The strictly functional accessories stocked by stores carrying curtain rods include items such as weights for drapery hems, extension plates for mounting brackets beyond the window frame without putting holes in the wall, and stackable shims to build out blind and shade brackets to clear window trim or handles. Various gizmos designed to help you create no-sew top treatments, such as plastic valance pleaters, are also sold.
Additionally, you'll find lots of useful but highly decorative items, including finials, ornamental brackets, holders for swags and scarves, and holdbacks. All offer many opportunities to be creative with window treatments.
Finials. These end pieces add a lot of character and charm to a window treatment. You'll find an intriguing selection in a wide range of sizes, motifs, and finishes including various metals, wood, glass, ceramic, rattan, and molded resin. Finials come in innumerable shapes, including spears, arrows, balls, leaves, pineapples, moons, stars, suns, scrolls, birdcages, flowers, and seashells.
Brackets. Once strictly utilitarian or unimaginative in design, these supports, which you affix to the top outer edges of the window frame or to the wall, now come in an extensive array of motifs.
Types sold for supporting a rod or pole range from subtly decorative to highly ornate, and they come in the same materials as rods and finials. With some, you set the rod or pole in a depression in the bracket; others have a loop that you place the rod through. A center bracket, typically in a loop shape, is usually recommended for rods longer than 5 feet.
Many products labeled as "sconces" or "scarf holders" are ornate brackets with a hole in the middle (it is visible only from the side) that you can use to support a rod or thread a swag or scarf through -- or you can use the same brackets to serve both functions.
Generally quite large and sculptural, these brackets are often made of resin molded into shapes such as animal and human figures, grape clusters, flowers, and leaves.
Holdbacks. These include various types of decorative hardware for holding draperies and curtains, or even tailed swags and scarves, to the sides of a window. Some styles can be mounted at the tops of windows and used in the same way as brackets to anchor swags and scarves; others are inappropriate for that use.
Holdbacks come in various sizes, designs, and finishes, just as brackets do. Most consist of a plate that you attach to the wall or window frame, a stem that juts out several inches, and a decorative front piece. If the decorative piece is hooked, you tuck the fabric into the hook; otherwise, you secure it behind the front piece. You can also attach tassels and other tiebacks to this type of hardware.
Rings, clips, and hooks. These once-simple items for attaching curtains and draperies to rods have acquired some flair over the years. Today's options include wrought-iron rings in various finishes, sleekly twisted hooks, and clips hidden behind decorative faces shaped like leaves, stars, and other objects.
Sunset Ideas for Great Window Treatments