“Form follows function—that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
First, before we get into “all things hardware”, we’d like to welcome you all to Makkas’ newly created blog. Over the years we have had the inspiring job of collaborating with Boston’s most talented and creative interior designers to transform the very straightforward to the most intricate visions into reality. The goal of our blog is to provide insight into this world with the hope that it inspires your design and provides the best quality products to your clients. Every month we’ll share a new perspective on the industry, from trends impacting our business and exciting partnerships to what really goes on in the Makkas Drapery Workroom. Basically, when it comes to our blog, nothing is off the table. We hope you’ll join us as we explore the facets of our business and our exciting projects.
We love helping designers transform homes and watching their interior visions come to fruition. And although we are all-in on ensuring the design (i.e. fabrics, materials, patterns) meets the level of expectation for both the designer and their client, we can’t emphasize enough the critical role of hardware on that design. As the foundation to any custom window treatment, the hardware needs to fit and work in a way that is both complementary to the design and essential to its function.
Hardware is something we know a thing or two about. When owners Maria and Phil got together to found Makkas Drapery, a key element that Phil brought to Maria’s unparalleled attention to detail, was technical expertise. This expertise and foresight gives our designers the confidence of knowing they are choosing from only the highest quality materials.
Just like the right hardware can turn a window into a paradise of warmth and comfort, an ill fitted or lower quality piece can make your designs fall short of the look you’re hoping to achieve. It is in this vein that we put together a roundup of 4 insights that outline the role of hardware in today’s window treatment design.
May be an obvious item on our list but it truly is a make or break component of a well thought out design. What we see time and time again is owners insisting on using their own hardware when choosing new drapery. This is either due to the desire to shave off some of the costs (see #2 for more on that), or wanting to use hardware that has a personal or historical value to the owner (i.e. gift or family heirloom) or perhaps there’s just an overall fondness for the hardware. Whatever the situation may be, the decision to use pre-existing hardware in conjunction with custom drapery creates a significant risk when it comes to the proper measurements of the drapes themselves. The perfect drape requires the correct measurements; knowing the distance from the bottom of the drape to the floor relies in part to where the hardware sits above the window. By providing hardware with our drapes we can measure the length of the drape properly so that it provides the exact planned length and distance from the floor. We recommend when proposing a custom window treatment with your client that you make hardware a part of this design.
#2: Reducing Cost
As we mentioned in #1, one of the reasons owners often seek to use their own hardware is to cut project costs. Apart from the risk of off-measurement there is also danger of diminishing functionality. Often seen with lesser quality hardware are ridges and gaps in the center where the bar comes together. This ridge prevents the drape from moving across the hardware seamlessly. High quality hardware installed with the drapes guarantees a smooth slide and prevents sagging or buckling of the materials. It also creates a more streamlined design and look for the space.
Trends dictate design – and hardware is no exception. 10 years ago we saw wood as the most popular hardware choice. Today the trends are leaning towards metals with a heightening desire for a sleeker more metallic look – black, brushed nickel, antique brass. Rod radius is also a trending feature, where we are seeing more requests for diameters closer to ¾ to 1 inch. Despite the modern flair, the overall look is definitely more relaxed, less material, with an airy, “freeing” feel.
In our world of smart technology, it’s no surprise the motorized window treatments have increased in popularity. Motorized hardware uses technology that can be integrated into the central home automation system controlled via a smartphone or powered through a hand-held remote control. Comfortable, modern and chic, motorized shades, blinds and curtains help to automate both lighting and privacy, and to an extent temperature, in the room. Typically the system includes a coordinating “faschia” used to cover the motor components, assuring the sleek design. This ease of use does come at a higher price tag but an ideal option for owners prefer this effortless comfort over costs.
Measurements, cost cutting, trends and automation are key elements we see today that impact how owners approach the hardware aspect of window design. Let us know what you are seeing out there when it comes to hardware and how we can better assist these requests.
About Makkas Drapery
For the past 40 years, Makkas Drapery Workroom has worked with interior designers to create custom window treatments, draperies, roman shades, headboards, cornices, pillows, bedding, and more. As a full-service operation, we also provide shades, hardware, accessories, measure and installation for all of our custom window treatments and interior design collaborations. Working with Makkas Drapery Workroom is simple, no matter how complex your design. We work closely with you throughout the process to ensure that your project is delivered in a timely manner.