inspirations for choosing drapery fabric

Choosing fabric is one of my favorite tasks when detailing drapery. The colour, texture, pattern and flow of the fabric are important details to consider, in addition to the style and purpose of the room.

Although drapery is often considered a finishing touch and one that is last to be installed, it should not be at the bottom of the selection list. With a high level of impact, drapery is an important decision in the early stages of the room design. Being a vertical component of the room, it becomes a focal point or a backdrop to support furniture and architectural details. Knowing the difference is important.

Below are examples of work from my studio, Nyla Free Designs showing rooms with drapery treatments and details about the fabrics we chose.

Drapery in bedrooms must function and be aesthetically pleasing. In a modern space such as this one we opted to use a fabric similar to the wall colour. Creating a simple backdrop, however not compromising on style we used a silk fabric with metallic thread. The full height drapery skims the floor which allows the fabric to billow at the bottom similar to a beautiful gown.

This sitting area at the top of a staircase does not require drapery for privacy or light control. Here we used a semi sheer in wool to frame the windows, add depth and offer softness in the background.

We often think of drapery in a formal dining room but an everyday eating area need not be overlooked. With large windows in this kitchen nook, the room would feel bare and stark without fabric to finish off the space. We selected a charcoal silk with horizontal stripes in black and cream. It’s depth of colour and linear detail create a bold statement in the room accentuating the architectural detail of the bay window.

This dining room shares space with a sitting area and dramatic two story windows. From the second floor office the drapery is also visible. This formal charcoal and caramel damask pattern in silk acts as a space connector and adds a dramatic vertical statement.

Wanting a hotel style treatment with an edge we used a track at the ceiling with wall to wall drapery, creating a cocoon feel when the drapes are closed. We also wanted to introduce colour into the drapery so a muted mauve was selected with a subtle linear texture. It offers a warm feel with the impact of soft colour. Beautiful in a bedroom for an elegant, yet cozy feel.

I adore textiles and what they bring to a room, both in function and personality. Drapery is no exception to this. Plan early to include window treatments in your budget and watch your room go from basic to beautiful.

Thank you to Leslie Caruthers (@tkpleslie) and The Curtain Exchange for hosting a new weekly twitter chat with today’s focus on textiles in drapery. Also to Ann Maine, Editor In Chief of Traditional Home Magazine, Michael Diver, managing editor and Krissa Rosbund, Senior Style Editor for being the special guest experts joining in the discussion.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.



Comments 4

  1. Great article Nyla! Beautiful projects too!

  2. Beauties! I agree that window treatments are sooooo important. I’d love to wrap myself in those purple bedroom pillow right now!!

  3. great post! great bedroom reveal!~

  4. I agree that your drapery is one of the first things you should consider when starting to design a room. Not only does it make it easier to pick the other elements, but it definitely creates that jumping off point like you mentioned. Well said Nyla!


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