Going Custom: Drapery That Seriously WOWS!

Source:   Studio Griffiths

It’s no secret that the DWK Team is a strong proponent of custom window treatments. We love them and we want them everywhere! Seriously…everywhere. We’d drape every wall with them at our own homes if we could. OK, maybe not, but you can tell how smitten we are. We sometimes get tongue tied out of sheer (get it? Drapery word-play) excitement when we try to explain to our clients how custom drapery can change their lives. Luckily, we have this wonderful new online space where we can share our more organized thoughts with you.

In this blog post, we will go into detail about our drapery love affair by highlighting the benefits of going custom. Hint: it’s not just about the aesthetics; custom drapery is functional too. We’ve included some stunning before and after shots, some client testimonials, and some drapery eye candy for added inspiration!

Style Benefits

What does it mean to have “custom” drapery? Well, “custom” is defined as “made to order,” but when it comes to drapery, custom means so much more. Not only will your drapes be the perfect height and length, but they will also be one-of-a-kind—just like you! Scroll with us through the many style benefits that custom drapery provides.

Source:   Haute Savage

Source: Haute Savage


Height refers to how tall you can go, while fullness refers to how wide you can go. We consult with our clients to decide how much fabric they’d like to add horizontally so that the drapes appear voluminous and perfectly pleated. Similar to hair, we recommend the bigger the better! Think of Pantene Pro-V slow-motion commercials but for window treatments.

The Return

No, we don’t mean returning your custom draperies if you’re not satisfied—because that never happens! The return is the end pleat on a drapery panel that is linked to the wall on either side of the window and hides the bracket. This is one small feature in custom drapery that signifies the level of detail involved in the design and installation. The result is a harmonious and finished look.

Source:  DWK Project in Calgary, Photo by  Lindsay Nichols

Source: DWK Project in Calgary, Photo by Lindsay Nichols


Drapery adds height to your room. When the fabric lightly grazes or pools on the floor and sits just a couple of inches below your moulding or ceiling, the eye is drawn up, up, up. Floor to ceiling is typically how we like to style drapery, but we assess all window treatments on a case-by-case basis to make the best choice for a client’s space.

The height of draperies is the biggest difference between store bought and custom. Store-bought drapes are typically “one size fits all,” which can sometimes do the trick, but so many of our clients’ homes have higher ceilings and larger windows, so store bought just won’t make the cut.

Touch, break, sweep, puddle...These are the poetic terms we use to describe how the fabric interacts with the floor. We love to style drapery to just barely touch the floor so that the pleats stand tall in perfectly vertical lines. But if you’re daring and looking for a dramatic overflow of fabric, go for the puddle effect.

Source:   My Domaine

Source: My Domaine


The fabric possibilities are endless! Velvet, embroidered, sheer, two-toned, corduroy, floral, geometric, striped...The options can be overwhelming, but we can determine the perfect fabric by listening to our clients and envisioning an elevated design, no matter their aesthetics. We love using drapes to incorporate pattern into a space—pattern adds interest and creates a beautiful focal point that ties the whole design together.

Source : Maxwell Fabric, Photo by  Katrina Ramsvik

Source: Maxwell Fabric, Photo by Katrina Ramsvik


A stiff word for something that is anything but. Drapery hardware is all about accessorizing your accessories; it creates the finishing touches and adds the dazzling details. Just like with fabric, hardware choices are unlimited. You can’t help but have fun choosing the polish finish for the rod, rings, and brackets; selecting the shapes and shine of finials (the jewels that cap the rod); and even deciding upon any holdbacks in your drapery design.


Functional Benefits

There are some obvious functional benefits to drapery, but a lot of our clients are surprised to learn that drapes can do much more than simply shade them from the sun. Here’s a short list of the more functional benefits which are all dependent of the drapery lining chosen, an option that is not offered in your standard store bought drapery.

UV Protection

The right lining protects your drape material, hardwood floors, area rugs and upholstered furniture from the harsh rays of the sun.

Energy Insulation

The right drapery lining can keep that cool or warm air inside. “You mean I can save money on my heating and cooling bill with drapery?” Uh huh! Certain lining treatments act as insulators and prevent cool air from seeping outside and vice versa, keeping you either chilled or toasty.

Light Penetration

Who doesn’t love a good sleep in? You can keep the sunlight from pouring in on Saturday mornings and enjoy a few more hours of shut-eye by adding blackout lining to your drapery.

Noise Reduction

Yep! You read that right! Depending on the fabric and lining, you can design a window treatment that cancels out those noisy neighbours and street racket. What a dream, right?



Before & After

When a design doesn’t include drapery, it’s like looking at an unfinished painting. There are splashes of light and colour, contours of shapes and figures, but that one spot of blank canvas is all you can focus on.

Be a Picasso, a Da Vinci, or a Michelangelo, and finish your painting with custom drapery. Flip through these before and afters, and get inspired!

So, what are your thoughts? Are you a converted custom-drapery advocate? Leave us a note below saying yay :) or nay :( 

We'll leave you with a couple brief notes from two of our clients...

My home has been transformed by Custom Drapery, under the guidance of Katie Rioux and her expert team.  Within a short time we had chosen the appropriate fabrics and style to enhance my home from a large selection and I never felt rushed in my decisions.  The drapery was consistently delivered within the original anticipated time frame and was expertly installed.  I would highly recommend Custom Drapery for all your window needs.   

- Val


Custom drapery allowed me to find the ideal complement to the decor in my home and ensures a perfect fit.

- Jenn