The process of ordering custom window treatments can make you feel like saying “curtains!,” but we asked the pros how to simplify the process.
In general, when it comes to window treatments, the process can seem daunting. Layer in the decision to go custom and with the sky as the limit (or the ceiling), you can feel even more adrift. From luxe silk draperies to refined roller shades, there are nearly limitless options.
But don’t call it curtains just yet. We asked the experts to share how to navigate the process.
Photo courtesy of The Shade Store
Before you can hang a panel, you’ll need to know what size you need—and that can be the most terrifying part of the process. What exactly should you measure and are you doing it correctly? This is a time where you shouldn’t flinch about calling in the pros.
“Hiring a professional drapery installer is key,” designerurges. “If you try to measure your windows by yourself and your measurements are off even by half-an-inch, everything will be wonky. Place your trust in professionals for measuring and installing.”
Thankfully many companies offer full measuring services, coming to your home and doing the hard part for you. If you want to get a feel before you even start shopping, start by figuring out how or where you want your treatments to sit.
“You will first want to decide if you prefer an inside or outside mount,” explains Adam Skalman, Vice President of Sales for The Shade Store. “The mount type will affect your resulting visual aesthetic.
Outside mount window treatments are best when you want to make your windows look bigger. Inside mount window treatments are a great choice for showing off intricate woodwork and creating a sleek and streamlined look.”
CUSTOM-SIZED WINDOWS NEED CUSTOM TREATMENTS
Be prepared: once the measuring tape unfurls you might find your window to be quite the individual.
“Many times, clients don’t realize that their windows aren’t standard size, and therefore require custom drapery,” Ariel explains. “If you happen to have floor-to-ceiling windows, oddly shaped windows, or are looking for a very tailored look, custom draperies are most definitely worth the investment.”
Custom definitely costs more, but consider the result. Window treatments are a purchase you’ll commit to for the long-haul. Just like you will have your sofa through many decor schemes, your window treatments will likely stick around and therefore be worth the investments.
FOCUS ON FUNCTION
Photo courtesy of The Shade Store
Before you get too dazzled by countless swatches and styles, determine what your space requires.
Adam offers the following advice: “When it comes to deciding which style of window treatment is the best for you, think about both functionality (light control, privacy, ease of use) and design aesthetic. Do you want a dramatic, layered look—or something clean and simple? Do you have functional needs for these products? Keeping your design preferences and functional requirements at the forefront of your decision-making process will help narrow down choices and result in a product you are happy with.”
Consider the light and space conditions you’re trying to solve. You’ll need something moisture-resistant (like faux-wood blinds) in a bathroom or with excellent light control (like blackout roman shades or solar shades) for an extra-large window. For high-traffic windows and doors, you can consider roller shades, ripple fold drapery, or panel track blinds. For arched windows, opt for high and pulled back drapery that still shows off the architecture, but can close to darken the space as needed.
The best way to figure out your needs is to see your options in person.
“I always think it’s helpful to start in a showroom,” Ariel advises. “There, you can look at all of the different options (roman shades versus hanging panels, for example), as well as physically see all the fabric swatches and hardware offerings. Everything from the level of light protection and privacy protection you’re getting to the length and style of the drapery can be fitted to your liking, so it’s important to start where you can point to something and say, ‘I like that!’”
LAYER ON THE TECH
You might not know it, but window treatments have been subtly revolutionized over the years. In quest to make our lives as easy as possible, your curtains are keeping up with the high-tech times.
“One of the biggest trends we are seeing for window treatments is motorization,” says Adam. “We offer a state-of-the-art collection of motorized shades, blinds, and drapery. This exclusive new collection is whisper quiet, has eco-friendly battery operation, the ability to set timers and favorite positions, and smartphone control.”
Trendy smart window treatments can close at the press of a button or automatically open to wake you up. But, of course, not all trends are high-tech. Other design trends make their way to window treatments, too.
“I definitely see chintz and patterns coming back in the world of window treatments; even layering the same fabric on the windows with the walls,” Ariel explains. “Maximalism is slowly creeping back in. That being said, tailored roman shades or classic pleated hanging drapes never go out of style. I particularly like adding trim to window treatments (another relic of eras past), which is a trend that’s making its way back with some punch.”
Other treatments to consider: roller shades for small spaces, ripple fold drapery in an otherwise minimalist room, woven wood shades for coastal-inspired interiors, and faux wood blinds in elegant bathrooms.
TRUST YOUR GUT, BUT PREPARE
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is weigh your options as clearly as possible. Ordering swatches before making any final selections may take a bit of time, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s important to test the fabrics out on your windows to see what works best.
Once you’ve found what you like—go for it, then sit back and enjoy the view.