Treat Your Windows: Interview with a Workroom//Part II



It’s a festive time of year!  Parties, decorating, shopping, cooking, family and out of town guests make this a wonderful, even magical, but somewhat stressful time of year.  It’s also the time of year when you realize what you didn’t get done this year!  “As soon as the holidays are over, I’m going to…”, you fill in the blank.  Maybe window treatments are on your list?  Many people wait and do window treatments last, or just forget about them in a room that isn’t used very often.  In Part One, we discussed some of the benefits of both Ready-Made panels and Custom window dressings.  If you need something right away, Ready-Made is definitely the way to go.  But, if you can wait just a bit, you’ll avoid buyer’s remorse, and get what you really want, and what is perfect for your room.

Great Room Detailed Drapes

1.  What should I do?  You said the linings are better in Custom treatments, and there may be differences in quality between Ready-made and Custom, but I’m still confused.  I’m ready to be done and I haven’t even started!  Help!


Ready-Made window treatments definitely have a place in our homes.  There are even differences in the manufacturers that make them, so make sure you know what you’re getting.  If attention to detail is important to you, then Ready-Made may not be what you want.  The options for the finishes available for Custom treatments are your choice.  Take pleats, for instance.  Do you know how many pleat options there are?  Let’s see:  goblet, butterfly, 3-fold euro, 2-fold pinch pleat, 2-fold euro, inverted…not to mention ties, grommets, and even valances.  Lots of options you won’t get with Ready-Made.

2.  Okay, so let’s talk craftsmanship.  How long will I be able to keep Ready-Made panels versus Custom?

Well, there’s a loaded question!  Where they will hang, the sunlight factor, quality, etc…will all have an impact.  While we can’t tell you how long your window dressings will work for you, here are some other  factors to consider:


a.  Fabrication Technique.  With Ready-Made, remember that they are mass produced.  So, manufacturers choose the fabrics that will be the most versatile and sell the most; and select threads and finishes that they can manufacture fast.  With any type of Custom treatments, they are hand tailored to your personal specifications, using fabric that is perfect for your project.  The threads used are sturdy, long lasting, and chosen for form as well as functionality.

b. Hems.  The hems on Ready-Made panels are standard.  The hems on Custom treatments are fuller and thicker, and many times a double hem is used so they cannot unravel.

c.  Pleats.  Besides being able to choose your pleat style, they are sewn to be tailored for YOUR specific window(s).

3.  Okay, let’s get to the nitty gritty.  I’m on a budget.  Price matters.  Ready-Made panels are going to be more affordable, right?

The big question, right?  Price.  Ready-Made panels are a smart choice.  They are perfect for certain rooms with standard windows where you do not need them to close all the way to cover the window.  They come in some nice fabrics, neutrals, colors and patterns, and you can find them at many big box stores, so they are easy to purchase.  And yes, they are are a cost effective option.  Keep in mind, the selection is going to be limited as they are engineered to be mass produced as to what will sell the most, and get to market the fastest.cynthiaporsche_0075

Custom treatments will be tailored to your window and have no variations from panel to panel.  You will have a variety of options for details such as style, trim, fabric, pleats, etc.  You pick exactly what you want, need and like knowing they are made especially for you, using the quality, sturdy thread that will be long-lasting and functional.

A Novel Idea:

Mix it up!  You can do both!  Use a Ready-Made panel, and alter it to be semi-custom by adding a trim, a black-out lining,  add a contrasting fabric, or re-pleat for a more custom look.  You will save money by using their fabric that works for you.


But you don’t have to think about that until after the holidays!  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year from Cynthia Porche Interiors.

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