The decorating process can certainly be a lengthy one. Whether you’re selecting furniture, choosing colors, or picking out accessories, it seems as though there’s always something to do. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Once you dive in, it can quickly become a very complicated project that sometimes makes you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. Amidst the craziness of it all, we often find ourselves torn between all sorts of decisions such as style or substance, what has to stay and what has to go, and of course, what can come “off the rack” and what needs to be custom.
That last one, though, is often the toughest. Why is that?
Well, when most people hear the word “custom”, they immediately associate it with cost, which is totally understandable. It’s no secret that custom-made items tend to come with a higher price tag than your run-of-the-mill department store furnishings, but that’s actually what’s so great about it. Custom-made items mean you get exactly what you want. Furthermore, you get a product that’s of much higher quality than what you’d find off the assembly line.
With that said, homeowners don’t necessarily lump window treatments into items they consider worthy of being custom made— but perhaps they should. For some, it may be that custom drapes aren’t as important as something like a custom sofa. I get that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the idea should get brushed away and forgotten about altogether either.
Windows inside the home, need attention, too. Sure, you can walk into your local department store, pick a pair of drapes you like, and then go home and hang them. No doubt that they can get the job done— and there are actually some very nice ones out there. Still, even the nicest of department store window treatments don’t fully fit the bill. In all honesty, however, custom-made is the way to go.
Again, it’s no secret that custom window treatments will cost you more than curtains found off-the-shelf, but making the investment will get you something tailor-made to fit your style and your window, just right. When properly selected, tailored, and installed, custom drapery can provide a myriad of benefits. If you haven’t given the custom drapery a thought, here are 4 reasons that might change your mind.
1. Draperies provide climate control.
Draperies offer insulation. Think of it like you would clothing. In the winter, we add layers of clothes to keep us warm. In the summer, we use certain clothing to help deflect the sun. Drapery works in a similar manner, and you don’t even have to add to them or take away. Simply hanging drapes (or even a blind or shade) will insulate your windows, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This climate control is a great energy saver!
2. Draperies block harmful UV rays.
Sunlight is beautiful, but it can be damaging to the inside of a home over time. Without drapery, walls, floors, and furniture are vulnerable to fading. Think about how disappointing it would be to invest in new furniture, only to have it look aged well beyond its years all because there was nothing there to block the sun.
3. Draperies provide privacy.
Whether you live out in the country or in the heart of the city, there will be certain times when you’ll want some privacy. Not only will drapes block visuals, they will also mute sounds and keep morning at bay on those days you get to sleep in later than usual.
4. Draperies add style to your home.
You can have a beautifully decorated room, but custom drapery will still manage to enhance the look. The warmth and personality they add really is the finishing touch. And, because you went custom made, you’ll have window treatments that truly reflect your decorating style.
Types of Window Coverings
Now, if you’re ready to add window treatments, it’s important to know what types are available. Basically, drapes can be broken down into two categories: functional and non-functional.
Functional drapes are used to block light, control temperature, and provide privacy. The most common types available are Roman shades and pinch pleat (draw) drapery. Non-functional drapery is geared more toward adding accents to the room. Common types of these are panels, valances, swags/cascades, Roman shades, and cornices.
Best Fabrics for Custom Drapery
While the fabric you choose is completely your choice, it helps to have some general knowledge about what’s available. In regards to drapery, the fabrics used can be broken into four main categories: sheers, lightweight, moderate-weight, and heavyweight.
- Sheers provide privacy without completely blocking natural light, making them a popular choice for open areas that contain a lot of windows. Although sheers can stand alone, they are often paired with heavier curtains or drapes, to add a touch of softness to the window. Sheers can be found in a variety of colors (plain and patterned), making them easy to incorporate into any space. Popular fibers for sheers include organza, muslin, batiste, and lace.
- Lightweight fabrics offer a bit more substance than sheers. Additionally, they are stain-resistant and easy to clean, making them the most popular choice among homeowners. While cotton is the most lightweight and the most widely used in home decorating, acetate, linen, and cotton blends are also popular.
- Moderate-weight drapery fabrics serve well for those who live in harsher climate areas. Moderate weight fabrics work very well at blocking light and outdoor climates. Canvas and brocade are two fantastic materials that fall under this category.
- Heavyweight fabrics have a look that’s perfect for formal areas. Fabrics such as velvet, chenille, and tapestry are three popular heavyweight fabrics that are ideal for making the design of a dining or sitting room look complete.
Fabric selections tend to be based on design style, budget, and maintenance. Taking time to do some research or speaking with a fabric supplier can be really beneficial in your quest for the perfect drapery fabric.
Where to Find Custom Drapery
Oftentimes, you can buy fabric from wholesale or at discount prices from a fabric supplier, either at the store or online. In most cases, they also provide a wide selection of drapery hardware, which is something that needs to be carefully selected as well when dressing up your windows. Drapery hardware not only provides a strong architectural element to the room but will also finalize the theme you wish to convey.
Good, quality custom window treatments can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years depending on the fabric selection. With proper care, your custom drapery will probably still look new by the time you want to update them. To keep your home furnishings protected and also to keep your home full of style, custom window treatments and hardware are definitely worth the investment.