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Kirsch Drapery Hardware Selection Guide

Written By:  
Published: 02-18-2012
Kirsch Drapery Hardware Renaissance Wood Curtain Rod With Rings

Several Different Components Make Up Your Decorative Designer Drapery Hardware Treatment

When you're assembling your decorative drapery hardware order, make sure you have included all of the components that you're going to need to hang it. For just about every window, you're going to need a drapery rod or pole, brackets, rings (or carriers) and, of course, finials or end caps.

A couple of our collections, like Kirsch Designer Metals, have set-style packaging available, the majority of our collections require you to select each component individually. This guide will teach you how to assemble a drapery rod treatment "from scratch".

If you'd rather let us gather all of your components for you, you can use the Virtual Designer. The Virtual Designer will assemble your treatment instantly using information you provide about your window and your desired style.

It's Important To Choose Your Drapery Rod Diameter And Set Composition Before Selecting Any Other Components For Your Drapery Hardware Treatment

The item that most customers choose first for their drapery hardware treatment is usually the finials. The finial is the focal point of your treatment and is typically the item that drives your selection. However, it's very important that you consider the pole diameter and set composition before you fall in love with your finials! You may accidentally select a finial that is made for a pole size that is too small or too large for your window. Or, the finial may be made for a wood pole, but you want a metal pole instead.

Starting with your pole diameter and set composition will ensure that you select the appropriate finial. Many of our brands have the same or a very similar finial available for multiple pole diameters and compositions.

Decorative designer drapery hardware sets are typically available in either wood or metal composition.

While choosing between a wood style or metal style treatment is typically a matter of taste, there are some differences between the two styles that may influence your decision.

Metal style treatments are usually available in smaller pole (or rod) diameters. The most popular diameter for a metal treatment is 1". The largest size metal pole is only 1 3/8" in diameter. Using a smaller diameter pole on a very large window may make your treatment appear too small once you install it and hang your draperies.

Wood style treatments are by far the most popular and offer you the widest range of options.

Consider window height when selecting your drapery pole diameter.

Your pole diameter choice is really a matter of perspective. The further away from eye-line your window treatment is, the smaller it's going to appear to the viewer. If the top of your window is really high off the floor level, you should select a larger pole diameter. While there is no rule about pole diameter, it's a good idea to use a 3" diameter pole for a window that is 12 feet or more off floor level (like a 2nd story window over an open staircase). Standard size windows usually look great with 1 3/8" or 2" pole diameter.

Window width also influences your choice for your drapery pole diameter.

You don't want your drapery rods to appear "flimsy", so if your window has a larger width (like a double window), you may want to select a 2" or 2 1/4" pole diameter, even if the window is at eye-level.

Stay consistent within your room.

If you have several window sizes in the same room, you may want to stay with the same pole diameter regardless of the varying sizes except in the situation of extreme height from floor level. If you have a double window that needs a 2" pole diameter and one single window, you may want to use the same style 2" pole on the single window for consistency.

Wood drapery poles have different styles like smooth, fluted, reeded, grooved and rope twist.

Metal poles are usually available in a smooth style. Some brands, like The Finial Company, have several metal (or steel) rods available in different styles, but the most common metal style is a smooth, round rod.

Wood poles are most typically available smooth or fluted (sometimes called reeded). However, other options like rope twist and grooved can be found within several brands.

Premium finishes, like two-toned finishes, usually present a better look when applied to fluted poles. Faux or painted finishes look great on either smooth or fluted poles.

Match Your Designer Drapery Hardware Finial To Your Pole Diameter And Decorative Set Composition

Now that you have decided on a set composition (wood or metal) and have chosen your pole diameter based on your window width and height, you can move on to selecting your finials. And, let's face it, that's the task that you've been waiting for!

You should select a finial that matches your pole diameter. All of our brands group finials by size. So, if you selected a 1 3/8" pole, select a 1 3/8" finial. In addition, most of our brands group finials by collection. So, if you selected a 2" Kirsch Wood Trends pole, select your finial from the 2" Kirsch Wood Trends finials.

Sometimes, our brands group 1 3/8" and 2" or 2" and 2 1/4" finials together. This means that the manufacturer has created finials that fit either their 1 3/8" and 2" poles interchangeably. Same for the 2" and 2 1/4" situation.

Don't forget to check the size of your finial in the "Size Tab" before you order. Make sure you have room at the end of your pole for the finial you select. This is very important if your window is very close to an adjoining wall. If your window is very close to a corner, you may have to select a simple end cap for your pole instead of a finial. In some situations, you may need to select an end cap for the side of the pole that is against a wall and a decorative finial for the end that has plenty of room. It's all a matter of taste and coordination with the other drapery hardware you have in the same room.

