One of the things that reveals the quality of the installation of your draperies is the clearance from the floor at the bottom of the fabric. What does that mean??? It means that things need to be done right. The problem is that different fabrics and different rooms and different styles require different clearances off the ground, if at all.
Here in Reno, the most typical clearance is approximately a 1/2″ off the ground. This makes it look like it’s almost touching, while still having a bit of clearance from the dust bunnies, but not looking like there is a large gap. If you have had your drapes for a long time and have ever cleaned them, you will notice that they have probably shrunk. Is your gap larger than it used to be? Re-pin the panels or lower your rod! Some people want the panels to gently brush the floor. This is fine, but the panels will get dirty along the bottom more quickly. If they are stationary side panels, then this is more acceptable. Remember though that your floors are usually not completely level, so if they gently touch the floor in one area, they will probably sit just off the floor in another and brush a little heavier in still another. Drapery work is NOT “rocket surgery”. (For those of you who don’t know my weird sense of humor, that is a combination of “rocket science” and “brain surgeon”.)
Some people love the puddled look, where the material is gracefully placed on the floor and there is anywhere from an inch, all the way up to about a foot of extra fabric literally touching the floor at the bottom. There is a place for this look, and we’ve done it a gazillion times for our clients, but it does need to be used sparingly. Consider these points. Will your drapery traverse? If it does, will you take the time to reset the puddle every time you move the drape? As you pull it across, will the material snag or get dirty? Do you have a dog, cat or vacuum that will love to grab, play or sleep on your nice little bed of fabric?
How about stopping the fabric a little below the sill of the window, a couple of feet or more above the floor? This is called a curtain. Again, be careful, because this is potentially a very dated look. If you choose a dated fabric along with a dated style you just pressed 1974 on your personal time machine! If you were going for a retro look, then congratulations, but if that wasn’t your attention, then use caution.There are many ways to finish the bottom of your draperies. Choose the right one for you. Your designer will be able to help you make the right choice. Obviously, the design is only part of the equation. The installation also needs to be professionally done. That’s why I do all my own installations. But that’s just me. Call me!