Lisa's Blog for Drapestyle

Lisa's Blog for DrapeStyle

For Well Over a Decade DrapeStyle has Manufactured the Finest Custom Drapery Available for Designers and Homeowners in the US and Canada

Will My Silk Drapes Fade in The Sun?

A frequent Designer Dilemma is how to be sure that delicate and expensive fabrics are protected from the damaging UV Rays of the Sun.  We are frequently asked by our Clients if their new custom silk drapes are going to be potentially damaged or faded in if exposed to direct sunlight.  The answer is, yes, they will.  We have Clients who purchase luxurious blue silk drapes, yellow silk drapes or our deep red silk drapes and are understandably concerned about fading of the rich colors in the fabrics.  The best way to protect you drapery fabrics from fading is by using a very high-quality lining and interlining to protect them from direct sunlight.  If possible we always suggest “blackout” lining as the blackout material is comprised of a sythetic membrane that is almost 100% inpenatrable from the sun.  Blackout lining is the best way to protect you silk drapes, or any drapery fabrics from fading.  In addition, using a high-quality lining or blackout lining will also help protect your upholstery fabrics and carpets from fading as well.  Most drapery retailers will charge you a bit more to upgrade your draperies to blackout lining but over the long-term they will provide lasting benefits and will certainly pay for themselves.  Most of the better Interior Decorators will almost always suggest a quality interlining and blackout lining for their Clients.  They know that it is better to invest a little more on your custom drapes with quality linings and blackout linings than to get a call a year down the road from an upset Client complaining that their drapery fabrics have faded.

Where to Call for Help with Selecting Window Treatments

Lets face it, buying custom made window treatments can be a very expensive proposition. Regardless if you are shopping for custom drapes, Roman Shades, valances or shutters you can easily spend upwards of $10,000 by the time your done. We’re talking about a lot of money here and you should not have to make some of the important decisions on your own. For most window treatments you need to be very accurate with your measurements, especially if you have larger or odd-size or odd-shaped windows. When you are making a sizable investment we always recommended have a professional window treatment measure done early in the process. Having an accurate measure done first can help avoid costly mistakes and re-makes later and may also help save you money on you initial purchase and installation. Most custom drapery or window treatment retailers may often provide an initial measure for free. Retailers and Workrooms can also use a detailed measure to find ways to save money by maximizing fabric lengths and widths. After all, the majority of the cost or expense with custom soft window treatments, like drapery comes from the cost of the fabric. If your Retailer or Workroom can shave a yard of fabric off of every treatment, the savings can really add up.

Beyond the measure, better drapery retailers and Workrooms should be able to provide you with free design advice. It is important to understand, and ask, who will be giving the advice. Many of the larger retailers will send a “Sales Person” out to your home who is on commission. You are not going to get good, if any, design advice from a untrained Sales Person. If you are dealing with your retailer over the phone, make sure you are speaking with someone with real-world design experience. At DrapeStyle, we don’t have “Sales People”. When you call us you are speaking with a trained Interior Design Professional who understands your entire project from measure to fabric selection to construction. When calling any national retailer, ask some good questions to be sure you are not speaking to a Sales Person who is simply reading off of a script.

When it comes to selecting custom window treatments it is always best to call a qualified Designer or Retailer early.

Why Custom Silk Drapery Prices are Rising

If you are waiting for the perfect time to buy your custom made drapery for your home, hotel or business, there may never be a better time than right now.  The truth is that, when it comes to custom silk drapes or Roman Shades, the price of raw silk from India is climbing every month.  In fact, prices of silk fabrics have increased 20% from 2013 to 2014.  The reason for the increase is complicated but the short story is that most of the worlds silk fabrics are woven in India.  India has been the world leader in producing silk fabrics for literally hundreds of years.  The problem that India has, however, is that they rely on China for the “raw silk”.  Raw Silk is harvested from Silk Works who naturally produce raw silk.  The raw silk is harvested just like any other natural product would be – and it is susceptible to environmental forces.  Too much rain, too little rain, too much heat or too little heat effects production.  No different really than how Midwest and Southwest Farmers in the US harvest cotton.  The difference is that the raw silk comes from the silk work, so it is really more analogous to harvesting milk from cows.  Unfortunately the weather in China in recent years has not been optimal for silk worm production.

