Everyone loves the look of custom window treatments made specially for them (drapery panels, curtains, cornices, valances, etc). Custom treatments are designed and fabricated to showcase the unique style of a homeowner and his/her window(s), and add warmth, fun and character to any room. And, there is almost an infinite amount of fabric choices and treatment styles to create a look that will not be replicated in any store or (perhaps more importantly) in anyone else’s home. That being said, as beautiful as custom work is, no one wants to tap into their kids’ college fund to decorate their windows. While custom window treatments will and should never be “cheap”, there are ways to control the cost. The cost of drapery hardware is an element that can be easily managed; below are two ideas:
Drapery hardware – rods, finials, rings, end caps, batons, tracks – can be the perfect compliment to any window treatment and come in a variety of shades, styles, and materials: wood, iron, aluminum, steel, glass; the list goes on! Depending on your taste, they can be subtle and classic or dramatic and contemporary. However, drapery hardware can be one of the biggest price drivers, adding hundreds of dollars to any custom window treatment project. My first advice to clients is to use any currently installed hardware, thereby eliminating the cost of new hardware. If the current hardware is installed properly, installation costs will decrease as well; if not installed properly, it can be moved, with costs still significantly less than that of purchasing new custom hardware. If the finish is not your first choice, often the hardware can be painted or modified for a big change for still significantly less cost. And, often, it can cost less to adjust the fabrication process to meet the existing hardware specs than to purchase brand new hardware.
Wood Board Mount
If you currently do not have installed hardware, you can eliminate the use of hardware completely by mounting the window treatment on wood boards. This is frequently done for valances, creating a very clean look with the board completely hidden by the top and sides of the valance (see first photo). In addition to valances, you can also mount drapery panels to a board, creating a contemporary style and giving the allusion of “floating” stationary drapery panels (see second photo). And, you can combine the two: mount stationary drapery panels to the underside of a board-mounted valance for double the flair! Of course, mounting the drapery panels to a board eliminates their ability to open or close, but, if privacy is not an issue and you are looking for something decorative rather than functional, this can be a very stylish and unique way to reduce the cost of your beautiful window treatments while adding a custom touch to your window!
These are just some of my thoughts. Next week, Part II: Cost effective fabric considerations. Stay tuned!