As with most decorative items today, shoppers have an enormous array of drapery hardware options. It is easier to make a final selection if you can breakdown the type, style and application needed for your hardware.
There are essentially two types of drapery hardware: utility and decorative.
- A utility rod is a functional one that is used to hang a drapery, sheer or valance and never meant to be seen. It is a basic tool and is on the low end of the price spectrum.
- A decorative rod is meant to be seen and enjoyed as part of the final window treatment. It can be used for drapes, sheers, valances or other top treatments. Pricing for a decorative rod, brackets and finials has a wide range from modest to extravagant.
Utility and decorative hardware both have traverse versions for use with functional window treatments (opened and closed on regular basis). If you are installing stationary panels to frame a window or add a pop of color, the right decorative rod will complete the “look.”
A contemporary or transitional style lends itself well with wrought iron or metallic hardware and sleek-looking finials. Traditional or historically accurate styles can be represented by opulent wood rods and ornamental finials. The final decision, however, should be based on your personal preference. More and more homes are decorated in a warm, eclectic look that transcends a particular style.
It is often difficult to find hardware for special applications, like ceiling mounted draw drapes, bay windows or doors. Large windows can be spanned with the use of connector hardware that is available for wood or metal drapery rods. There are corner connectors in both utility and decorative hardware to create the angles of a bay window. Not every supplier will carry this type of hardware, but it is available.