Weigh the pros and cons of custom window shades
Photo caption: The clean, elegant lines of these flat Roman shades are quiet enough to enhance the overall contemporary feel of this room and yet stylish enough to make their own statement. Nothing more is needed to dress these windows.
(NC)—Quite early in a window dressing project a key question is likely to pop into your mind. Should you confine your choice of materials to what's on the shelves at local retailers? Or should you search out your favourite fabric and colour and have your new window coverings custom made? I can see that the off-the-shelf approach may get the project done faster, but depending on selections available, you may still want that particular look or style and extra detail for your home.
I took this question to Mary Dobson, who is a regular guest on Citytv's Cityline, and is also spokesperson for Levolor Window Fashions in Canada.
“You're right about the off-the-shelf approach getting the job done faster,” she replied. “Buying from the store provides instant gratification. The bigger retailers will have good selections of colour, fabric and trim, and you could possibly work out the look at the store and install your shades the same day. But if you don't see exactly what you want, then I say don't compromise your vision, take the custom route, which, in my experience, is neither complicated or expensive.”
According to Mary, a custom order carries a number of unique benefits. One is the largest possible range of fabrics and colours – exotic and unusual patterns and textures that will create a unique look in your home. In many cases, the quality will surpass a ready made blind, which means the shades will give better service over a longer time. Another is that your order will be taken by a window covering professional, who will help you achieve the look you have in mind by suggesting practical and creative options that may not have occurred to you.”
I had the idea that a custom order would be considerably more expensive. “It's not really a question of price,” said Mary. “Custom can cost more, but then you get more. It opens up a lot more possibilities, and could make the difference between a result that's not as good as it could be, and one that is a complete success.”
She also suggested a visit to the Idea Centre at www.levolor.ca, where you can see the many product choices available.
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