Although it is the drapery you see when walking into a room, window fixtures would not be able to hang without the help of curtain poles. These rods are long with rounded edges and are used to hang drapes up over the window, maintaining privacy and managing the amount of light that is let through. Some rods are hidden by valances, while others are clearly visible and used as a decorative element. To enhance these drapery rods, finials are placed on the ends and can take the form of abstract shapes and designs. In fact, many people have swapped the traditional window valances for a trendy rod instead, leaving less work and maintenance in the process.
Generally, it is best to know which fabric panels you will be hanging from the bars so that you can base your decision on the color and fabric weight of the shades. For example, heavy thermal drapes will require a sturdier rod, while sheer drapes can get away with something much lighter. Traditional decorators love the look of antique brass or gold dowels, while contemporary designers enjoy the look of chrome, brushed nickel and black dowels. And be sure not to forget the addition of finials; they can make all the difference in enhancing the curtain pole and dressing up cheap curtains.
There are many different types of rods, with the most basic being a standard, aluminum shaft. These are plain, lightweight and designed to hang lightweight fabrics. Since they are not visually appealing, these simple rods are often hidden by the valances. Magnetic varieties are gaining in popularity because of their easy installation. They are designed for steel window and door frames, although magnetic strips can be placed on the inside of any window frame. With no special tools or drilling required, these magnetic options are perfect for renters.
Another choice is tension curtain rods that offer plenty of versatility. They are hung up in between two spaces of wall with no special tools needed. With such an easy installation, these varieties can be installed within minutes and are ideal for small spaces, such as bedrooms and bathrooms. You can also choose to go with a traverse rod, which is best for heavy drapes, such as those that are lined or made from thermal material. Traverse selections do require some installation, as they install into the wall and use a pull cord and hangers. Not only are these choices great for heavier fabrics, but they allow the drapes to open and close in a swift motion.
Curtain poles can be made from such materials as wood, plastic, metal and wrought iron. Wood choices are strong and bamboo is a great option for those who are environmentally conscious. Although plastic and aluminum are not as attractive, these choices are inexpensive, easy to install and perfect for areas where the rails will not be seen. Metal variations are probably most popular, as they are cost-effective, sturdy and aesthetically pleasing. Double black curtain poles are also an excellent choice, as they allow you to layer drapes for a dramatic result.