Why Custom Window Treatments Are Actually Worth It

When we first started the process of building this home Johnny and I told ourselves we wanted to do things right. This is our first home and investing in it with quality items was top of mind. Of course, that doesn’t mean we threw our budget out the window, literally. However, we realized there are some aspects of interior design where you get what you pay for. We did not want to cheap out on some things or get placeholders only to upgrade to the real deal later down the line.

After a bit of research online, I learned why custom window treatments are worth investing in. They will elevate the look of your home and most ready-made products do not compare. In this post, I’ll share why custom window treatments are actually worth it. I’ll also dive into the fabrics we chose and the order we bought our shades in. We could not afford to buy all of our shades in one fell swoop, so we did it in phases. In fact, we still aren’t done as of publishing this post!

How much do they cost?

The word custom can be intimidating and so is the mystery of exactly how much it’ll cost. Not to mention, the fear of sticker shock itself. However, the word custom should give you a hint as to why custom window treatments are expensive. They are made to order. They are made in a fabric you choose, to the exact size perfect for your window and room. When things are mass-produced, the cost is driven down by quantity because manufacturers can order in bulk.

It may seem simple: it’s just a piece of fabric, right? It’s actually not, even for the simplest shade or drapery panel made custom, several hours of labor goes into it. Plus, most custom window treatment companies don’t have a goal of just selling whatever they can. They want you to get what’s best for your home, so you’re also paying for their expertise, design input and sometimes time to measure and install. Simply put the reason why custom window treatments are actually worth it is the guesswork is taken out of the equation.

The average cost for one wall, usually in a one-story home with two windows is $1,400 to $2,000. However, the number can go up or down from there depending on a variety of factors. These include what fabric is chosen, the type of window treatment, hardware and more.

To get roller shades in our dining room with six windows 35 inches wide by 82 inches tall cost us $3,030 plus tax and about $400 for installation costs. To do our bathroom with motorized roller shades in the same fabric for two windows 47 inches by 58 inches tall cost $1,810. I’m sharing these numbers to give you an idea of the cost – as I said earlier, it can go up or down.

Why did we use The Shade Store?

I love The Shade Store because they are a family-owned business and have been handcrafting custom window treatments in the USA since 1946. I always said when we could, we would support companies choosing to either manufacture or handcraft products in the USA. The attention to detail is incredible and you get help every step of the process. A team member will come to your home and measure all of your windows for free if you live near one of their showrooms.

Johnny and I knew very little about window treatments, other than the fact we needed them and I know what a valance is. John at the Dallas showroom was such a sweetheart and really educated us on drapery panels, Roman shades, roller shades and more. Once we narrowed down what we wanted, which was modern roller shades, he also sent us home with dozens of samples. We taped them to our windows (we recommend at least four of the same type in a row) and experimented.

Not all fabrics are made equally. We thought we didn’t want light filtering based on swatches from other companies. However, the light filtering fabrics from The Shade Store blew us away. Everything from the quality, craftsmanship, customer service and more solidified our decision to go with them. I’m reiterating, but these are the reasons why custom window treatments are actually worth it.

What made you choose roller shades?

We definitely couldn’t afford custom Roman shades, that’s for sure! Joking aside, we love the clean lines of roller shades. It’s modern, it’s fresh and we decided we really wanted our window treatments to be subtle. In the future, we may or may not add custom drapery panels to some windows. But until then, these roller shades are perfect. When it comes to choosing custom window treatments, consider functionality. Each room is different, so what you choose for each room can be different!

Our Custom Roller Shade Choices

We love light-filtering fabrics from The Shade Store because they allow so much light in. In fact, there isn’t much difference between having the shades down or up. We love to open them so we can see outside, but when they are down it gives us the most beautiful soft diffused light. At night you cannot see silhouettes unless you are right up against the window. For example, if you were to drive by our home at night and we had the living room lights on, you’d see a blurry shadow of the egg chair, but nothing too exact. The Thompson is the first level of light-filtering fabrics. While it functions well, we thought it was just a touch too plain.

FABRIC

We used the Cora fabric in white throughout our entire home. You cannot really tell from far away, but up close there is this beautiful subtle texture to the fabric. I love how it looks and just gives the windows a little something when the shades are down. Plus, they are subtle enough where if we were to add drapers in the future, they won’t clash.

We chose light filtering for almost every room in the house except the bedroom. We chose blackout there because we have to have it pitch black when we’re sleeping. We also chose to have them mounted inside the windows, so there is a little bit of light peeking through. Again, we may add drapes.

FUNCTION

We have continuous loop roller shades in most of the windows in our home. However, for some windows, getting motorized shades were crucial. Unless you can afford it everywhere in your home (or your home is already built for it) I recommend only choosing windows you cannot easily reach to motorize. Also, with most motorized shades, you have to decide from the beginning. It’s not something you can order and then add on later. To motorize with The Shade Store, it’s $375 per window.

We put motorized shades in three places in our home. Our bathroom was priority one because we needed to be able to shower with privacy and the tub prevents us from reaching the windows easily. We recently got our living room window treatments installed. These flanking the fireplace and because we have Frank, our fiddle leaf fig in front of one window and plan to have a cabinet in front of the other, making the windows unaccessible. Finally, the upper windows in our living room with vaulted ceilings are about 18 feet in the air. No need for further explanation why those are motorized.

We have two remotes for our home and you can fully customize how you control the shades. You can “group” certain shades together, lower and raise individual ones and, of course, all of them at once. They are battery-powered and from what I understand, you could lower and raise them about five times a day and they wouldn’t need to be recharged for more than a year.

The order we bought shades in

Since custom window treatments are an investment, we couldn’t afford to do our entire home at one time. If you can, that’s great! For us, we didn’t want to sacrifice quality and craftsmanship. We are willing to wait and take it step by step to get the final result we want. Every house will be different so feel it out based on your home.

We bought motorized shades for our bathroom and continuous loop shades for our dining room first. This was the big investment because of the size and number of windows. However, we needed to be able to shower and be in our home without it really feeling like a glass house at night. About a month after those were installed, we got blackout shades for our bedroom. We took a break for a few months before ordering a roller shade for our office. Then, a few more months passed until we got our motorized shades for two of our living room windows. I just placed the order for the windows for the rest of our living room to complete our home.

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