Redecorating is the home improvement project that women love and men hate. I realize that is a generalization, but I call it as I see it. Women thrive on picking out draperies, recovering sofas, getting new coverlets, and so on. Men, on the other hand, either look at the process as just a way to throw away money or they fear it because they simply don’t like change.
Gals, this article is for you. Not that the men folk can’t read it – I have nothing to hide – but those who don’t appreciate redecorating need to stop right now.
Now that we have the sexist roles of redecorating cleared up, we can focus on the real problem on redecorating this time of year: time. So many people think, “Oh, Aunt Martha is coming for Christmas. We need to get new drapes. I’ll get them made later…”
First, notice I said “get them made”. In my opinion, draperies should always be purchased custom made. Granted, they are much more expensive this way, but only custom made draperies have the true heaviness needed to insulate your windows. Go take a look at one of the department store draperies that they claim to be insulated, and then feel a lined custom made drapery. The difference is astronomical, especially if the custom made drapery has the special “black out” lining.
The same is true for roman shades. I’ve looked at some of the roman shades sold by department stores that they claim will insulate your windows. Frankly, I don’t see how. Most of them are so flimsy with thin lining that they simply don’t compare to custom made roman shades.
This being said, if you plan on having new window treatments made in time for Christmas, or even if you’re going to forego custom made window treatments and special order them from a store, the time to do so is NOW. For some reason everyone wants to redecorate their home come about November 1st. They realize that people are coming to visit for Thanksgiving or that they’re having a Christmas party or maybe they’re having family in for Christmas. Either way, it hits people around November 1st that things are looking a bit shabby and that they need to freshen things up.
Good luck getting custom draperies or roman shades done in time for the holidays if you wait till November 1st. Usually it doesn’t take too long to get work completed in most shops, but with everyone coming in at the same time demanding that they absolutely must have this or that done the shops become overwhelmed. There is simply only so much they can do!
The same is true for reupholstery work. While I don’t blame people who want to buy a new sofa or chair instead or refurbishing the old what with all the sales out there, it is up to all of us to consider the environmental problems in this world. It is much better for the environment if we try to fix our old things rather than simply buying new ones all the time. Another point in favor of reupholstery is that you get to pick the exact fabric you like rather than just finding something premade in a store. However, keep in mind that there are a lot of people out there who want their sofas and chairs redone in time for the holidays. If you think you might want to get yours done, the time to start is now.
If you’ve never worked with a shop that does custom made draperies or upholstery, one thing to ask is whether you can bring in your own fabric or do you have to buy it in their store. Buying your fabric elsewhere can often save you a lot of money and make the job much more in line with what you would pay for draperies in a department store. Before you buy the fabric, make sure you understand what kind of fabric is needed. If they require you buy your fabric from them, most stores usually have sales, especially in the early autumn before the Christmas rush.
When shopping for custom made draperies, it is best to choose a plain color that will go with paint you may use over the years. Custom draperies, if made properly and cleaned every few years, should last you twenty years, maybe more. While they may cost more, they are an investment in your home. Were you to sell your home, the draperies most likely would be included in the sale as they were made to fit your windows.
Thick, good quality, custom draperies block out the hot sun and insulate the windows from the cold. Moreover, they are beautiful. Get them as an early Christmas gift for your home. But get them now if you want them in time for Christmas!