AT:SF reader Kim recently wrote to us: This is my ode to quality hardware for window treatments. For oh so many years I've stuck with bargain hunting for drapery rods and window panels, and made do with less than the best for very practical reasons. Food, gas, and the PG&E bill rank higher on my priority list than fancy curtains. But this time I decided to splurge and get exactly what I want: privacy lined linen drapes, tissue weight linen sheers, and pewter-finish double rods. But, I skipped the fancy curtain rings because I assumed that the expensive fabric and double rods were all I really needed to get the look I wanted.
Ohboy was I wrong.
While I am now delighted with my textile purchases, it did't occur to me that the hardware --rods *and* the rings with hooks-- would make such a significant difference. I was so disappointed with the "wall-o-drapes" I was ready to return them. But then I looked at the retail photo again and thought, "Huh, I wonder if theirs look so good because of those silly rings?"
The lesson? Good news! More expensive panels may be a nice perk if you must have the exact right color or print or texture or sheen, but the polished look isn't in the fabric choice. It's in how the fabric hangs. You don't *have* to spend overly much on the windows if you build the look with the right hardware.
Here's a photo of before and after I added the drapery rings. The panels haven't been pressed in either case, but the one on the left looks a million bucks better. Hemming and pressing to follow!