Selecting The Correct Decorative Designer Drapery Hardware Ring Is Easy Once You Determine Your Pole Diameter

Rings are typically manufactured specifically for a determined pole diameter. If you have a 2 1/4" wood pole, then you'll need to select a 2 1/4" ring to go with it.

Deciding on the number of rings you'll need can be tricky. Usually, you'll need about 4 rings for every foot of pole width. If you already have the drapery you're going to hang on your new decorative drapery hardware treatment, then count the number of pleats in the drapery or the number of drapery hooks and order the same number of rings.

If you're going to have draperies made for your new treatment, then ask your drapery maker or workroom how many rings you're going to need.

Rings are measured using inside and outside diameters.

The measurement that is typically most important when choosing decorative drapery rings is the inside diameter, and for good reason. You won't be able to use a ring that has an inside diameter of 1 1/2" on a pole that is larger than about 1".

Most of our brands group rings by appropriate pole diameter. So, if you have 1 3/8" pole, you'll select your rings from the 1 3/8" Rings category.

A decorative wood or metal pole isn't a traverse rod and decorative rings usually aren't meant to be functional.

Of course you're going to pull your draperies closed from time to time, but you should keep in mind that a drapery rod treatment is meant to be decorative, not functional. Sometimes, rings may not slide smoothly over their pole - and that's not a defect.

For draperies that you're going to daily open and close, you may want to consider a traverse rod, or a decorative traverse rod (like Designer Metals or an Estate Rod).

Brackets Should Also Match Set Composition And Drapery Rod Diameter

Just like rings, you'll need to select brackets that are made to fit the pole diameter that you have selected. You'll also need to consider the width of your pole when choosing how many brackets you are going to need. Typically, you should use a bracket every five or six feet. You may need to adjust depending on the weight of your draperies.

If you're joining two poles together to achieve a larger width, you'll obviously need a center bracket or support.

Keep in mind that decorative drapery rings won't traverse past the first bracket they encounter.

Inside mount drapery pole sockets or regular brackets are usually available for your drapery hardware set.

Some of our brands have inside mount sockets available for certain collections. You would use these sockets if you're mounting within a window frame, or if you're mounting inside a door frame (like for curtains as an entry way into a pantry).

But, usually, you're going to need standard brackets and supports to mount your decorative drapery hardware treatment.

Most brackets mount on the wall, but some collections have ceiling mount brackets available.

Another type of bracket that you might select is a ceiling mount bracket. Again, this type of installation isn't very common, but if your window goes all the way to the ceiling, you may need the ceiling mount option - especially if the window meets a corner or wall.

The three most important drapery hardware bracket terms are: clearance, projection and return.

These measurements become really important if you're going to be hanging two draperies in one window (like a sheer on a traverse rod and a valance or decorative treatment above it).

You will need to know the bracket clearance to see if you have room under the top treatment for your traverse rod, sheer or other drapery.

You will need to know the projection of the bracket to make sure there aren't any obstacles that may obstruct the bracket.

And, you will need to know the return so you can tell your drapery maker the distance the drapery will need to bend back to meet the wall (if you want draperies with returns to help block out light).

However, in most cases, you won't be doing any of these above mentioned items, so if you're putting together a standard treatment, a typical bracket will work just fine for you.

Check To See If There Are Other Components Available For Your Drapery Rod Set

There are some other components to your drapery hardware treatment that we haven't mentioned yet. These components could be wood pole connector screws, elbows, swivel sockets, supports and other basic hardware items.

Or, you may be considering additional components like tiebacks, scarf holders, holdbacks, batons (wands) or medallions.

Most accessories should also match your set composition and pole diameter.

Hardware accessories like swivel sockets, elbows and support should also match your selected pole diameter and composition. Typically, you'll find these items in the Accessories category for the collection you choose. For example, if you're looking at 2" Kirsch Wood Trends poles and finials, check for 2" Kirsch Wood Trends Accessories.

Accessories that don't necessarily need to match your pole diameter would include tiebacks, scarf holders, holdbacks and medallions. While these accessories don't need to match your pole diameter, it's a good idea to choose accessories that are part of the overall collection you're looking at. However, some accessory collections like Metal Accessories from Kirsch, or Rosette's from The Finial Company could be used with any collection you want - or ordered on their own to create a unique treatment.

Decorative drapery holdbacks or scarf holders are a very popular accessory.

We've seen several treatments that use only holdbacks (or scarf holders) to hang the drapery and they look great! Make sure to check to see if there are any holdbacks, medallions, rosettes or scarf holders that would match your collection. They are a great way to add additional design to your decorative drapery rod treatment.

Custom finished drapery batons are available with many decorative drapery hardware collections.

Don't overlook your drapery draw baton! If you're going to hand draw your draperies and you're installing them on drapery rods, don't settle for a standard white or clear baton - move up to a custom finished baton!

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