Buyer's Guide to Custom Drapery

Buyer's Guide to Custom Drapery

May 18, 2022 By Hunter Douglas

How to Decorate with Custom Drapes


Drapery can really tie a room together, adding the perfect combination of color, dimension and texture. With all the numerous styles and fabrics to choose from, how do you know which drapery will work best? Should you invest in custom drapes? Drapery hardware? How do you pair drapery with shades?

Drapery: Where to Begin

As you start shopping for drapery, consider the function of the room, your views to the outside, the size and shape of your windows, where and how your drapery will hang and your overall décor. If your drapery is in your bedroom, perhaps you want a heavier fabric or room-darkening liner. To preserve gorgeous views, you might consider extending your drapery beyond each side of the window so the views aren’t obstructed.

Custom Drapery vs. Ready-Made Drapery

While ready-made drapery is typically less expensive than custom drapery, there are a few trade-offs you should be aware of. Unlike custom draperies, ready-made draperies come in limited lengths and widths, so they may not work with specialty shaped windows or windows that require exact measurements.


In addition, ready-made drapes aren't as customizable. If you want to add a liner that protects your drapery from damaging UV rays, you might only have one option which could limit the amount of privacy and light control needed. With ready-made draperies you also will be limited on the number of patterns and colors based on available sizes.

Custom Draperies


With drapery, it’s easy to create the perfect look because every fabric is designed to coordinate with the entire collection of Hunter Douglas Window Fashions. Styles range from artisanal embroideries and stunning jacquards to gorgeous velvets, linens, sheers, wools and silks. 

Custom Drapes or Side Panels?


First, you’ll want to decide between drapery or side panels. If you want functionality, drapery will fully cover the window and offer plenty of privacy and light-control options. For a more decorative accent, side panels are the way to go. Side panels and drapery are available in the following styles:


• Two-Finger Pinch Pleat

• Two-Finger European Pinch Pleat

• Ripplefold

Side Panels

• Two-Finger Pinch Pleat

• Two-Finger European Pinch Pleat

• Grommet

Drapery Hardware and Accessories


Once you choose your fabric and style, complete the drapery look with sleek coordinating hardware in custom designs and finishes, complementary valances or custom-made pillows. You can even order additional fabric by the yard and turn it into coordinating accents throughout your entire home. PowerView® Automation lets you operate your drapery from anywhere with a simple push of a button, tap on a mobile device or voice control, if your drapes are connected to a compatible smart-home system.

Combining Custom Drapes with Other Window Treatments

Since drapery and side panels are much easier to change out, always start by choosing your window shade. If your room has a lot of design elements, consider a solid color to balance it out. If you have lots of neutral colors, you might consider a brighter color that pops. Next, consider all the different ways you could complement your shade with side panels or drapes. 

Contrasting Colors or Patterns


For a bolder statement, you could pair a solid shade with drapery in a contrasting color. If you have a patterned shade, you could choose drapery to highlight one of the colors in the pattern. If you have a shade with an intricate pattern—you could choose drapery that brings out a soothing blue or vibrant red.

Creating a Look with Mounting Style and Length

The way you mount your drapery and the length you choose can really help you achieve the right look. If you want to make a smaller window look larger, you can mount your drapery a few inches above, below and/or to the sides of the window frame. As mentioned earlier, mounting drapery this way can also help maintain your views to the outside.


Floor-length drapery has the cleanest, most elegant look. Make sure you leave about a half inch between the drapes and the floor to allow for greater functionality when you open and close the drapes. For a more dramatic look, you could allow your drapes to brush the floor. If your drapes are located in a kitchen or bathroom where they might get in the way, hanging them to just below the window sill is completely acceptable.


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