Blue Velvet Cartridge Pleat Drapery

How Much Does Custom Drapery Cost?

So you’ve decided it’s time to step up your homes interior design game, and your interested in custom drapery but aren’t sure about the cost.

You know you love fabric, but you have questions

What’s the real difference in custom and ready made?
 Why should you consider custom window treatments?   
And, that nagging question… how much should you expect to pay for custom drapes?

What is the difference between a custom curtain or drapery and a ready made panel?


  1.   First quality fabrics.  That means no flaws, snags, or color variation.  Fabric is inspected before production to make sure it meets these requirements.  All fabric on your project will be from the same dye lot- meaning there is no chance of weird color variation from drapery panel to drapery panel.
  2.  Construction Quality
    • Headers and Hems:  By creating a header that has double fold, and hem that has the same, the drapery will hang straighter and more true than a simple fold over and stitch header and bottom hem which is so often found in ready made or “semi” custom.   There are also weights put at each seam and corner in the bottom hem to help give the drapery structure and definition.
    •  Details:   A person makes these for you, y’ all.  And this is that persons trade, the pride they have in their work is evident in the finished product. These  aren’t mass produced on  a machine. That person takes time to color match the best color of thread to your chosen fabric, and to sometimes hand stitch parts of the construction for the best finished look.
    • Pattern Matching:   if you have a pattern of any kind and multiple windows you can be sure  the pattern will match from top to bottom, left to right on each panel.
  3. Lining Quality.  In custom drapery you can choose from a variety of linings.  They add weight, bulk and room darkening.  They also protect the front, or face fabric from deterioration.  Depending on your selection, they can add energy efficiency to your space as well.  These linings, even some of the most basic, add substance to a drapery panel you won’t find in ready made.
  4. Pleats and Coverage   By using 2-2.5x’s the width of the window, we can pleat the drapery header.  This results in a nice full look when open or closed.  No flat sheet look here.   It also means there is strength in the header,and you can open and close your drapery with confidence it won’t come down on top of you due to rings/clips not staying in place. 😉

Why should you consider custom drapery panels?

  • If you like a space to feel polished with correctly sized and scaled items
  • If you value quality made products
  • If you love the way fabric can bring life to a space and tie a room together
  • if you love the idea of a one-off look for your home
  • If you love the simplicity of turn key service, professional guidance in your selections, and a window treatments partner who helps you identify and focus on the important design details in a drapery treatment

If the above describes you – custom drapery may be right for you…

BUT– What Does it Cost?

This can vary geographically, and for every rule, there is always 100 exceptions in the world of custom… but – for turn key (full) service- which for Grace Allen Clients includes:

Front end design service: onsite consultation, fabric research and sourcing, treatment design with visual rendering when necessary, hardware recommendations ,  professional measure
The back end mechanics:  acquire fabric, hardware, lining, trimming and other details, premium quality fabricate of the drapery panels, and professionally install treatment.

You should expect to spend around $1000.00-1500.00 per average window with moderate price point  home fabric and a quality custom rod.

Could it be a bit less? Sure.  Could it cost more?  Yep.   Is there a few ways to keep cost in check? Always.  The more open you can be about your budget and everything you wish to accomplish, the better a good professional can really guide you to selections that work for both your aesthetic and your budget.

Interested in a consultation?  To Contact us click   here.




Old Fashioned Floral and Pink Linen for Drapery and Roman Shades in Moore, OK

Building a Bridge With Window Treatment Design

Typically when a client reaches out for our window treatment design services they are partially through their design journey.  Paint colors are set, furniture may have been purchased and they are looking to pull it all together with their window treatments.

Such is the case with one of our current projects in process in Moore, Oklahoma.

Before our meeting, we send out a preliminary survey to help identify our target style and color palette.   Ms. W came back with a clear vision towards floral prints and a love of pink!  Based upon her selections, we choose a starter grouping of fabric books to bring when we reviewed her space at our onsite meeting.

