About Drapery Rods and Accessories

Finding just the right fabric for your window treatment is important, but don’t overlook how you will be hanging it. To make sure your window treatments are just as functional as they are beautiful, you have to understand the hardware options. Whether hidden or exposed, your drapery hardware can be a major design factor in pulling off that ultimate statement. Brush up on this jargon and you will be an expert in no time.

“Center support.” To cover any lengthy window span, you need a functional support to hold the bar up against gravity and prevent the drapery rod from bowing. In this picture, you can see the center support located directly in the middle of the window.
Tip: Most rods require center supports every 30 to 36 inches.

“Drapery arms.” Very short segments of drapery rods that flank a window (rather than span it) are called drapery arms. They’re often used when the draperies are stationary and purely for decoration.
Tip: If you’re looking for a fresh way to add texture to a room, using drapery arms can be a cost-effective solution, and they require less fabric too.

“Elbow brackets.” When a wall angles and your drapery rod needs to follow, you must place an elbow bracket in the corner to realign the rod to the angle of the wall.
Tip: Purchase elbow brackets in the exact angles needed — the best brackets can be adjusted onsite.

“Finial.” This is a decorative ornament on each end of the drapery rod.
Tip: Some rods come with finials, and some don’t. Purchase finials separately to add individual style to your curtain rod.

“Decorative rod.” Any rod that will be seen and comes in a finish serves as a decorative rod. Many decorative rods come with matching rings to coordinate, as shown here.
Tip: Match your decorative rod with the other finishes in the room for complete design cohesion.

“Traversing rod.” When you have a full wall of window draperies, opening and closing them can be difficult because of the fabric’s weight. Placing your draperies on a traversing rod can allow you to open and close them just by manipulating a string at the end.
Tip: When you have a traversing rod that’s not decorative, you can camouflage it with an architectural valance, like in this photograph.

“Track.” When windows go from floor to ceiling and you have little or wall space, use a ceiling-mounted drapery track like in this shot. These draperies glide along the ceiling in perfect unison when opening and closing.
Tip: The drapery track is considered a touch more contemporary in design, so if you are more of a traditionalist, you might want to consider blinds.

“End cap.” When your drapery rod runs into a wall, you will not be able to place a finial on it. In this photograph, you can see how one end has a decorative finial and the other end just has a cap that finishes off the drapery rod.
Tip: In a situation like this, you can either use two end caps for symmetry or go for asymmetry with one finial and one end cap.

“Café rod.” When using a café curtain, you will need an unobtrusive rod, since it will be at eye level. A very delicate rod that holds a very lightweight curtain is referred to as a café rod.
Tip: Often you can mount a café rod inside a window casing by using tension, or mount it outside the window casing using hardware.