Decorating expert Phoebe Howard sheds light on her favorite foolproof window-treatment combination.
Start with the right materials. "I always use high-quality fabrics for my curtains," Phoebe says. Drapery hardware is just as important. Try a thin metal rod (1 inch or less in diameter) with metal rings.
Add shades. For soft, filtered light, Phoebe uses unlined bamboo shades. "Install your shade just below the rod to fill the empty wallspace above the window," she adds.
Invest. Don't skimp. "It's worth the splurge, because well-made curtains really finish a room," Phoebe says. If possible, have them professionally sewn, and always have them lined and interlined to help them hang properly.
Pay attention to details. Add a fabric band or trim on the leading edge of each curtain panel for a finished look. Lastly, get the length correct. Curtains should break on the floor and puddle anywhere from 1/2 to 1 inch.