The second and more serious long-term issue facing India’s Silk Production is the rise of China’s Middle Class.  As little as 15 years ago their was a very small segment of China’s population who would even consider buying products made of Silk.  Today the economy in China is booming and the middle-class is exploding.  With this new found wealth, more Chinese are buying products made in Silk.  Families are buying traditional Chinese Kimonos made in silk rather than polyester or a cheaper blend of synthetic materials.  As this portion of China’s Economy Grows, they are demanding more of the Products and Services that once were considered “Export Only”.  As a result, China is keeping the majority of best quality of Raw Silk for themselves.  The lower quality Raw Silk is now sent to India where the Mills have much more difficulty yielding good quality silk fabrics in high volume.  Thus, prices go up.

The global impact of China’s rising Middle-Class and the increased demand for aspirational products and services is that the price of those products and services will rise around the world.  When you consider that China has the largest population on the planet, even minute increases in domestic consumption can send shock-waves around the world.

What does this mean to US Consumers of products like Silk Drapes?  It means that prices will only be increasing for the foreseeable future.

 

DrapeStyle To The Trade

Our To-The-Trade Program has never been stronger at DrapeStyle.  We’ve been making custom drapery for some of the best Designers in the US and Canada for over a decade for good reason.  When you work with DrapeStyle on your Custom Drapery Project you will be working with a trained, experienced Designer to help you specify the perfect drapery.  At DrapeStyle, we don’t have “Sales People” but Designers who are not paid on commission.  Our Designers want to make sure that you look as good as you can for your Clients.  We are experienced in custom drapery and Roman Shades for Homeowners as well as Commercial and Hospitality Clients.  And, we have a network of over 100 Installers who can help ensure that your project is completed properly, on-time and on-budget.  If you are a Professional Interior Designer who wants to work with our Team please call Stefeny Stanyer at 800-760-8257 ext 115 and Partner with DrapeStyle!

No Interest Financing & No Payments for 6 Months

For a limited time you can buy your custom drapes at DrapeStyle and enjoy No Interest and No Payments for Six Months when you choose Bill Me Later as your payment method.  Bill Me Later is a PayPal Company and is providing this excellent financing offer through selected PayPal Merchants.  We think it’s a great deal for our Customers as they can get more of the custom made silk, linen and velvet drapes or Roman Shades they need now and stretch their budget with no-interest.  This Program is subject to certain restrictions and we encourage you to visit the Bill Me Later page for all of the details.

The Simple White Silk Drape

When we look at all of the custom drapery style that we make and sell everyday here at DrapeStyle we make some observations.  One truth that we see year-after-year in our business, as interior design trends change, is that there are a few styles that endure.  Think of them as the short black cocktail dress of fashion.  In Drapery, one of the classic styles that is a cornerstone of interior design is the classic white silk drapes that we make month after month.  It just seems that in any length, width or pleat style, the simple white silk drapes seem to compliment any interior.  We make them for Homeowners, Designers and even hotels and restaurants.  You just can’t go wrong with classic elegance and versatility.  White is always a “Designers best friend”.  It may often seem to be the “safe choice” but often times it is the best choice.  It has certainly proven itself to be an enduring classic for many, many years.

Oh, you may also want to try them paired with Sheers, Roman Shades, Roller Shades or even Shutters!

 

White Silk Drapes

The Classic White Silk Drapery

Shipping our Drapery Worldwide

Once in a while we like to give thanks where and when thanks are due.  Just call it good Karma.  It’s no secret that DrapeStyle not only ships extra long custom drapery valances and Roman Shades all over the US and Canada, but we also ship them Worldwide.  We ship custom drapes to Australia, Japan, France, Switzerland and even China!  Whenever we have one of these shipments going that requires some custom boxing or crating we always call the folks at Airway Packing for help.  They build our custom boxes and crates to perfect specs and they know exactly what the Customs requirements are for each Country that we are shipping too.  So, like a few weeks ago when we needed to ship a crate of long custom made drapes to Australia, the folks at Airway made us the perfect create to make sure that they arrived safely and made it through Customs without delay.  Thanks very much to Todd and his Crew at Airway.

