I often hear that custom made drapes are just too expensive. One of the easiest ways to save money on custom made window treatments is to establish a good relationship with your decorator or sewer, make a plan that includes a budget and be willing to wait just a bit.
These are just two examples of how waiting saved a lot of money, and resulted in just the right fabric.
I did a bedroom window with a blackout Roman Blind, two floor-length side panels and a beautiful Empire valance with matching trim. The client wanted a specific type of floral print and the color scheme of mustard yellow-green and burgundy was somewhat unusual, but beautiful.
We did find fabric in one of my books that was wonderful, but at $60.00/meter it would have been a real stretch on her budget. We agreed to wait for the fabric to ‘appear’ and she, bless her heart, agreed to trust me. About 3 weeks later I found just what we were looking for on sale; the original price on the fabric was $29.98/ meter. We got it for $6.00/ meter; the print and color were perfect. We saved about $550.00.
A side- note here about this fabric. The designer of this fabric is well known, he is famous for rich-colored florals, usually centered around large bouquets of roses. Once you see one of his fabrics, you’ll be able to spot them a mile away. They are in the traditional style, but a bit of it can also add some real depth and interest in any decor style. A little ottoman, one cushion with deep bullion fringe, I’ve even put some in a frame for a stunning wall image.
One of my favorite ‘wait and it will come’ stories is Miras ’ kitchen. She painted her kitchen a glorious color – called Pear. Except that it was Granny Smith Apple Green. She loved it. I was having a lot of trouble finding a small plaid fabric with apple green and terra cotta (the floor color). A country kitchen, big French doors, huge over-the-sink window and a large picture window. We needed about 35 meters of fabric and we knew we wouldn’t be able to find that much in a store, so special order was our only option. If I could find it.
As a last resort, I called one of my fabric suppliers and told her the story. She called me back later that day and said she had found just what we were looking for, and because of the unusual color the fabric was on sale for $5.00 a meter. She sent us a sample and it was exactly right. Mira and I were doing a lot of work together so I passed the fabric cost saving directly to her. She saved about $1000.00 on this one room. I made my money on the construction, the drapes were fantastic, and my client and I were both happy. She actually upped the trim money for the living room drapery because we saved so much in the kitchen, so it worked out well all around.
My installer, the home-owner and I could not decide if the yellow/green was, in fact yellow or green — or yellow-green. But it didn’t matter because the colors were perfect.
Developing a good rapport with your decorator/sewer will save you money. If she is good she will keep looking for just the right fabric, at just the right price for you. She wants you to be happy, you want to have the look you want without over-spending. Take your time. It’s worth the wait.