Rods, for instance, became thicker and heavier even when they supported the same amount of fabric.
Around this time, too, finials broke out of their cannonball rut and were shaped as acorns, urns, or gigantic flowers of brass, gilt, or bronze.
(Photo: Paul Rocheleau)There were exceptions to the cylindrical stair rod, usually in wealthier homes, which could afford more innovative designs.
That style of rod and finial, whether for elaborate drapes or simple curtains, didn't change much over the next 50 years.Fancier renditions placed metal scrollwork on top of the bar that stood out against the riser, although frugal homeowners often used the decorative rods only up to the landing to impress visitors.A plain rod secured the carpet for the steps that were out of view.Window hardware, on the other hand, was shrouded in so much material by mid-century that it was completely hidden.Lambrequins, made of stiff fabric, framed the window's top and upper sides, or another option was a valance, tucked under a boxlike cornice, covering only the top.
This interior-decorating version of tough love wasn't always a simple matter of spare the rod and you'll spoil the style, however, because it wasn't exactly clear who was master in the relationship that hardware had with decorative taste.