custom drapes Australia

At DrapeStyle we ship our custom made drapery, roman shades and valances all over the world,

Bill Me Later

Bill Me Later is a PayPal Company that provides point of sale financing for Products which are purchased through qualifying Stores.  DrapeStyle has been offering Bill Me Later for the last 18 months and we really believe that the service adds a great deal of value for our Clients.  Since our typical transaction size is larger than an average online retailer, DrapeStyle Customers can get Free Financing on their custom drapery and window treatments when they use Bill Me Later.  The “No Payments-No Interest” Program offered by Bill Me Later to DrapeStyle Customers let’s our Clients get more of our Products while deferring payments and interest.  It’s really a great offer.

Los Angeles and the Valley

Yep, it’s true, the best place to get an incredible deal on amazing Designer Quality Custom Drapery is not in LA, or the San Fernando Valley.  And, it’s not in Downtown LA either.  For over a decade the best Designers in LA and the Valley have been buying their custom made draperies in Orange County at DrapeStyle.  DrapeStyle has made more silk and linen drapes for Hollywood Celebrity homes that any other Drapery Manufacturer, period.  Why?  Probably because Designers trust our Team of Designers and Installers, plus, we own our own Workroom, our own equipment and we have a staff of the most talented Seamstresses in the United States and Canada.  We have celebrity Clients who insist that our Seamstresses make the drapes that go into their estate homes in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Shady Canyon, Lake Sherwood, Calabasas, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach and Pelican Hill just to name a few.  We aren’t going to drop names because we value the privacy of our Clients but we feel confident that we’ve made more drapery for Sports Stars, Movies Stars and Celebrities than any other drapery retailer in America.

 

 

HGTV Junkie

Ok – We admit it.  We are all HGTV Junkies at DrapeStyle!  We have a couple of Camps here too.  Some are a little “Old School” and love to watch Candice Olson.  Candice has done some amazing things in the Fabric World and we actually carry some of her Fabrics that she made in conjunction with one of our favorite Mills, Kravet. The Canadian born Olson seems to have really “blown-up” since her original days on HGTV and we see her everywhere now.  Could not be happier for her.

A couple of us in the office can’t get enough of of the Minneapolis native Nicole Curtis.  We love her and we love the amazing things she does with older mid-west homes.  No doubt that some us think that Nicole is the “next big thing” for both the DIY Channel and HGTV.

We haven’t had the chance to work with either of them yet but we really hope that when Candice Olson or Nicole Curtis think Custom Drapery they think DrapeStyle!

New York City

Have you ever considered that the best place to buy luxury custom made drapery and Roman Shades in New York City may not even be in New York?  That’s right, if you ask a lot of Interior Designers and Decorators they will tell you that you may not find the best value in custom drapery in SoHo, or on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side or even in Mid-Town.  Nope, the best value in window treatments in New York may be in California.  At DrapeStyle we have sold thousands of custom draperies, Roman Shades and drapery hardware all over New York City.  As a matter of fact, we’ve been the Designers Secret Source for Window Treatments for over a decade.  At DrapeStyle we pride ourselves in providing the highest quality custom made drapery at the best value possible.  We feature fabrics from all of the leading Mills in the US and Europe as well as our own line of premium imported silk fabrics.  Each panel is made to order in our own Workroom by a staff of talented Seamstresses who have, on average, over 20 years of hand-making couture luxury drapery for Homeowners and Designers all over the US and Canada, including many in New York City.  So, if you are looking for premium custom drapery in New York City don’t look for a Store, just look online for DrapeStyle.com!

How Much are Custom Drapes?

