As the cooler weather arrives, so do the thoughts of adding another layer to your windows. The thought of an extra layer on your windows is the same as throwing on a nice warm sweater on a cold winter day. Once you get to shopping for them – it again raises the age-old question – what is the difference between a curtain and a drape?? Are they the same – if not – why not?? I’ve taken some time to break it down as user friendly as possible for you!

For starters, they are not the same thing, even though most people (and retailers) use the words interchangeably. By definition, a curtain is, “a piece of cloth that hangs from the window.” By definition, a drape is, “a long curtain.” Confusing, right!?

In the design world, the difference is simple. Curtains are simply decorative – they are meant to serve no function, they do not block light or even give you privacy. They are most often sold in pairs and come in a wide array or widths and lengths. Most are very lightweight fabrics and all are a single layer of fabric. They come in a wide range of colors and prints and are easily found in an afternoon shopping trip. Curtains hang from a rod across the top of the window opening.

Drapes on the other hand are generally heavy fabrics that can be lined to serve a function – whether it be to provide privacy or block out light from the room. Drapes tend to be a higher quality, and are often if not always custom made exactly for your windows. Common materials for drapery are velvet, silk, or damasks. Being that they are often custom they are made with pleats that will fall just properly on your window opening. They also hang from a rod across the top of the window but appear to be more of a permanent fixture in the room.

Regardless of which style you are leaning towards, they will both provide a little warmth for the fall and winter. Keep in mind that a curtain may tend to be a little less expensive and a little less of a commitment, whereas a drapery would serve as a more permanent treatment you will want to keep around for years to come. Happy decorating!