What is a Beaded Panel?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus
Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

The term beaded panel can mean different things. It could refer to a curtain made up of strands of beaded strings, or it may mean decorative elements added to drapery panels. Another interpretation of the term is beaded wainscoting. Beaded wainscoting, or beadboard, is wood paneling made up of strips placed together vertically; it doesn't contain decorative beads of any type. Traditionally, beadboard paneling is used in bathrooms; it's placed on walls a little higher up than the center.

A bathroom beaded panel, or wainscoting, of board usually has both a horizontal section, or footboard, near the floor and a molding topper, or chair rail. Beadboard panels are almost always painted white. They give a classic, old-fashioned appeal to bathrooms with country decor features such as a claw-foot bathtub. Some country-style kitchens also feature beadboard in the eat-in area on walls that surround space meant for a table and chairs; this wood strip paneling is popular for ceilings, as it adds texture and quaint flavor to rustic decors.

Unlike beaded wainscoting panels used on walls and ceilings, beaded curtains as well as drapery include decorative beads. The beads may be made of any material, such as plastic, glass or metal; they may be expensive and artistic or mass produced. Beaded panel curtains sold commercially are usually made of inexpensive plastic beads cheaply fused together in strands rather than strung separately. Numerous strands are attached to a bar made to install at the top of an interior doorway. This type of curtain was popular in the 1960s, but isn't usually considered stylish today unless new versions of it become trendy for a short time.

Window treatments such as a beaded valance tend to feature elegant beads which may have the look of crystals or pearls. The beads are often hand sewn on random areas of a panel of luxurious fabric such as satin or velvet. The beaded panel is then draped over metal or other fittings at the top of a window to create a valance. Valances refer to horizontal curtain toppers; they can be soft sweeps of fabric or wooden structures covered with textiles.

Beaded panels of vertical-hanging drapes may appear under a valance. The beads should be tastefully added to drapery fabrics or the look may be tacky or gaudy rather than elegant. Cloth window curtain panels may feature a simple trim of beaded fringe to add style without going overboard.

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