We get this question all of the time.  The answer, depends.  At DrapeStyle all we do it make quality custom made drapes from scratch, everyday.  Our draperies range in price from as little as $199/panel for a simple solid linen, silk or cotton to over $1,000 per panel for some of our Schumacher Fabrics.  We like to think that we can really help you get high quality custom draperies for any budget.  In fact, if you are looking for drapery from a major retailer like Ethan Allen or Restoration Hardware, you can probably buy 100% custom in your choice of pleat style, lining and width from DrapeStyle for the same price or even less.  How can we compete with the big retailers?  Well, for one reason, we don’t have a warehouse where we keep hundreds if not thousands of “ready-made” drapery panels.  All of that inventory is just really expensive.  Instead, we keep a small amount of fabric in stock and only order exactly what we need to make each set of drapes.  No excess inventory and no waste means, lower costs.  It’s just that simple.

Thanks for shopping DrapeStyle.

Extra Long Draperies

A Client called us with a common dilemma.  She had purchased a new home in a brand new Development in Orange County that was just completed by The Irvine Company.  The Irvine Company, like almost all current builders and developers are building new home with extremely tall windows.  We’ve visited some new Developments back east that were built by Toll Brothers that had windows that were almost 25 feet tall.  These are dramatic architectural design elements that are beautiful but certainly present a challenge when it comes to finding window treatments or drapery for extra long windows.  At DrapeStyle, we make drapery for these longer windows all of the time.  The reality is, you won’t be able to buy drapery at a retail store like Restoration Hardware that will accommodate these windows.

Another consideration when ordering these extra long drapes is making sure that the hardware that you select will support the weight of the draperies.  Drapes that are 10-20feet long are going to be quite heavy and there is just no way that a typical telescoping pole is going to support the weight of the drapes.  You will need to be sure that you are getting solid rods that are properly mounted to support the weight of the drapery fabric.

 

 

Extra Long Drapery Panels for Tall Windows

Extra Long Drapery Panels for Tall Windows

SoCo Orange County

Have you been to SoCo, The South Coast Collection in Orange County yet?  We’ve been spending some time there over the last 18 months and there really seems to be constant turnover.  At one point a couple of years ago we were considering opening a custom drapery store in SoCo but we just couldn’t pull the trigger.  The tenants that were there were very high-end and consistent with what we would consider our “peers” but we just didn’t see very much foot traffic.  And, the traffic we did see were mostly Students from the surrounding schools including the Paul Mitchell School in SoCo itself.

One of the Tenants that seemed to be a “cornerstone” Tenant for SoCo was Pal + Smith.  Pal + Smith is a Newport Beach based Design Firm who was one of the first to move into SoCo.  I was surprised when I noticed they had moved out of their premier location just off the central courtyard.  I understand that they have relocated out of SoCo to new location on Baker street in Costa Mesa.

The restaurants seem to be doing well at SoCo.  I haven’t been during dinner hours but I know when I stop during lunch time they seem to be thriving.

The OC Mix which is part of SoCo is a very hip and unique concept.  The Mix features a compilation of small “micro-showrooms” all under one roof.  While originally most of the showrooms were all focused around Home Decor, I have noticed a more eclectic mix now ranging from designer sunglasses to beach cruiser bicycles.  The even have a very trendy lingerie store.

We do really love spending time at SoCo, including the weekends when they have the Farmers Market take over most of the parking lot.  Burnham really did a great job in re-purposing this once forgotten space.

French Pleated Custom Drapery

The French Pleat is one of the oldest and most classic pleat styles for custom made curtains or drapery.  The French Pleat is also known as a Pinch Pleat and these two terms are often used interchangeably.  The French Pleat is formed by creating three folds at the top of the drapery panel.  These three folds are then “pinched” about three inches down from the top of the drapery panel and tacked using a industrial sewing machine.  The three folds are then fanned out at the the top forming a fluted fan.  When forming the pleat it is important to fold all layers of the drapery fabric including the buckram, lining and interlining.  These layers will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for a typical sewing machine to penetrate.  You will need to use an industrial machine known as a “Tacker” to be able to penetrate all of the layers of fabrics.

One of our Classic Drapery Pleat Tackers we use everyday at DrapeStyle.  Yes, this machine was actually made in Leeds England!

