A Guide to Adding Custom Curtains and Draperies to Your Home


Choosing and creating custom draperies or custom curtains for your home is more than simply matching a fabric to the color of your wall or furniture. Fabric has a significant visual impact on a room, complementing the room’s furnishings, enhancing its décor and helping to set the mood. That’s why it’s important to carefully choose your custom drapery fabrics and styles.

Whether you’re working with a drapery designer or not, there are several things to pay attention to that will help guide you in selecting a custom drapery solution that’s right for you. Do you want to add elegance and class to a room? Are you trying to soften or make comfortable an otherwise sterile or hard room? Do you want to soften the look of your home’s hardwood floors? The right set of custom curtains or draperies can do all that and more.


Choosing the right custom drapery style


Since your curtains and draperies will set the mood of your room, it’s important to consider what the room’s main purpose is and then select a drapery style to match. You can choose the look—traditional, modern or ultra sleek—and customize it even more by adding decorative borders of almost any shade or size.

There are two main ways to customize your window treatments with fabric: Roman shades or draperies.


Custom Roman Shades


Roman shades are a popular, functional design choice that can compliment any décor. They work with most window openings, from large windows to small. Roman shades come in three different styles: flat, cascading and relaxed.

Flat Roman shades are clean, elegant and work well with any design style. Their simplicity gives a modern look to any room. Because these types of shades are made from one piece of material, they’re perfect for showing off big, bold colors and patterns without distortion.

Cascading Roman shades are made from horizontal panels that are hand-stitched together, creating a waterfall effect and rippled look when lowered or raised. Cascading Roman shades lend a soft sophistication to their environment and are perfect for bedrooms, studies, living rooms and any other area in the home where you like to unwind.

Relaxed Roman shades are the most casual of the bunch. Depending on your fabric choice, relaxed Roman shades can make a room feel romantic and airy or rustic and charming. They are not as tailored-looking as flat or cascading Roman shades, making them perfect for a casual breakfast nook, studio or family room.

Roman shades can be used alone or in combination with draperies, it all depends what kind of look you’re going for and what your unique needs are. If you want custom curtains or shades for a nursery, playroom or any other room that sees a lot of action, it makes sense installing Roman shades. On the other hand, if you want custom draperies for a formal dining room, library or study, floor-length or puddled draperies will achieve a distinguished look.


Custom Drapes


A well-made curtain can be customized with the pleat or style of your choice: ripple fold, tailored, pinched, inverted, goblet, grommets and rod pockets are just a few of the options. Generally speaking, the more pleated the panel, the more formal-looking the drape. When it comes to pleats, there are three main kinds to choose from: standard pinch, goblet pinch and European pinch.

Standard pinch pleats add a touch of elegance to any set of custom draperies without appearing over the top. This classic type of pleating is excellent for showcasing fine drapery fabrics and works well in any setting.

European pinch pleats are more of a modern take on the standard pinch pleats. Custom draperies with European pinch pleats have a bit more of a luxurious feel and texture than standard pinch pleating. Because of the way the draperies fall, heavier fabrics tend to look better with European pinch pleats than lighter fabrics.

For a fancier look goblet pinch pleats are the only way to go. Goblet pinch pleats are easily considered one of the more luxurious styles of pleating. They convey elegance and can add a decorative touch to your décor. In order to show off the intricate design of the pleat, it’s best to use a fabric with little to no pattern.

There are a few alternatives to a pleat: grommets, rod pockets, tab top, tie top and ring top.

Grommet top draperies have more of a contemporary look and the finish of the grommet can be tweaked to match the rest of the décor in the room.Rod pocket draperies are slightly formal and very easy to install. Because they hide the curtain rod, they can make a window look larger than it is.Tab top draperies have a playful feel to them and are great if you have a high-end curtain rod you want to show off.Tie top draperies are the way to go if you want a casual, fun look. This style is perfect for a young child’s room, playroom or game room.

Ring top draperies create a crisp, modern-looking pleat. Ring top draperies also give you multiple customization options when it comes to choosing the finish and color of the rings themselves.

Choosing the right material for your custom draperies and Roman shades is important because it dictates how long your curtains will last and how well they will function. Roman shades can be fabricated from fabric, solar shade and woven wood, while draperies are typically made from fabric. However, there is always the option of adding a translucent or blackout lining to your curtains or Roman shades to achieve the desired light-blocking effects.


Choosing the Material

It’s important to choose a fabric that is heavy enough to fall well yet light enough to still fold crisply when drawn. You can also diffuse or block the sun, depending on the weight of the fabric and lining that you choose. First ask yourself why you’re getting custom curtains and draperies. Is it to give your room some pizzazz? Do you want to block out the sun or the cold? Depending on your answer, there are a few different materials to choose from.

If you’re concerned with the way your curtains and draperies hang and you always want them looking pristine, linen, silk and velvet are some of your best options. Heavier draperies are insulating in both winter and summer, so if that is your goal materials like velvet, tweed and suede will best serve you.


Custom Drapes and Roman Shade Motorization

At Distinctive Window Treatment Plus, we offer motorization and automation features on almost all of our custom draperies and Roman shades. Whether you desire added levels of security while away on vacation, enjoy waking up each day to the sunrise or value convenience over all else, motorized custom draperies and Roman shades are an excellent option. These days, incorporating your motorized shades into your home’s automated systems is easier than ever.

Custom draperies & Roman shades from Distinctive Window Treatment Plus

Whether you’re working with an interior designer or you’re on your own, you can rely on Distinctive Windows to design and fabricate the custom drapery style that’s perfect for you. We work to find solutions that are completely customized to fit your space—something you won’t get out of a package or ready-made window treatment.

At Distinctive Windows we work with a variety of mills to bring you drapery fabric from all over the world. Selecting custom curtains or draperies can be an overwhelming task. That’s why our expert team of designers and technicians is standing by; ready to help you find the color, texture, design and style that’s right for you.

We use only the highest-quality products from reputable brands when crafting your custom draperies; we even have a line of environmentally friendly products available to choose from. Some of the brands we proudly carry include:

  • Lee Jofa
  • Kravet
  • Salamandre
  • Rogers & Goffigan
  • Kvadrat
  • Knoll
  • Maxwell
  • Pindler and Pindler
  • Maharam
  • Robert Allen
  • Highland Court
  • Donghia
  • Duralee
  • Carnegie
  • Kasmir
  • Creation Baumann
  • Michael’s Textiles
  • Frankel

Did You Know?

Not all light-blocking shades are created equally! Blackout shades have one main feature that distinguishes them from privacy shades or solar shades: blackout shades provide 100% light blockage. Privacy shades have a very tight weave that allow some level of light through the fabric but generally offer a very limited view, and solar shades are a different story entirely.

Solar shades are made from a unique kind of shade fabric that allows for a wide range of openness, light filter and view. Most solar shades are between 3% and 10% open, with 3% openness giving a good amount of privacy and light filtering, and 10% providing significantly less. Other, more extreme, solar shades can have 25% openness, providing almost no privacy at all. The kind of light-blocking shade you choose depends on your preferences and intended use.

Ready to see your ideas come to life?

Request a consultation and hear more about our custom motorized window treatment options for New York City area residents.



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