At our initially meeting, Ms. W had already chosen some chairs for the master sitting room, a duvet and love seat for the master bedroom, and had a sentimental piece of art work from her grandmother that she wanted to use in the master bath.

After discussing her needs and going through some options, she fell in love with this old fashioned floral print, which was a great combination of the pinks and reds she loved, and the yellow beige wall color in her space.  Here it is next to that artwork and love seat.

Since the sitting room offers a great view, and not much wall space, she wanted her draperies to be the center of attention in this space, and so we decided this floral fabric was best placed in this room in her master suite.

We left the meeting with the understanding that our client loves:

  • Color
  • Pattern
  • Trim

Our job was to find fabrics and trims, and come up with designs that help  pull the eye upward, and fill some of the empty space between the windows and the ceiling line.

Here are the designs and fabrics that we presented at our follow up meeting.

Master Sitting:  Adding a faux roman shade up close to the ceiling line in between each panel out of a complimentary pink linen softens the space and ties all the panels together as one cohesive treatment.

Master Sitting Window Treatment Design in Moore, OK

Old Fashioned Floral and Pink Linen for Drapery and Roman Shades in Moore, OK

Master Bedroom:  Since the sitting room is visible from the master bedroom, this treatment needed to be complimentary to, but not competing with, the powerful pattern in the master sitting area.  A shaped cornice board mounted above the window in Anna French fabric with a blush colored silk dupioni and beaded trim fit the bill perfectly.

Master Bedroom Cornice and Drapery Design in Moore, OK

Master Bathroom:   The client felt this space was blah, so we found a pink and white damask that looks a little bit like an old fashioned cross stitch, and paired it with a sweet old fashioned dotted semi sheer and some truly lux tassel trim.

Although the client fell in love with all the fabrics, she and her husband felt like master bath window treatment design just didn’t quite suite them.  So we pulled together a couple additional designs, and they felt like this one was the best fit for the space.

 I can’t wait to see this project install in a few weeks.  Look for photos on our main website just as soon as we can get it photographed.

living room sketch by Grace Allen Design

Who wore it better? Window Treatment Designs 2 Ways

We’ve all seen the people magazine feature where they show the same dress/outfit on two different women and ask readers to vote on who wore the look better, right?

I mean.. the hairdresser is the only time I really let myself indulge in People magazine, but every six weeks I can’t help myself.

Well- here is my take on that same thing, but with window treatment design … Occasionally a fabric will resonate with more than one of my client.  What I find fascinating is that depending on the details, the finished look can have a dramatically different feel.

Pictured below is a popular grey and greige trellis design shown made up as cafe panels with a valance, and then again in another home as a flat roman shade.  Which do you like better??  That is such a great fabric I think it works either way!  It also bridges the look between the last color trend (warms) and today’s new cool grey colors.

Roman Shade, Trellis Fabric, Cafe Curtain

Roman Shade and Cafe Curtain made from Taupe and Silver Trellis Fabric


Here’s one more…

This navy fabric was done as full functioning traverse drapery panels  and then for another client as cordless roman shades.  The end result is two very different window treatment designs and a different impact in the space- I can’t decide which I like better.  Can you?

Roman Shade, Navy Geometric

Navy, Teal and Cream Geometric Pattern Fabric Made as Traverse Draperies and Cordless Roman Shades


Regardless of how you use it, a great fabric window treatments adds depth, color and style to a space.  If you live in the Oklahoma  City Metro area and need help with window treatment design, curtains, roman shades, draperies or valances for your home give Grace Allen Blinds a call at 405.509.5164


What Makes a Quality Roman Shade

Roman shades are everywhere today.  All over Houzz, Pinterest and popular home magazines.   Have you noticed though, that they  don’t all look the same?  If you are thinking about buying Roman Shades for your home – how to you get that gorgeous finished look you see in photos and not a rumpled mess that never looks quite right?

