If your space doesn’t quite feel complete, a lack of treatments may be to blame. “Window treatments complete the home. Same as art,” argues Vancouver designer Tanja Hinder of Marrimor Interiors. “Your home doesn’t feel 100 percent if either of the two are missing.”

And so, in our ongoing quest to make sure every home across Western Canada can become the very best version of itself, we grilled our ace team of interior designers for window-treatment advice. Here’s how to source and hang the dreamiest drapery, and find that 100-percent home-sweet-home feeling.

dining room with drapery
An elegant dining room scene from designer Rochelle Cote, made even more luxurious with the lush drapery covering the windows.

How heavy should my curtains be?

Let the vibe guide you. When selecting curtains, remember that it’s “fullness” the gives you the feeling you’re looking for. “Do you want them light and airy or full and dramatic?” asks Hinder.

“Choosing drapery will add a layer of softness to a room and can be used to filter or completely block light,” adds Rochelle Cote, principal of Calgary’s Rochelle Cote Interior Design.

What decisions do I need to make when picking my drapery?

While the fabric pattern, colour, finish and material will certainly impact the final look of your window treatment, designer Karen Attwell of Calgary’s Form Interiors reminds us that there are other finishing touches to consider, too. “Having the right lining makes all the difference to how the panels will hang and be protected from sun damage over time. The hardware you select also sets the tone in terms of whether your treatments feel contemporary or more traditional in expression. A gorgeous fabric is only part of the equation.”

Is expensive drapery worth it?

There’s no way around it: you get what you pay for. Jamie Hamilton and Greer Nelson, lead designers at Vancouver’s Oliver Simon Design always suggest custom made draperies and blinds. “Don’t try to scrimp in this area! Ikea drapes LOOK like Ikea drapes,” warns Nelson. “And use good hardware installed by a pro. Window coverings can really make or break a room.”

project 22 townhouse renovation
Cozy natural drapery adds a softness to this Project 22-designed townhome. Photo by Janis Nicolay.

What’s the best material for curtains in a home?

Linen and wool are always a great choice. “For fabric, natural materials always work,” says Denise Ashmore, principal of Vancouver’s Project 22. She describes linen and wool as “dynamic: it hangs beautifully and ages in place.”

How wide and tall should my drapes be?

Think outside the (window) box when planning your drapery: you’ve got the whole wall to play with, too. “Wall to wall and floor to ceiling is a gorgeous treatment that adds so much softness to a room,” says Alykhan Velji, principal of Alykhan Velji Designs in Calgary.

Fellow Calgary interior designer Paul Lavoie agrees: “Hanging curtains from the ceiling creates height and drama., and emphasizes the volume of a room.”

Full-length drapes add a layer of rich texture to this Paul Lavoie-designed room. Photo by Eymeric Widling

Can I automate my window treatments to open and close?

Treat yourself to high-tech drape controls. Drapery may have an old-world elegance to it, but high-tech automation offers some modern functionality. “Consider automation,” suggests Ashmore. It’s a little luxury that goes a long way to making your home feel modern and sleek.

Are drapes or blinds better for a blackout effect?

If you’re looking to totally block out every sliver of light, drapery is the way to go. Blinds will always let a little light seep through. Sure, they’re more cost-effective, but for a pure blackout effect, drapes are best. “Plus,” says Hinder, “drapes elevate the home more.”

Do I need blinds if I also have drapes?

“Blinds can be used on their own or in addition to drapery, and are an excellent way to control privacy as well as the amount of light that you let into a room,” says Cote. “I’d recommend choosing roller blinds as they tuck away neatly into a box. “