What Makes Custom “Custom”?

Having the opportunity of designing custom window treatments for many years, has given me the insight of how to make the process easier and with the best results. Reaching the goal of a beautiful and well executed design, is a process. Looking at designs on-line, in books and magazines can be helpful by honing in on what aesthetic the person prefers. But, those designs do not always translate well for the particular window or home.

There are so many variables that must be taken into account. The selection of the fabrics, liners, trims, rods and hardware are all equally important as selecting the style of drapery, valance or fabric shade. They all have to be considered when deciding on how the finished product will look.

Next, the size and scale of the type of treatment needs to be considered and should be given a lot of thought. When panels or top treatments are not made for the specific size of the window or room, they can look too skimpy or too imposing. Also, the orientation of the window in the room is important to consider. If a window treatment projects out too far from the wall on a window in which the side is facing the entrance to the room, it can look awkward and bulky.

The type of liner that is selected and used for the drapery is as important as the fabric and design. The consumer needs to know if they want a full, plush look or a light and airy look. They need to be mindful of how the draperies will look from the exterior of the house. They also need to be aware of the material content that they are using. For example, silks and linens need to be treated and lined differently than fabrics with synthetic components.

Cost is sometimes an issue. Ordering ready-made panels does not always mean that they are less expensive than custom made products. There are a lot of sites that offer ready made curtains which cost more than custom and they will NEVER fit the window the way a custom curtain will be made to do. Or, there are so-called custom window curtain sites that are really not custom. Yes, the consumer can choose from several types of panel designs or shade designs and then select from a couple dozen fabrics. However, as I mentioned earlier, the fabrics and styles do not always create a successful product.

And the last thing that I want to discuss now is function. Although I am writing about this last, it is really the number one question to ask: What are these curtain, drapes, panels or shades being used for? Will you want to be opening and closing them everyday? Will you want them to be for privacy or for room darkening? Do you want them for decorative purposes only?