 

Drapery Pleat Tacker

Image of One of Our Classic Industrial Drapery Pleat Tacking Machines

French Drapery Pleat Style

French Drapery Pleat Style by DrapeStyle

Grosse Pointe Draperies

At DrapeStyle we sell our custom made drapery all over the US and Canada but their are a few places that we really sell a lot of draperies too.  One of those places is Grosse Pointe Michigan.  So much so that we decided to visit Grosse Pointe and Troy Michigan, another one of our “Hot Spots”.

When we arrived in Grosse Pointe, just outside of Detroit, it didn’t take long to see why our traditional custom draperies do so well there.  This is the epicenter of grand homes that displayed the well-earned fruits of many of the leaders of the Industrial Revolution.  These homes were the result of “steel money” or “auto money” and they are simply gorgeous.  Huge home on equally huge parcels of land with two-store tall windows adorned with billowing draperies that puddle gracefully onto polished oak wood floors.  These are more than Homes, they are Manors and Showpieces of a proud time in American History.  Driving through Grosse Pointe you can really get a sense for the time when “Masters of Industry” would build monuments that would become part of their and their Families lasting legacies.  We loved our visit and can’t wait to go back.

Moving Jobs and Draperies to Charlotte from Los Angeles

It really is a sign of the times.  It seems that the migration of jobs out of Los Angeles and California in general continues.  Our small business has experienced some of our Employees and Contractors moving from Orange County and Los Angeles to Charlotte North Carolina.  We are in the business of designing and making custom draperies for a wide variety of Customers.  We sell our Drapery throughout the US and Canada to Homeowners and Designers.  We had a small niche which was selling Drapery to Television and Movie Production Companies and Set Designers in Los Angeles.  We’ve been in this business for many years.  About three years ago the Set Design potion of our business started a steady decrease in revenue.  It’s not that Production Companies no longer needed drapery for their TV or Movie Sets but, those Sets and Productions were simply moving out of LA and California.

Where did all of the Production go?  Well, a lot of it went to Canada where Production Crews are “Non-Union” and much less expensive than their Hollywood counterparts.  We also saw a decent migration of the Productions that we made custom drapery for move to Charlotte.  By moving to Charlotte, Production Companies were able to enjoy lower taxes and wages than LA and not have to manage with cross-border issues when going to Canada.  Sadly for DrapeStyle, we actually had one of our very best Drapery Installers move to Charlotte from Orange County.  Like the Entertainment Industry, Bill is now enjoying a much lower cost of living, lower taxes and better lifestyle than when he was here in Southern California.  With so much TV Production moving to the Carolina’s we may end up opening a new drapery workroom there to support the industry.  I can’t help but to think of the irony as so much of the drapery and textile world was born in North Carolina only to leave for places like Mexico and China.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring many of those jobs back to that part of the Country?

Marlboro to Moorestown and Cherry Hill New Jersey

On our way to Central and South New Jersey next week for a great little photo shoot for our next Catalog.  We’ll be visiting a couple drapery installations we did in Marlboro and Manalpan and then heading toward Philadelphia.  The Clients in Marlboro purchased a new home in 2009 and we’ve completed making the custom drapes for their entire home.  We’ll shoot there as well as Manalpan in mid April.

Once we complete our two day photo shoot we’ll be heading over to Haddonfield and Cherry Hill where we will be meeting with some of our Designers that we have worked with over years.  They have been asking us to open a custom drapery store in the Philadelphia and Cherry Hill area for a long time.  There are some great locations in Haddonfield, Moorestown and the Cherry Hill areas.  Plus, we get do to some grocery shopping at Wegmans!  Princeton is also a consideration.

Currently our Shop at Home service is really busy in New Jersey and New York.  Until the Stores are open we always invite our Clients to use the Shop at Home Service.  Our Shop at Home Program allows you to see samples of our drapery fabrics and linings and get some great advice from a Professional Interior Designer.  One of the many benefits of shopping in your own home is that you can really spend the time to coordinate your drapery fabrics with your other furnishings.  And, having a Designer there to help with the process is always a plus.

