Window Treatments - An Opinion Piece

I'm finally getting around to having window treatments made for our kitchen. Our kitchen (we remodeled last year) is lovely, and doesn't necessarily need treatments, but I think it might give it a more polished, finished look.  That, and I remembered I have a large remnant of Katsugi I've been dying to use forever.

I'm planning to do relaxed (fixed) roman shades. - something like these

source unknown

I know it sounds strange, but I have this love/hate relationship with curtains, etc.  Outside of the wide blinds we have for privacy, the windows in our house are bare.  Our home doesn't get a ton of natural light, so I don't want to do anything to impede light coming in.  But, there's more to it than that.  I have what might be called curtain paranoia that stems (I believe) from being too roped into the world of decorating.

What I mean is - the gorgeous, custom window treatments we see in magazines cost


of dinero. Often, it's those custom treatments that make a room look complete, pulled together.  But cheap window treatments can do the exact opposite.  They can take a room that was looking nice, and downgrade it.

I once read a fellow decorator say something along the lines of, "If you can't swing $5000 on curtains, don't bother at all," and it's that kind of thinking that keeps me in stagnant curtain mode.  I don't have 5k in the curtain budget, so rather than go inexpensive and risk cheapening the room, I just don't do anything at all.

Thing is, that line of thought doesn't play well with a lot of clients.  People want to be able to have nice curtains, etc without blowing out their budget.  There has to be a middle ground. And this is how I found it:

 1)  I bought my high-end fabric from another designer who sells her remnants at a greatly-discounted price.  I highly recommend her site -

The Designer's Attic

.  Often, she has smaller yardages, but if you're flexible and looking for inspiration, Shannon's your gal.

2)  I found a seamstress via Craigslist.  DISCLAIMER - this is my first time to work with her!!  I'll update once everything is done, but my point is - look for a knowledgeable seamstress with experience who may work out of his/her home.  They have less overhead, and are often not as busy.  A go-to workroom is a decorator's best friend, but if you're competing with a lot of other people's projects a) yours may not get priority and b) it'll cost you more.

3)  Go with more practical options.  Because I don't expect to ever want to close the shades in my kitchen, the ones I'm having made will be fixed - meaning, they will appear to be operable, but won't be.  This saves yardage = $$, but the look will still be custom.  The same thought can be applied to other rooms.  A standard curtain panel runs 3 yards, and many times, you'd want a more plush look than that would allow.  So, you can see how quickly you could get into the 10+ yard range.  Decent fabric, liner, hardware, labor - you can do the math.  But, if your style will allow it, a lovely and tailored roman shade can give you a lot of custom bang for the buck without all that yardage.

I picked up on a lot of gorgeous examples of roman shades in lieu of curtains in designer

Erin Gates'


Elements of Style

 - a great resource, btw.

photos via


So, my takeaway is:  don't let high-end decorating ways deter you from pursuing a custom look.  It can be done.  It just might take a little more research and legwork.  Totally worth it, if you ask me.  Stay tuned for the reveal of my custom/savvy spender kitchen shades.