Creating A Cocktail Area – Part I, Selecting Draperies

Ready-Made lined draperies from Z Gallerie, and yes, that's dolce and sami checking it out. Nosy aren't they?


I have an area that is kind of sorta attached to my living room and shamefully it has never been used. Even worse…it’s never had furniture in it except for when we set up card tables for a occaisional graduation party or two. I have always envisioned it as a cocktail area; a place that guests can spill into for a cozy conversation or two. Of course if it’s a family gathering, that conversation may be a bit livelier, haha! Family is always entertaining isn’t it?   

I don’t have a before photo of the room, but below is a “before” photo of the dining room that’s nearby with the previous owners furniture. The room I’m working on had  dirty white walls, blue/grey carpet and the same floral draperies… at least that is, until I moved in. They came down the second I took a breath. Actually, the day I moved in.  We later replaced the blue carpet with hardwood and painted the walls gold. That was as far as we got until recently.    

Picture dirty white walls, those floral valances and yuk gray-blue carpet...that was what we started with. It still makes me shudder


 Here’s was my thought process…   

  • I want the two rooms to flow…the paint is already the same  and I want the same fabric for all the windows in both rooms as well. This will help create visual flow and continuity between the spaces. 
  • Draperies for three sets of french doors and 5 windows (10 panels) =  pricy
  • To stay within a reasonable budget, I need to stick with ready-made
  • Because there are so many windows, the draperies need to be subtle enough that they don’t take-over the look of the room
  • I needed to find lined draperies not only for a consistent appearance from outside looking in, but to protect the fabric from the sun that comes in every morning.
  • My color scheme is gold, chocolate, and creme.
  • I have 9 foot ceilings and want 108″ long draperies so they puddle like the one’s in the Dining Room
  • I need to order two extra panels to have classic valances made for the 6 doors (3 sets of french doors).
  • The more I spend on drapes, the less I have to use somewhere else…I need a deal 🙂



TIP: Getting a “deal” does not mean sacrificing style or look. It means looking deeper and sometimes longer than normal to find exactly what you want at a great price. NEVER sacrifice the look for the price. Be patient and you will find it. Kind of like that baseball movie…build it and they come…or something like that – haha!    

I have three of these windows plus french doors to work with. The windows are getting ready-made panels and in the future, the doors are getting custom valances.



Although the future cocktail area and the living room have many similarities: identical windows, matching french doors and walls painted with Gold Buff from Home Depot, there is one significant difference. The cocktail area has beautiful crown molding and the living area does not. Since adding crown molding is not on the current agenda, I had a problem with the length of the draperies.  I wanted my drapes hung close to the top of the ceiling and for both rooms to have the same size puddle on the floor. The crown molding put a bit of a crimp in this because it means the rods in the cocktail area will be installed several inches lower than the one’s in the living room.   


The solution actually was quite simple. In the room with the crown moulding, I slipped the rod through the sleeve in the top of the drapery…   

Under the crown moulding the drapes are hung directly from the rod using the sleeve of the drapery



In the other room that didn’t have crown moulding I attached the draperies to the rod with rings. The rings gave me an extra few inches or so of length which allowed me to hang it higher and closer to the ceiling, but still have the same puddle effect.  Obviously, It would have been nice to just add crown moulding, but it isn’t on my list of priorities right now and truth be told,  I have to say I really like it.   

In the main living area, the drapes are hung with clips; adding a few precious inches for a quick solution



Here you can see the difference in this photo. The draperies make such a difference don't you think?



Here's another shot...tomorrow, I'll show photo's of the furniture! I am falling in love with this room...


The fan will be replaced eventually, and the mirrors have already been relocated…it’s a work in progress, but what do you think so far? Amy xoxoxo


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