While in New Jersey we’ll also be looking at a new custom drapery workroom that we are considering the purchase of.  Having a workroom in New Jersey would help us get our custom drapes and shades to Clients in New York and New Jersey faster than ever.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Charlotte and Matthews North Carolina

We were driving from Matthews on our way through Ballantyne going to see some amazing homes in Dilworth and Myers Park.  The drive, and shopping in Ballatyne is really great, tons of new stores being built.  We found a little drapery store tucked into a unique store in Ballantyne Commons.  The Store is basically a group of small showrooms who rent space within one retail store in a nice new shopping center.  It really is a great concept.  The one thing that is a little odd is that the stores are not typically staffed with someone to help you or answer questions.  I think that when it comes to purchasing custom drapes like those we sell a DrapeStyle this concept probably wouldn’t work.  But, if you just want to get a couple ready made, simple panels it’s probably a good spot for you.

We left Ballantyne Commons and headed to Myers Park.  This is such a gorgeous and regal old community which is in the process of a “revival”.  Myers Park, reminded us of Hindsdale or Naperville outside of Chicago.  These communities are within a 15 minute commute to downtown Chicago or, in the case of Myers Park and Dilworth, Charlotte.  The downtown areas are full of well-paying jobs which are now primarily in the Financial Services industries with, in the case of Charlotte, the Headquarters of some major banks such as Bank of America.

Many of the young executives at these firms are buying older homes in Dilworth and Myers Park and completely renovating them.  These classic homes, which were originally built in the 18th Century are getting complete makeovers and many of them are nothing short of fabulous.  We had the chance to tour some of the homes with a Real Estate friend who lives in the area.  We fell in love with the classic architecture and style of these homes and we were happy to see that most of the renovations are in keeping with the time-period and style of the area.  Like in Hinsdale and Naperville, there is a little conflict with the older established residents who are opposed to any change but, for the most part, folks seem to be co-existing.

We visited the home of a DrapeStyle Client from years ago.  We had made her some long custom drapes in Taffeta Silk that hang over her extra large living room windows.  She used a traverse rod and layered sheers behind the silk drapes.  In the morning she loves to open the draperies and leave the sheers closed.  From her kitchenette she can just see the outline of the hundred year old oak tree which stands proudly in her from yard.  We suggested that she line the silk drapes with blackout lining and she is happy that she did.  At night she closes the long silk drapes which block our nearly all of the light and occasional street noise from passing cars.  What a lovely day in the Greater Charlotte area.  We are so lucky to have such great clients down here which gives us a great opportunity to visit these historic neighborhoods and homes.

 

 

 

Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and Daniel Island

We were down in one our most favorite Cities in America recently.  The Queen City Herself, Charleston South Carolina.  We just love Charleston and Charleston has always been a DrapeStyle kind of town!  It’s no wonder, the homes in Charleston are simply to die for.  We toured some of the Cities most historic homes and then went out to look at some of the new homes being built in communities like Ion in Mt. Pleasant.  Amazing Low Country homes with huge porches on two and three levels overlooking lovely town squares and parks for the children.  We were joined by a Designer who we have worked with for years and had a chance to see some of the custom window treatments that we have made for her and her Clients.  We love the style of Charleston and we love their taste in custom drapery.

After Touring Ion and Mt. Pleasant we took a ride over the Wando River to one of my most favorite places in the United States, Daniel Island, South Carolina.  We fell in love with Daniel Island back in the late 90’s when we almost purchased a home site there.  We discovered it when Coastal Living Magazine had their “Showhome” on the Island.  At the time they were just developing the Island and I thought that it would be a great location for a custom drapery store (this was pre-DrapeStyle).  I remember touring some of the model homes and loving the wide pine planked floors and lovely porches.  It seemed like there was a golf course at the end of each street.  Back then you could buy a “premium” lot for about $45,000.  And that was just too much money for us.

Today we visit Daniel Island whenever we are in the Charleston Area.  We would love to find a Home in Charleston or Daniel Island that we could use for a Catalog Shoot at some point but in the meantime we’ll keep shipping our drapery and Roman Shades down there.  The Folks in South Carolina also love their Valances as well.  So, if you are in Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, Daniel Island or anywhere in South Carolina we really appreciate your support of DrapeStyle and ask you to remember us when your are next in the market for your gorgeous set of custom drapes!