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Decorative Curtains

Styles of Decorative Curtains

There are many way to decorate a window, here are some the styles of decorative curtains and ideas on how and where to use them.


A tapered portion of fabric that is self or contrast lined. The lining is an important feature as it folds back when pleated. It is pleated and used as a frame on each side of a row of swags. The proportions of Jabots should be one half or two thirds the full length of the window.


These are fabric that forms a decorative element over a window, hanging from two fixed points either side of the top of the window, draping down through the center. There are numerous variations of this form of decoration.

Decorative curtains - Swag and Tail


These are the fabric that hangs down from the end of the swags.

Decorative Curtain Swags and Tails

Formal swag and tail – a variation of the tradional single swag is the double swag.


A stiff pelmet that often continues down both sides of the window frame. It evolves from 17th Century France and was based on the shape of a harness for horses. They were often used with Portieres.


A focal point for a curtain arrangement. It can be a finishing touch for curtain headings, tiebacks, swags and tails. There are numerous forms including rose, choux, bow, knife pleated.
Decorative curtain - Rosettes to decorate the swag and tail arrangement.


These are double sided Jabots used at the center of a swag or when dividing up swags in a bay/bow window situation.

Scarf Drapery

This is an uncut portion of fabric that is draped to form an ornamental drapery, often over a pole or rod.

Decorative Curtains - scarf drapery

Scarf Drapery 

Article on using decorative curtain rods – includes this interior above

About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Curtain Design eCourse