Over the past few years I’ve specified and installed many roman shades from many different workrooms and I’ll share with you some of what I’ve determined results in a great finished quality shade.

Fabric- You need a fabric with good body.   Not too slippery and thin.  If it’s slippery, it looks messy to me.   I’ve found fabrics that have a natural fiber to their content do a good job for me.  They hold their shape and they have a nice crisp look to them.  This is not to say all synthetics should be avoided, just that the hand of a natural fiber usually insures a good finish.

Liner-  A good liner goes a long way to giving that structure and crispness to the shade.  There are two types of linings I use when ordering from a full custom workroom.   Dim out foam backed liner, and Outblack room darkening liner.  If your face fabric is thick, and you don’t need to sleep during the day in the space, the dim out liner is usually plenty sufficient.   Outblack is a good choice with thinner fabrics, or when your face fabric has prints or decorative tapes so you can be certain to see the design during all light conditions.   Also, of course, when darkness is desired.  A detail to note about room darkening liners is that when they are pieced as the workroom sews through them they do allow a pin hole of light to leak out.  This is considered standard.  Some workrooms offer a putty of sorts that can be dabbed on the back to cover up those holes.

Style-  There are many different styles to choose from, and as the product is custom, you should explore options with your consultant to find the best fit for you space.  However, my favorite is a flat roman shade, with the fabric off the back of the board and a valance – usually 8-10″ off the front of the board.   Flat style shades are great at showing off a patterned fabric.  They look really nice when stacked up in the window.   When you put a valance on the face of them, the treatment has enough depth that it does not look like you are hanging a sheet of the window.

Construction- This is a huge area that separates a roman shade that looks “eh” with a roman shade that look “Ah!”.     Lift Mechanism:  There are three types of lift mechanism’s.   Cordlock,  Rollease and Cordless.

Cordlock- As you raise the shade, the cord gets longer.  This leaves you with a bundle of cords that need to be wrapped around a cord cleat hung on the window.  These are the least child safe/ pet safe option.  It is also typically the cheapest.

See the cording on this shading that must be tied up to remain child safe?

See the cording on this shading that must be tied up to remain child safe?

Rollease- A beaded looped chain stays the same length at all times, regardless of where the shade is positioned.  This is my preferred system.   It is available from most all custom workrooms.  You can see the metal lift cord if you look to the outside of each shade on these doors below.


Cordless-  A very nice system with no lift cords, different suppliers use different mechanisms.  Typically a tensioned spring devise is used to hold the shade in place as you raise and lower it.  This style of shade is usually only offered from larger scale, production workrooms.  It does have some minimum and maximum limitations that can cause a little grief if you are trying to do several windows.  This varies by supplier.

Navy Cordless Roman Shade

Navy Cordless Roman Shade

Construction Basics– Attention to detail and careful placement of the strings on backside of the shade contribute to the shade raising and lowering neatly and evenly.  This is most critical in the placement of the strings on the outside edges.

In large shades, I like adding hidden rib tape.  This tape is adhered on the backside of the shade (it doesn’t get sewn through thus interrupting the pattern) with an adhesive and again, especially on a larger shade it helps the shade raise and lower neatly.  A word of caution- if your fabric is thin, and you don’t want to “see” those ribs as the light shines through the lowered shade – chose a blackout liner.

I also prefer a lined valance as opposed to a self lined valance.  Again- I don’t want to see a bleed through of pattern with light coming through it so using actual liner (not just folding the fabric over on the valance) helps with that problem.

Hidden Ribs + a Lined 10" valance give this roman shade depth

Hidden Ribs + a Lined 10″ valance give this roman shade depth

When possible, I recommend using a local workroom.   Some of the nuances of fabric just can’t be predicted, and if your window treatment supplier has a relationship with a local workroom, the communication and execution just seems to go so much smoother.  Plus- you are contributing to your local economy!

If you need help with quality Roman Shades, give us a call at 405.509.5164 or fill out the form here