. This guide explores curtains versus drapes, and we’ll help you learn when and how to use each in your NYC apartment.

Curtains Versus Drapes: What’s the Difference?

So, what exactly is the difference between curtains and drapes? Curtains are generally made from sheer, lightweight fabrics that will filter, but not block light. These versatile window treatments are unlined and come in varying lengths. You can find curtains made of everything from cotton to lace to linen. Curtains can be hung from rods a variety of ways, such as rings, grommets, and pockets.

Drapes, on the other hand, are made from heavier, more luxurious materials that will block light and provide some climate control, as well. Because they are lined, and because of the quality of materials used, draperies are more expensive than curtains. More often than not, drapes are pleated and hung from rods via hooks. Drapes are always floor length, regardless of window size.

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Best Places for Curtains

Curtains are an excellent choice throughout the home. When you are thinking in terms of curtains versus drapes, consider privacy and light. Because curtains are made from lightweight materials, they are a good option in rooms where privacy and light control are not the most important issues.

Curtains are a natural fit in living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and more. For rooms where privacy and light are bigger concerns, such as the bedroom, pair curtains with shades or blinds.

When to Use Drapes

Drapes are an investment, but they will add instant impact to your home. Use drapes in more formal rooms or spaces where light control is a concern. Drapes work wonderfully in formal living and dining rooms, as well as elegant bedrooms. Because drapes are floor length, they would be out of place in a kitchen or bathroom, where they might get stepped on or dirty.

Drapes

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Where to Buy Curtains and Drapes in NYC

Curtains are easy to find throughout the city. Look for curtains at big box retailers like Target and Macy’s, as well as local stores like ABC Carpet & Home and Gracious Home. If you’re crafty and own a sewing machine, you can easily make your own curtains.

Drapes, on the other hand, are often custom made. We suggest visiting the garment district to search for the perfect fabric. Many stores offer custom services or can refer you to a seamstress. We like Zarin Fabrics for their great selection and excellent customer service. Companies such as Stylish Window Treatments and United Decorators also provide in-home consultations.

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