Choosing custom drapery to dress your windows can feel overwhelming, but we’re here to help! Keep reading for the benefits to choosing custom with Bali Blinds.
The living room of our Chicago home gets A LOT of use. Family game nights, dad nights spinning records late into the evening, and casual movie watching all happen frequently in this space! It’s our primary entertaining area and the first room you see as you enter the home, so it really sets a cozy tone for the entire house.
This post is in partnership with Bali Blinds, a brand we’ve used for years and continue to love. Fabric samples are always free, and Bali Blinds can be purchased at any of these retailers, or you can call their customer service directly.
Custom Drapery for a New Look in the Living Room
With the exception of a couple of tweaks here and there, the living room has remained relatively consistent for the last few years. Until, that is, we found the perfect vintage rug to kickstart a little refresh! This set off a domino effect of updating the lighting, finding the perfect coffee table, and ultimately, we agreed our curtains could use some oomph, too. Our first and last stop was Bali Blinds, where we made the shift to a slightly more casual drapery fabric, and Graze Obsidian quickly rose to the top of the list of samples we had collected (which can be ordered here for free)! The thinly-pinstriped fabric has a thick, natural feel that brings a more casual vibe to the space than our previous curtains.
This Graze Obsidian pinstripe fabric has a rich canvas-type feel that’s cool and composed while being a transitional fit for slightly modern, slightly traditional Chicago home.
We prefer to order our sample fabrics online since we generally have an idea of the direction we’re headed, but complete sample books can be found at local retailers. This can be hugely helpful if your design direction is more open-ended.
A Custom Order for Unique Challenges
This room definitely isn’t without its quirks, and custom drapery from Bali Blinds was the solution to address them! Here’s what we were dealing with:
- First, the large three-pane window at the front of the living room isn’t centered within the room. We counteracted the asymmetry by ordering an extra wide pair of curtain panels so that we could install them from wall to wall and ‘cheat’ the look of a centered window. The extra width simply can’t be accomplished without going custom.
- Second, the ceiling at the front of the room dips significantly in the middle, which is usually only magnified by perfectly level horizontal curtain rods. To remedy this, we ordered the custom drapery in an extra long floor-to-ceiling length so that we could install the rod as high as possible. And by high, I mean, they’re less than an inch from the ceiling and the floor below. Getting as close as possible to the ceiling has created a neat and tidy effect, no longer exaggerating the look of our, erm, crooked ceiling. Check out Exhibit A, below!
Why Go With Custom Drapery?
Off-the-shelf curtains certainly have their place, but custom drapery offers a fullness that you simply can’t get from store bought panels. As we mentioned above, we ordered our curtain panels extra wide and extra tall, although Bali Blinds accounts for all of the important details on every custom order. Fullness is calculated carefully, corners are mitered and weighted, and seams are pattern-matched so that your drapery is the star of the room.
If you’re uncertain of how custom drapery or other window coverings might look in your space, Bali even offers a virtual visualizer tool! You can choose from a set of sample rooms, or even upload photos of your own space to get a great idea of how patterns and colors will look in your own home. We found this to especially helpful in understanding the scale of the patterned samples we considered.
In addition to countless patterns in custom sizes, Bali Blinds also allows for customization of tabs, pleats, grommets and other hanging methods, along with custom trim and fringe options! Multiple different liner options are also available to meet varying needs, including everything from standard to blackout. We selected a thermal liner to help with temperature regulation through our harsh Chicago winters.
The thermal liner that we selected offers a beautiful finished look from outside our home and also retains internal heat for cozying up indoors on cold winter days.
We selected grommet-top curtains with black grommets to match our heavy duty black curtain rod, which we’ve learned over the years is our preference. We love how smoothly grommet-top curtains slide open and closed, which encourages us to use them more frequently. If you go with grommet top, we recommend choosing a metal finish that matches your rod, helping them to blend in and virtually disappear.
Custom drapery is versatile and beautiful and can be combined with other window treatments for endless possibilities and added dimension. Layering drapery over other window treatments, such as a sleek roller or solar shade, also allows for maximum privacy and light control by covering light gaps left by other treatments. In our space, we’ve paired the new custom drapery with an extra wide (are you sensing a theme here?) solar shade with low opacity. This offers customizable options for light or thermal regulation.
We hope this post has been hopeful in determining if custom drapery is the right fit for your home! We encourage your to order your free sample fabrics here to start your next window covering project, whether it’s drapery, shades or blinds. And if you’ve gone the custom drapery route in your home, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
As always, thank you for supporting the brands that support our small business. If you have questions about window coverings, chances are, we’ve written about it! Otherwise, we’re happy to answer questions in the comment section.